Robert Ridgway


John Muir


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Transcription in size with dozens of Texas red oaks (Quercus texana) and burr oaks (Q. macrocarpa) that I have seen, measured, and photographed in southwestern Indiana and southeastern Illinois (Wabash Valley). If you saw off the top of one of the latter, immediately, or not more than ten feet, below the first branches, you would have just about the height and spread of the largest live oak; but to have the equivalent in size of the entire tree, it would be necessary to place the entire live oak on the summit of an eighty-, ninety- or hundred-foot long and six foot thick shaft of a sugar pine! This is not an exaggeration, for many specimens of Q. texana are 150 and some nearly 200 feet high, with tops spreading 100-120 feet on shafts of 60-90 feet "in the clear" six feet through above the widest buttressed base. The largest burr oaks are even more massive though not so tall; nevertheless I measured the trunk of one that had been felled3.which was exactly seventy feet long, from stump to last cut, and more than six feet through, with [very?] slight taper. Certainly none of the hundreds of white oaks that I saw in the Sacramento Valley were nearly equal in size (except, perhaps, in spread of branches) with Eastern white oaks of average development (if growing on fertile land). Of course no one who has been in the California Sierras would for a moment question the immense superiority of the Pacific coast in the size of the coniferous trees; but wehen it comes to "hardwoods" that is a different matter, and, so far as my observations are of value, the superiority of the East (excepting districts of shallow or unproductive soil) in development if broad-leafed trees is nearly or quite as great as that of the Pacific coast with respect to conifers. For each case, the particular type of tree [found?] the conditions of02700


Brookland, D. C.

Date Original

1900 Jun 8


Original letter dimensions: 24.5 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 11, Image 0249

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Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Page Number

Page 2


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