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gnarly upper crown of giant tree by Steve Sillett

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Steve Sillett Steve Sillett
Explore score
0.15 Gigapixels
Date added
Feb 17, 2008
Date taken
Feb 16, 2008

The tree profiled here has a weird and intimidating section near the top. Note how the main trunk shifts to the left. Apparently the main trunk broke centuries earlier, resprouted, broke again, and resprouted again. Lots of soil has accumulated beneath ferns (Polypodium scouleri), and several woody shrubs have colonized the exposed, rotting wood. When I first climbed this tree nearly a decade ago, there were several additional meters of dead main trunk, and I was able to stand on the highest branch, which was dead but sturdy. Now, the top wobbles horribly and it is unsafe to climb close to the top. Despite all the rot, the tree is still quite vigorous near the top, and new foliage has sprouted from several small reiterated trunks, increasing the live height of the tree by almost a meter. Two people are visible: Jim Spickler (orange helmet) and Marie Antoine (white helmet).

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