Magazine article American Forests

"You Have to Ask Yourself a Question: Do You Feel Lucky?"

Magazine article American Forests

"You Have to Ask Yourself a Question: Do You Feel Lucky?"

Article excerpt

Robert S. Bush Jr. and Loren Salladay do, and they may have what it takes to beat Clint Eastwood in this competition: AMERicAN FORESTS' search for Big Trees.

Eastwood owns the reigning national champion bluegum eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus, on his Mission Ranch in Carmel, California. The tree has a circumference of more than 38 feet and a total point value of 629. Bush and Salladay didn't know anything about Eastwood's tree when they stumbled onto AMERICAN FORESTS'

National Register of Big Trees. All they knew was the location of "an awful big eucalyptus," Bush says. So they decided to go out and measure, using a clinometer made out of cardboard, a plastic straw, and a plum line.

The eucalyptus, planted around the turn of the century, ate the fence dividing two ranches in Petrolia, Calif. Even excluding the fence, the tree is big: The nominators list the tree as more than 48 feet around with a total point score of 774.

So how does Bush feel about challenging Dirty Harry? "Oh, Clint. Oh, if I'd known, I wouldn't have done it." But it's just a friendly dare. "I hope Clint isn't upset about it," Bush adds. "If he'll invite us down to see his, he can come up to see ours. …

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