East Granby Farms Recreation Area

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edfrank
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Re: East Granby Farms Recreation Area

Post by edfrank » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:10 pm

Sam,

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) is somewhat variable. If you look at these two links:

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=QUBI
qubi_006_lhp.jpg
http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_qubi.pdf
swampwhite.JPG
swampwhite.JPG (54.8 KiB) Viewed 1332 times
The specimen you have looks closer to swamp white oak than simple Quercus alba to me, but I am not great with identifications so we will see what others have to say.

.
"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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Jess Riddle
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Re: East Granby Farms Recreation Area

Post by Jess Riddle » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:06 pm

Sam,

The Latin name of swamp white oak is Quercus bicolor. "Bicolor" refers to the upper and lower sides of the leaf having decidedly different colors. You can see in your photos how the underside of the leaf is paler and less glossy than the upper side, a difference that would be more striking if the leaf were alive.

Doug,

Nice detective work. I thought the twig structure looked much more like an oak than a maple, but couldn't tell what species.

Jess

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DougBidlack
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Re: East Granby Farms Recreation Area

Post by DougBidlack » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:57 pm

Sam,

Ed and Jess have both given evidence to indicate that your tree is indeed the old champion swamp white oak for Connecticut. Here is a little more. The last measurement I have for this tree was in 2001 and they were: girth 224" (18' 8"), height 82' and crown spread 83' for a total of 327 points. I can easily see this tree gaining 10" in girth in 10 years. The current champion is in Westport at 212" (17' 8") in girth, 101' in height and 96.5' in spread for 337 points. This measurement was made in September of 2006. So the point totals are actually quite close...and since girths are generally more reliable than heights, I think the two may be even closer as far as points are concerned. I have no idea who made the measurements or how they were made but it seems the measurements for the East Granby tree may not have been too far off.

The acorns I collected were definitely from a swamp white oak and I now have several small seven year old swamp white oaks growing in Michigan from this tree. At least it does appear that the tree in your picture is that tree. I thought there was more shrubbery around the tree and that there were a bunch of poison ivy vines? growing up the trunk but maybe my memory is faulty or maybe someone cleared the area around the trunk a bit since I was last there in 2004.

Doug

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sam goodwin
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Re: East Granby Farms Recreation Area

Post by sam goodwin » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:02 am

Doug, There is a mowed path that leads to the swamp oak area, indications of some signs may have been posted on and around it and one poison ivy stem about 3" in diameter growing up it. Around the base there is a group of stumps that could have been poison ivy up to 6 or 7" in diameter. The stumps could be bittersweet. Going up the ridge I saw a bittersweet vine growing up one of the sycamores that could be 6 to 7" in diameter and 80 to 90' high. I still can not find any listing for the tree. I have measured some of the champion trees in the area and got close to whats listed for them. Sam

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DougBidlack
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Re: East Granby Farms Recreation Area

Post by DougBidlack » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:55 am

Sam,

OK, I guess some work has been done around that tree.

I emailed Glenn Dreyer back in 2002 to get information on the location of the champion swamp white oak, bur oak and white oak in the state of Connecticut. He was, and apparently still is, the program administrator (big tree coordinator) for Connecticut's Notable Trees. This is what he wrote regarding the champion swamp white oak: "Q. bicolor - land owned by the town of East Granby. Located behind a house that is probably #85 N. Main St., E. Granby. AFA 327" He wrote this in October of 2002 and since he didn't give the dimensions of the tree I'm assuming that I must have gotten it from the website. After the new champion swamp white oak was found in Westport in 2006, the East Granby tree must have been removed from the website. I'm guessing that this was because the new champ was 10 points greater than the old one and they only appear to keep trees that are within 5 points of one another. Unfortunately they didn't remeasure the old champ, as it may have been within the 5 points. I'm curious as to how well these trees were measured, especially heights and crown spreads.

Doug

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