Laser Technology, Inc. was invited by Dale Luthringer, Environmental Education Specialist at Cook Forest Park and Bob Leverett, of the Native Tree Society, to attend this meeting put on for Tall Tree enthusiasts in the area. We were very excited to participate and to provide instrumentation and assistance for the attendees. Cook Forest State Park, located in West Central Pennsylvania, is home to a grove of old growth White Pine trees - a species that was once abundant across the eastern US.
The meeting started out with a lecture given by Bob about the various methods for measuring tree height and a discussion of the many pitfalls the amateur tree measurer can run into. We then adjourned to a nearby field that had a couple of good example trees for the group to measure.
Care was taken to lead the attendees through the typical procedure of measuring trees - which inevitably brought the errors to light - and then show them how by utilizing the proper sequence of events, acceptable results could be achieved. It was a great learning experience for all!
In the afternoon, Dale took the group on a tour of the big White Pine giants, with interesting discussions of the history of the area and the ecosystem represented along the way. Our destination was the Longfellow Pine, tallest tree of any species in the eastern US. With plenty of lasers, clinometers and calculators being used from all possible vantage points, we arrived at an updated measurement of 184.0', the big tree retaining its distinction of being the tallest around.
Day two found the group back out in the park, tracking down another giant, the Cook Pine. We verified the height of this White Pine to be between 163.0' and 163.5'. Another task on the agenda for this site was to model the tree for volume as well.
LTI's TruPulse laser rangefinder and Criterion RD1000 diameter measurement device were used to create height/diameter pairs all the way up the stem. This data was measured, recorded and Bob crunched the numbers. Taking into account an estimate for the crown volume, a figure of 950 cubic feet was revealed!
LTI appreciated very much the opportunity to participate in this educational and fun event. With folks from the Native Tree Society and American Forests also in attendance, it was a great chance to network with other tree enthusiasts.