Page:Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth - 1919.djvu/67

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51
COLLECTION OF SECTIONS.

hoped that its center would prove of very great age. But the results were disappointing, for it turned out that it had fallen only a few years before the logging began and that its age was only 2,200 years. It had so many compressed rings in its outer parts that the last 800 years were not considered worth measuring.

On leaving the vicinity of Hume several days were spent at the General Grant National Park. It formed an ideal center for a considerable region. Horseback trips were made to the area which Huntington calls the "World's Fair District," "Converse Hoist," and by other names. No. 20 was a fallen tree with a northerly exposure, on the west side of the upper basin, not far from the old hoist at the top of the ridge. It was on the west side of the abandoned railroad. It was found that the tree fell only 6 years before the logging was done. A log had been taken out and the sample was cut from the top of the fallen stump. No. 21 is the most interesting of all, because it gives the oldest record by nearly 200 years. It is on the east side of the railroad and brook in the lower part of the upper basin, and some 30 feet above the level of the brook. It is not at all impossible that during its long life the topographic character of the ground about it has altered materially. It is somewhat complacent in its later growth, but this does not persist throughout its record. The top of the stump had carbonized, become extremely brittle and very hard to cut. Though bits of wood broke off and clogged the saw, every piece was marked and preserved. The radial sample has been glued together in the laboratory and is now 9 feet long. The original center of the stump was badly cracked through contraction in drying, but there were lacking only about 2 inches at the center. The central portion, perhaps a foot in diameter, was not firm enough to be cut out with the saw. It was therefore removed very carefully and is now mounted in a special box in the laboratory. The oldest complete ring in good condition was identified as 1305 B. C. Possibly two more rings may be added. A hundred yards to the south and slightly higher up the hillside is the "World's Fair Stump." This was cut in 1892 at a height of more than 20 feet above the ground, and to-day the stump is very difficult to climb, as the scaffold built around it has broken away.

A trip was made from the General Grant National Park to the upper part of the Comstock millsite, known also as Wigger's. The stage road goes near it and the point is known as "Big Stump." The stump, easily seen from the road, is some 25 feet in diameter with a raised square in the center. The location is in a side basin close to a small brook. An examination of the rings showed that the tree had grown with the greatest rapidity, as the rings were of enormous size. It was estimated to be 1,500 years old. No sample was taken of it. A trip was also made from the park to visit the General Grant Tree and if possible estimate its age. There is an extensive burnt area on