Redwoods in Sequoia sempervirens redwood grove

Largest (disclosed) single stem coast redwood - 1359 points

Grogan's Fault, aka "Spartan"


Continued from Coast Redwood Main Page - Copyright 2016- 2017 by Mario Vaden

The coast redwood below is known as "Grogan's Fault" ... or"Spartan" ... discovered with Chris Atkins, exploring around Redwood National Park. My image EXIF data says I first entered the grove in May, 2014 when I started solo. Thomas from Germany joined afterward for several excursions. Then Chris joined, and the two of us explored further ridge by ridge and valley by valley. The Spartan coast redwood can also represent several other finds of 2014 - 2017.

The main, single trunk volume measured at least 38,299 cu. ft. (41,324 cu. ft. / scroll to updates), surpassing Iluvatar and Grove of Titans. After viewing point cloud data, Michael Taylor commented this is "over the top impressive (&) not surprise me if the total volume of this beast is over 40K cubic feet". Unlike some largest known coast redwood discoveries of the past, we don't think anyone has ever been to this redwood titan before, or near it. The epi-center of our search was described in the Mail Tribune. More info at Year of Discovery. The trunk is nearly 40' wide at the base ... person on the right side for scale. Grogan's Fault (Spartan) is a Sequoia species that apparently exceeds 1321 point General Sherman Sequoiadendron of the national champion registry. It also surpasses the other coast redwoods on the American Forests national registry, but we broke with tradition and do not plan to nominate it. Aside from one HSU researcher and a few like Ron Hildebrant, the location was provided to one RNSP environmental scientist.

Points = 1359 / Girth 1032 - Height 309.2 - 1/4 Crown 18 - DBH Diameter 27.38 ft. - Est. age 2800 to 3400 years

Continue reading after the image ...


Grogans Fault aka Spartan coast redwood, wider than Grove of Titans


Diameter was measured several times at several heights for several purposes. The girth points are from dbh diameter known as diameter at breast height. There is about 11 feet difference between high side and low side. The difference was averaged between high and low sides in the strictest sense for where trunk meets earth. The nationally recognized formula for points adds height + girth + 1/4 crown. I used Chris Atkins' height measurement. Average diameter at dbh is 27.38 ft.. Age estimate 2750 years. When measuring, I did not include any trunk under the soil surface. Only what's beneath fallen twigs, wood, leaves and loose needles.

I dropped the menu rank for Grogan's Fault to 2nd largest and formed a new page The Emissary to represent the #1 arena for any other coast redwoods not yet published, or not yet discovered.

Spring Water

September 2016 was a dry summer with virtually no rain June - September. It was a surprise to approach early autumn and feel boots sink ankle-deep into saturated earth - the spring was revealed. That partly answered how this redwood and a few more in Olympian Grove may attain their size. This is similar to spots near Orion and Episkopos. The presence of hidden spring water tends to debunk a super-DNA hypothesis that some people hold regarding the largest. I teach that largest coast redwoods happened to be in better conditions and happened to endure when nature threw catastrophes at them.


Grogans Fault aka Spartan coast redwood diagram of trunk volume measure

"Spartan" was the first name for this redwood. At some point, we were talking about nearby geological features in Redwood National Park including Grogan Fault that divides opposite sides of the river. That's how the second name evolved. Spartan reflects the redwood's ability to stand it's ground for so long. If others choose Grogan's Fault that's fine, but I will be using "Spartan" more. Several names were considered. Other redwoods have two names too, like Melkor which is Fusion Giant, Cal-Barrel Tree which is Iluvatar, or Dry Heaves Tree which is Maia. There's even an Expansion which became Haystack Needle.

The first name stems from the Spartans and King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae, in 480 BC.. They were greatly outnumbered but fought one most epic battles ever. A famous example of endurance and standing one's ground.

Grogan's Fault was the only name we published between May, 2014 and April, 2017. In 2017 when when I learned Hildebrant's age estimate, it convinced me to use the original name Spartan again.


In April, 2017, I got the complete copy for volume measurement with diameters for every 10 ft. inccrement of height. The data starts at "0" (zero) elevation with 24.9 ft. as the diameter. That should be diameter about 1 ft. higher than where the trunk enters earth on the upslope side.

That means our math Guru's 38,299 cu. ft. is minus the rest of the trunk reaching 11 ft. lower elevation on the downslope side. He is known to be conservative.

Using a conical frustum calculator, then dividing by half, the huge extra wedge of trunk may add 3,025 cu. ft.. Combined with 38,299, total volume of the main trunk without reiterations should be about 41,324 cu. ft.

Spartan's main stem alone appears to be as big as Lost Monarch's bole, extra 6,000 cu. ft. redwood trunk next to it, plus all reiterations combined. Spartan may never be climbed, and it's full volume with reiterations could remain a mystery for a long time. Either way "it is what it is" says Thomas from Germany, a silent partner who helped me explore this grove.

At a height of 60 ft. the trunk averages almost 17 feet diameter. At 240 ft., the trunk is still 8 feet thick. The crown spread spans approximately 110 ft. wide and is more complex than I first realized. The age estimate is upward of 3,000 yrs.. Ron Hildebrant estimated 2700 to 3000 yrs. Given what I've seen in photos and documents of other coast redwoods in relation to diameters, usually much smaller, I will go out on a limb and estimate 2800 to 3400 years.. There is hardly any damage along most of the trunk like goosepens or other large wounds. The crown has typical gnarl and sculpting from countless storms, but looks solid. Among all the coast redwood titans, if any could push for 4,000 yrs., this is the one I'd put money on. Time will tell, but I won't be around.

Spartan, like Catacombs and 867-5309, show how the time-proven method of searching everywhere pan-out awesome discoveries. It's the same way Sillett and Taylor found the Grove of Titans, and the same way Taylor and Atkins found Helios. Simply pick a new area, then search every single hill, valley and ridge. Then pick an adjacent area, and do the same again. This method eventually leads to every square foot of beauty in the forest.


Image: Spartan's thick canopy is like a forest within the forest, holding up a myriad of limbs and trunks like this one facing the southwest. I'm considering re-purchasing one of the point-and-shoot mega zooms like I used to drag around years ago helping Atkins measure LiDAR redwoods. It would be like sticking a 1200mm ens on my full frame Canon, but under $300 dollars. For plain documentary keepsakes, it would be worth it to capture more details inside the upper structure.


Grogans Fault aka Spartan coast redwood upper canopy and reiterated trunk