"National Champion Sycamore"

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"National Champion Sycamore"

Post by Hook » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:23 am

Click on image to see its original size

I visited this tree yesterday with no intentions other than to snap some photos, and behold this giant. I have a particular affinity for Sycamores, as I live on a river and spend much of my time exploring it's surrounding floodplain. While I was at the site I was surprised by what I found, albeit a majestic conglomeration of trunks, I was expecting one massive tree.
After posting photos on facebook, Edward began to school me on the finer points of what makes a champion tree, as I am in my infancy of this activity.

It seems we have a questionable champion.

Here is my photo set of this tree. all comments welcome.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/drainhook/ ... 095538669/

Here is the same set for those facebook users out there to comment on - if you cannot view, send a friend request.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... 571&ref=mf

Here is a link to the discussion that Edward and I have been having on FB

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... 1476760571

please feel free to comment on any of these postings..

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Re: "National Champion Sycamore"

Post by edfrank » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:44 am

First it is an exceptional tree. Some of your other photos in your Facebook album showing the base of the tree and vignettes of the bark and trunk details are excellent. I want to reiterate some of my portion of our discussions ere for those people who are not on Facebook.

Is it one tree?

Really it may be genetically one tree and growing from one root stock, but it is not a single trunk tree, but a multitrunk tree. It has more than one pith at ground level. According to most measurement standards such as American Forests and Eastern Native Tree Society a tree like this should not be accepted as a champion because it is not single trunked. ENTS has measurement guidelines for multitrunk trees, but they should not be intermixed with single trunk specimens for purposes of determining a national champion. If this tree was accepted by AF it is because they failed to abide by their own standards. Still it is a fine tree and I look forward to more photos. http://www.americanforests.org/resource ... easure.php and http://www.nativetreesociety.org/measur ... vised1.pdf

American Forests Big Tree Listing:

http://www.americanforests.org/resource ... tails=3949 The photo submitted to AF looks as if it was selected to disguise the multitrunk nature of the tree. Their (AF) guidelines state "In order to properly measure circumference, it must be determined whether the... tree in question has a single trunk that can be measured or whether it represents two or more trees growing very close to one another. Trunks that have clear separation at or near the ground should be considered separate trees and measured accordingly. Also if the circumference measurement below the lowest fork places the measurement at the ground, it should be considered separate trees." Just because two tree trunks grow together, it does not magically make two trees or two trunks into a single tree.

Is the hunt for the true National Champion sycamore on?
Perhaps. Here are some figures for some large single trunk sycamores: Webster Sycamore, WV (died this summer as a result of vandalism) Height 139 feet, Circumference 24.7' (295"), Crown Spread 100.1 feet.

Pinchot Sycamore located in Simmsbury, CT. It is now 27.8 feet in girth and 100.2 feet in height. Crown Spread 143.4 ft.

But the biggest record is that left by Robert Ridgway, who found the prostrate and largely decayed trunk of a sycamore near Mount Carmel. in Illinois, the crumbling base of which measured 66 feet in circumference. At 20 feet from this, where the trunk divided into three large limbs, its circumference was apparently 62 feet. There is certainly no other broad-leaved tree on record in North America which equals these dimensions. 3 Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, 1882, p. 288.

Again welcome to the ENTS Group.

Ed Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Matt Markworth
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Re: "National Champion Sycamore"

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:29 pm

It looks like the photo is no longer on americanforests.org, but here’s a photo from the Ohio Champion Tree List.
sycamore_american04_3.jpg (19.67 KiB) Viewed 2447 times
This photo shows the scale and gives a better look at ground level: http://ianadamsphotography.com/news/wp- ... io-Web.jpg

While this tree is magnificent, it does show the need for a Single Stem Big Tree List.

The California Sycamore National Champion looks similar: http://www.americanforests.org/bigtree/ ... -racemosa/

- Matt

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