Last Days of a Noble Bur Oak, Delaware, OH

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Rand
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Last Days of a Noble Bur Oak, Delaware, OH

Post by Rand » Sun May 23, 2010 7:46 pm

Blundered into this massive Burr Oak at the Front of Gallant Woods Metropark located NE of Delaware Ohio. Perhaps the largest I've personally seen. Not sure what is killing it. Typically large isolated trees die from lightening strikes here in Ohio, but there doesn't appear to be a recent lightening score going down the trunk. Ssome care is being taken (pruning off dead limbs, guard rail around the trunk) but it appears to be in vain. The old tree has died back to a few big limbs:
BT-1.jpg
BT-2.jpg
BT-3.jpg
BT-4.jpg
I had my laser, but not my diameter tape. The highest dead limb is ~78' tall and the cbh is perhaps ~16'-18'. The bole is pretty strongly ovoid, and the picture axis is the largest direction.
Last edited by Rand on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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edfrank
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Re: Last Days of a Noble Bur Oak

Post by edfrank » Sun May 23, 2010 9:26 pm

Rand,

It still has some green, perhaps it is suffering something from which the tree can recover. If it does recover, it will be much shorter, and with a much smaller crown spread. Keep an eye on it if you get out that way again and see if it does succumb to whatever is harming it. If not give us the good news on its revitalization. If it is chopped down, it would be interesting to to see how old the tree might be. The oldest specimen is around 425 (400 years of which is cross-dated) from South Dakota. Some really old ones are not impressive in size on photographs. This one might be any age from 100 to 300+. I am just curious.

Ed

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Rand
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Re: Last Days of a Noble Bur Oak, Delaware, OH

Post by Rand » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:01 pm

I returned to Gallant woods this weekend, and unfortunately this tree has died. They had an interpretive sigh up with a little more information. Apparently this tree was nicknamed 'Big Troy' and was once listed by AF as the second largest bur oak in Ohio. They left a big slug of its bole behind (I'm 5' 10"):
BTd-2.jpg
A quick and dirty ring count on the small end gave ~220 rings (the large end was hollow). However this was probably 20'-30' feet in the air, and the inner 2" of the tree contained achingly small rings, so I'd guess the actual tree was 30-50 years older than that:
BTd-1.jpg

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