Confirming a State Champion

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DougBidlack
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Re: Confirming a State Champion

Post by DougBidlack » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:27 pm

Matt,

all the acorn measurements that I made were without the caps. Sorry I didn't specify that.

Doug

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Confirming a State Champion

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:50 pm

Doug,

No worries! Here they are without the caps.

Length x Diameter in mm

18 x 15
18 x 18
22 x 14
23 x 17
23 x 18
24 x 19

Matt

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Confirming a State Champion

Post by Matt Markworth » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:41 pm

As a follow-up to the question about the soil, here is a further explanation from a local soil expert:
Typical acidic glacial till deposit on the till plains that we built our neighborhoods upon. This isn't natural Shumard Oak habitat according to the natural remnants of forest in Hamilton County I've studied. Typically Shumard Oak is limited to ph levels of 6.8+ associated with Chinquapin Oak, Sugar Maple, Bitternut, and Blue ash most commonly, and sometimes Bur Oak and Shellbark Hickory as well. There's a chance that Shumard Oak found a natural niche in acidic glacial till, but I'd lean towards that tree being planted there. This is Sugar Maple Beech climax habitat, with heavy oak, hickory, ash elements as sub-climax locally. Shumard seems out of place here, but this champion shows its adaptability if given a chance.
Matt

DwainSchroeder
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Re: Confirming a State Champion

Post by DwainSchroeder » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:31 pm

I visited this tree a few years ago in the fall and collected some leaves and several acorns from the ground. I planted the acorns in a farm field that I am returning to a woods here at my home in northwest Ohio, and the seedlings are growing well. (It's a conservation project and I thought it would be good to mix up and perhaps improve the genetic pool a bit by planting a few trees with more southern roots - pun intended.)

I heard some of the same speculation back then that the tree may be a Shumard or Scarlet or a cross. I used one of Lucy Braun's books to try to ID the tree by the leaves and acorns, and I likewise didn't see an obvious answer. For what it's worth, the offspring seedlings have leaves with shallow sinuses that rather resemble a straight red oak. The likely explanation is that it seems leaf sinuses on seedlings don't tend to be as deep as on mature trees. Another explanation is that the parent tree crossed back with nearby red oaks, but I don't think it's quite that simple.

I would speculate that this magnificent champion tree is a cross and is some intermediate form. I've read a lot of literature about oak hybrids and its a fascinating subject, but I don't claim to be anything but an amateur on the subject

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