Oct 28-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: October: Oct 28-11
Big tree    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
Facts    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
Massive trunk    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
Side view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
More big tree    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 07:58 am:

Donna MacIntosh, lives just down the road from this locally famous, Baraga County Big Tree, so she snapped some shots to share this massive specimen with us. I don't know the background of why it was cut down, but seeing that it's a cottonwood, I can guess as to why it may have been. Our neighbor has two of them and they're the messiest trees I've ever seen. But you can see by Donna's photos and the dimensions listed on the plaque, that they certainly do grow quite large.

So you get an idea of what I was talking about, that these trees are the messiest I've ever seen... here's a photo of the "cotton" that it shed this past July.

Cottonwood mess

Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:02 am:

That is one big tree. Cool pictures. And I sure remember your problems with that mess all over your yard. I had no idea they grew that big. Thanks for sharing!!

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:08 am:

So is this tree displayed on the land where it was cut? Why haven't I seen it?!!! Can you tell us where it is?

By Kenty (Dashamo) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:11 am:

Huge tree. Don't know if I agree with the 231" diameter. Maybe 231" circumference.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:15 am:

Lots of HUGE cottonwoods here in Colorado. They tend to grow along irrigation ditches because of the abundant water supply. FYI, when that “cotton” is dry, it is highly flammable.

Mary says: This I know, Gary. The picture of the "cotton" mess was taken right around the 4th of July and when a firecracker was lit and thrown near that stuff, it ignited the whole mess. There was lots of stomping going on, to put it out, good thing we had a hose nearby. :->

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:21 am:

Know any chain saw sculptors?

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:53 am:

It's on Wadaga Road in Baraga...heading up towards the prison. There was an article about it in the L'Anse Sentinel, but I can't find it online.

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:56 am:

Kenty - my first thought was 'no way' on that diameter as well. 231" would be 19+ feet across! There's not really anything for true scale, but it was cut with an 84" bar... you couldn't do that with a 231" tree.

I suspect you're right, and that's the circumference. Given that, and a quick d=C/pi calculation, we get a diameter of 73.5" - just over 6'. This is far more believable - I've measured a number of cottonwoods that size.

Still an impressive tree!

By Kenty (Dashamo) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 09:18 am:

Mel, I got the calculator out too and figured what the circumference of the tree would be if it was in fact 231" in diamter. Using C = pi x radius it would be just over 30 feet. Enough math for today!!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 09:42 am:

A lot of cottonwood trees in N. Dakota, and since the wind blows a LOT there, the cotton gets airborne and gives you a smothery feeling. If memory serves me correctly, I think there were also a lot of cottonwoods around Bakersfield, CA.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 09:57 am:

Oh you guys and your calculations!!!! So whats 231 here and 231 there.....details details. We folks who are calculation-ignorant know what they're talking about....:O) (tee-hee)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 10:23 am:

KAY; Did you paint those pictures in you profile picture? They are beautiful.

By ILMHitCC (Ilmhitcc) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 10:42 am:

Close, Kenty, but the circumference is actually pi x diameter, which would make a 231"D into over 60 feet around! The scale of the photo, judging from the photographer's point of view, also relates to an approximate 6' in diameter. Good call, Kenty and Mel!

By Sidney Butler (Cabinfeverarts) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:38 am:

Here's the math:

If the Diameter (length from side to side) is 231",
To convert to feet: 725.34/12=60.445'.
That is the distance around the trunk. In feet, the diameter or distance across becomes 231/12=19.25'.

But if the Circumference (distance around trunk) is 231",
To convert to feet: 73.57/12=6.13'.

So is the trunk 19 feet across or 6 feet across? By the scale of a reasonable plaque size, 6 feet is more likely. So unfortunately, the plaque was engraved incorrectly. The word should be circumference not diameter.

This is a nice answer to the teenager's complaint "when am I ever going to use this in real life?"

P.S. I might as well add a plug for myself here. I tutor students (secondary through college) in math. I have a masters degree in mathematics from UW-Seattle and have been privately tutoring since 2005. Please email slbutler@mac.com if you are interested in math instruction in the Keweenaw.

By Eugene Zuverink (Zube) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:40 am:

It no dought is a mistake. A 5' diameter cottonwood would be huge but a 19' would be WOW.
SO 231 X 3.14 = 725.34 divided by 12 = 60.445
move the decimal and you have a 6' diameter tree.
A 6' cottonwood is almost unheard of, but it's
in the UP so who knows.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 12:10 pm:

Can someone calculate the number of toothpicks this bad-boy will produce?

I agree JT, definitely a project for a Chip-a-Way.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 02:33 pm:


By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 03:40 pm:

I'm with you, Mskatie....let's just say it's a "big 'un"! :D

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 04:35 pm:

There are also a lot of large cottonwoods along the Rio Grande River in central and northern New Mexico as well. If you're wandering out in the desert and happen to come across some of these, they are a welcome sight as you know there is likely a spring nearby.

By Jeremy (Jst) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 12:55 am:

Wow that is one huge log.
A little bit tardy on it but, for those interested I posted some notes on the photos from yesterday. Some information may interest Capt. Paul.

(Congrats to the Cardinals. We were rooting for them but would have rather seen the Brewers)

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 11:33 am:

This note and photo arrived in my Inbox today...another HUGE cottonwood tree:


Hi Mary,
I am never able to figure out how to post pictures on the site but I thought this may be of interest. This cottonwood is located in Ironwood. I have to go measure it this afternoon but I think it's bigger than Baraga's 231 " diameter which was on display yesterday. Here my older brother Gary is standing at it's base.

Bruce Jackson

BIG cottonwood
Thanks Bruce!

Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 02:08 pm:

Bruce Jackson,
If it was bigger than the Baraga tree you should see if it qualifies for inclusion in the National Registry of Big Trees.
Big trees

By Bruce (Bessemerbj) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 05:12 pm:

Thanks for the info Bob! I just returned from measuring this one with 2 different tapes. 250" on the Stanley 30' carpenters tape and 253" with a flexible flat surveyors tape.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 07:10 pm:

Re Big Trees:
Why how disappointing, there are only three "big trees" in the UP on their list of Michigan Big Trees:

1. An Eastern White Pine in Luce County (2007),
2. A Big Tooth Aspen in Marquette County (1984,
3. A Silver Maple in Luce county — in two categories: Tallest (2007) and Highest Scoring (2002).

Aw gee, surely the UP can do better than scoring a meager three Big Trees in the state of Michigan!

By Crystal Payment (Crystal) on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 02:11 pm:

Forestry practices use DBH to size logs and pulp wood. This means Diameter Breast Height (measured about 4.5 feet from the ground) of the tree. So a 6-8" tree is the circumference at 4.5 ft from the ground, although it is called the diameter when marking a stand to specifications.

Here's a quick link, but there are better ones. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diameter_at_breast_height

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions