Copyright 2009 - 2016 by Mario Vaden
Note: Extra page on trunks ... Fusion vs. Confusion
This redwood is Fusion Giant, aka Melkor. It has also been incorrectly spelled as Melcor. Around 2008 its dimensions showed up on a Humboldt State University page anonymously with no name as a new 2nd largest coast redwood. Previously, Iluvatar was listed as the 2nd largest. For reference, 2009 data for Fusion Giant is 348.8' or 106.3 meters tall, 22.4' diameter breast high measured 4.5' above grade, and 39,100 cubic feet of wood volume. The main stem alone is 33,500 cu. ft.
On one side of the trunk, a vertical upward line with different looking bark on each side is indicative of a fused redwood trunk. But it will look single trunk to most people.
Melkor coast redwood is memorable for me because while looking for it, I found another redwood first in another area, which had a trunk diameter almost as wide - about 22 ft. DBH. Tha one I named Episkopos. The name Episkopos (Overseer) refers to how high up the slope its rooted in a position that overlooks much of the Redwood Creek valley in that area.
After finding Episkopos, I realized undiscovered Titans could be anywhere unexplored, indicative that giants can live high on the hills. Some months later, I learned that Dr. Sillett of Humboldt State University discovered another titan up on a hillside in the same Redwood National Park while exploring with Kenneth Fisher. Mr. Fisher is a businessman with extensive knowledge and concern for redwood forest ecology.
Eventually I found Melkor, also in Redwood National Park. I remember the day, and a ranger or volunteer at the park's visitor center said "you will never find it". It was also a very quiet day surprisingly. It was August 10th, 2008 - a Sunday. For some reason, there were not many cars around Bald Hills Rd., parking for Lady Bird Johnson grove or the Redwood Creek trail parking. It was a dry day with comfortable weather and partly sunny sky.
In 2011, Melkor became a co-champion coast redwood with the American Forests point system. The 2011 New York Times article spelled the name Melcor plus a huge typo of 7 ft & 4 in. for circumference. Later corrected to 70 ft. & 4 in.. But many other information outlets that fed from that story source retained the 7 ft. error.
There is also a giant burl on the trunk near ground level. The size of a small automobile. Very safe from poachers though. There is no practical way to transport burl wood out from this redwood.
The ground level beneath Melkor is often very dark and shaded, even on a sunny day. So I opted for someone in very bright fabric to show size and scale on this side that faces a hill. The same friend is in both photos; she is from Eureka and helped with a few photography projects.
The first photo happens to be one of my 20 x 30 print canvas images too. A few of you may have seen it hanging in the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery.