Copyright 2009 - 2017 by Mario Vaden
This is Del Norte Titan coast redwood. My first visit was a rainy day back in 2008. The location is Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Presently in 2014, the visitor centers may or may not tell you how to get here. But I provided some directions at my Grove of Titans page following the 2017 news stories. A distant view of the very top is visible from Howland Hill Rd., but the large lower trunk is obscured.
306 ft. tall . . . . 23.7 ft. dbh diameter (2009)
Del Norte Titan will appear as a single trunk with no significant basal stems. It's orgin is triple trunks which fused together and became so large that for all practical purposes, you can call it a "redwood" singular. The two largest stems were toward the north, and the smaller third stem was on the southeast side or what some visitors call the back side. Continue reading after image ...
Image: approaching the Del Norte Titan, on the opposite side of a small ridge.
Like Melkor, Del Norte Titan had a connection to a significant typo. But not nearly as widely spread as the New York Times claiming Melkor was merely 7 ft. & 4 in. wide instead of 74 ft. circumference. But Redwood Ed released A Guide to the Coast Redwoods for Teachers and Learners which stated on page 42 that Del Norte Titan is only 156 ft. tall. They probably mixed up facts and numbers. Because Dr. Robert Van Pelt mentioned Del Norte Titan having a 5 ft. diameter & 155 ft. tall reiterated trunk, back in 2001. Redwood Ed probably took the extra trunk measurement and applied it to the entire redwood accidentally. That was an educational redwood resource other than "Redwood Ed" or Ed Gilbert, the retired redwood guide.
A photo from a sunny day. I enjoy it's appearance even more when it rains.
Del Norte Titan was discovered May 11, 1998 by Steve Sillett and Michael Taylor after an day-long cross-country exploration through the park. The DNT as its sometimes called, is within an area called the Grove of Titans. According to Dr. Steve Sillett, this was one of the most vigorous and physically demanding "bushwhacks" he ever experienced. The Del Norte Titan aka DNT, was discovered shortly after Lost Monarch and Screaming Titans on the same day in May, 1998.
They also found New Hope redwood earlier that day, plus Ol' Jed Douglas Fir which became the largest known of that species in California. In 2009, Chris Atkins, Steve Sillett and I went to see Ol' Jed in the park's midst. The old Douglas fir kicked the bucket but was still standing. Although, there may be a chance, and we need to go back again. I've seen needle-bearing evergreens completely defoliate before and recover. We didn't remove any bark to check the cambium condition or color.
Del Norte Titan does not have the largest Coast Redwood trunk, but among single-trunked Coast Redwoods, it is larger than Lost Monarch if basal stems are omitted from wood volume.
Here is a view of the upper canopy. Very old and fairly complex.
2009 data for Del Norte Titan redwood is 306.2' or 93.6 m high, 23.7' or 7.22 m diameter, and 37,200 cubic feet wood volume. The main trunk is still 12.1 feet diameter at 180 feet high, but quickly tapers where reiterated stems emerge. There were 43 reiterated stems which account for 9.5% of the total wood volume.
The largest reiterated stem was 5.24 feet diameter and at one point is connected to the main trunk by a fused horizontal 4.59 foot diameter branch. One saddle of wood between reiterated trunks had 6.56 feet deep canopy soil. The main trunk is decayed and hollow above 278 feet. Some branches are up to 98 feet long: some fused together. The main trunk has dead cambium between 197 ft. to 229 ft., where shrubs grow on it. Del Norte Titan supports some flowering currant, evergreen huckleberry and small tan-oak in its canopy.
Dr. Steve Sillett described one of the crown's most interesting features being accumulations of broken stems and branches trapped about 170 ft. up. These trap even more organic matter and form something described as floating rafts.
Robert Van Pelt wrote Del Norte Titan had 1222 AF points. AF points are American Forests points, often used for champion species. At 106' up the trunk, two huge reiterated trunks also reach up for the sky. One of them was measured at 5' thick and 155' tall.
Image: Del Norte Titan redwood on a rainy day back in 2008, when I saw it for the first time.