Whitesboro Red Oak, NY

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Whitesboro Red Oak, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:43 pm

NTS:

On Oct. 24, 2013 my brother Jack Howard and I went to Whitesboro (in Oneida County west of Utica) to a funeral. In a small park near the church in the old historic part of Whitesboro, we saw an enormous Red Oak, that is the largest Oak I have ever seen. It is just jaw-droppingly huge. 2 days later we measured this tree by the NTS method. It has a single trunk 76.2" dbh (19.95 ft. cbh) and is at least 101 ft. tall with an estimated branch spread of about 95 ft. or more. We did not have time to make more detailed measurements (and we may have attracted too much attention if we did).

Here is a picture of the Oak:
Red Oak 76.2" dbh, Whitesboro
Red Oak 76.2" dbh, Whitesboro
Tom Howard

User avatar
Jess Riddle
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 am

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by Jess Riddle » Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:29 pm

That is one columnar trunk for a open grown tree. The volume should approach or exceed the big red oak on Howland Island.

Jess

User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 811
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by ElijahW » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:18 pm

Tom,

Jess is right. The dimensions of the two trees are almost identical (101' tall vs. 99', 240" CBH vs. 243"), but the Howland's Island tree has a much more open-grown form. Nice find, Tom. Do you have any guess as to the age?

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

User avatar
tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by tomhoward » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:18 pm

Elijah, NTS,

I think the big Red Oak is about 150-200 years old, but not over that. It is the old historic part of Whitesboro, which was settled a little before 1800. The Red Oak's bark is tight with deep ridges close together, but there are no gnarled branches, so it should not be tremendously old. It is a healthy, possibly fast-growing tree.

Tom Howard

User avatar
George Fieo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by George Fieo » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:09 pm

Tom,

That's an impressive red oak. I agree with Jess on the trunk. I've often wondered about such trees. Could the settlers have spared it as a young forest grown tree that's growth took off once exposed to the open? They can grow quickly under the right conditions. I've counted around 106 rings on a red oak that was approximately 5' in diameter. What's your opinion?

George

User avatar
Steve Galehouse
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by Steve Galehouse » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:41 pm

Tom, NTS-

Here is a similar size open grown red oak, 20'7'' cbh, 99' height x 107' crown spread, in Westlake, Ohio.
red oak 2.jpg
red oak.jpg
every plant is native somewhere

Joe

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by Joe » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:18 am

wow, once again, when I see such trees, I try to imagine going back in a time machine a few thousand years and hiking across the continent- imagine the billions of gigantic trees- I bet many had forms we've never seen- masterpieces of nature gone forever- and of course a far richer wildlife

User avatar
tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak

Post by tomhoward » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:41 pm

George Fleo, NTS,

I think you're right, that the great Red Oak of Whitesboro started as a forest-grown tree that was spared by the early settlers, and then allowed to grow rapidly in the open. There are very few trees even close to its size here in central NY. In this area Eastern Cottonwood seems to be the only tree to get bigger than Red Oak.

Tom Howard

User avatar
tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:26 pm

NTS,

On this cold cloudy Sunday (Jan. 17, 2016), Elijah Whitcomb and I visited this awesome Red Oak in the historic center of Whitesboro. It is intact, and looks healthy. The ground was mostly bare, but with slippery patches of hard-packed snow and ice. This is the largest Red Oak Elijah has ever seen, and it remains the largest Oak I’ve ever seen. This tree seems to have a larger volume than the big Red Oak on Howland’s Island.

Measurements of the great Red Oak in Whitesboro:

Cbh – 19’9” (75.4” dbh)
Height – 103.4 ft. (Elijah from St. Paul’s Church parking lot)
Spread – max. – 109.5 ft., min. – 102 ft.
The first branch is 26 ft. above the base, and the massive trunk shows little or no taper to that height, and little taper well above that height.

This tree is a contender for largest accurately measured Northern Red Oak in NY State, and with up to 368 AF points could be the NY champion.


Tom Howard

User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 811
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: Whitesboro Red Oak, NY

Post by ElijahW » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am

NTS,

This oak has a very uniform, beautiful shape, and will be hard to beat for volume in NYS. My guess is that the Howlands Island tree, while out-pointing it slightly, has a good bit less trunk volume, and not enough extra limb volume to close the gap. Unfortunately for me, my Solo Vortex is broken, and any attempt at volume measurement by me will have to wait for a repair. Here are a few photos of the tree, with Tom for scale:
Attachments
DSC00721.JPG
DSC00720.JPG
DSC00718.JPG
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

Post Reply

Return to “New York”