East Granbym CT Black Oak

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edfrank
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East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by edfrank » Mon May 03, 2010 9:14 am

Hi Mr. Frank,

Attached is a letter for you. I sent it as an attachment because it contains some photos.

--Ryan LeClair


Hi Mr. Frank,

I would just like to say that I have a great respect for your love of trees and the work you have put into the Eastern Native Tree Society. Whenever I want to learn more about the trees that are great yet don’t make the headlines I simply visit the ENTS website. I am so glad that in this world of distractions there are still people like the ENTS’s who see the simpler things in life.

With that said, there is another purpose to this correspondence. I am writing to ask you about a specific tree, a Quercus velutina located in East Granby, CT, a tree which I believe was once the national champion of its species. I first heard about this tree while reading Colby Rucker’s article, “Great Eastern Trees, Past and Present.” I saw that the tree was located just a few miles from the Granby Oak, so I decided to visit the site while in the area. My dad and I found it standing at an intersection, a narrow crotch between Old Rd. and Turkey Hills Rd. The location has lead to some confusion, as Colby indicated the ex-champion tree grows alongside nearby Newgate Road. Therefore I cannot be sure that this particular Quercus is the one Colby was referring to. However, given that Old Rd. and Newgate Rd. are adjacent streets, it is of course very possible that the directions were simply a road off. Attached are some photos of the tree; displayed last is a satellite image of the tree’s location; Newgate Rd. is just out of the picture, at the other end of Old Rd.
image001a.jpg
image003a.jpg

As you can see, the tree is not exactly going to win a beauty contest. In fact, it is quite scraggly and disproportionate, so much so that some people might even call it “ugly.” But it has a giant girth; as the photo shows, its base is noticeably thicker than a passing car. According to Colby’s article (assuming that this is the same tree Colby is referring to, the past national champion), the tree has a CBH of 26’ 10” (8.5 ft DBH) – almost as large as the Pinchot Sycamore’s CBH! It is certainly has a base much larger than that of the Granby Oak. Even though it is a stubby, rude specimen, this tree has really put a spell on me. In fact, my dad and I have taken to affectionately calling it the Turnip Tree because of its massive base yet unsubstantial crown.

Anyways, I guess in one way I am not exactly sure as to why I am asking about this tree. All I know is that, for some reason, perhaps because of its relative obscurity, the gnarly, rude Turnip Tree has really smitten me. Yet, at the same time I suppose that I writing for conservancy’s sake. When my dad and I visited the tree there was white tape sectioning off the nearby land. There was no indication as to the purpose of this tape, but one cannot help but imagine, especially given the treatment of trees by some people, that this blight on the landscape could mean some sort of impending harm for the tree. I think that it would be great if the society, time and travel willing, could get out to see the tree.

Thank you for your time, and I wish you the best.
--Ryan
"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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Beth
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by Beth » Tue May 18, 2010 2:07 am

Ryan,
As co-owner of the Illinois State Champion Black Oak (Q. velutina) I believe that this is the National Champion. Both oaks appear to have the same basic limb structure and appearance.
Beth
Trees are the Answer

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dbhguru
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by dbhguru » Tue May 18, 2010 7:56 am

Ryan,

Will Blozan and I have been to that tree and measured it. I have been there on multiple occasions. It is a huge tree - no question. It is a deserving national champion.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by James Parton » Tue May 18, 2010 9:16 am

Ed,

Invite Ryan to join ENTS. He obviously has an interest in trees.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

RyanLeClair
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by RyanLeClair » Thu May 20, 2010 9:00 pm

Hi all, I just joined the BBS today and am looking forward to talking with everyone. Beth, that is very interesting, what kind of environment does the Ill. tree live in? It's neat that they both look the same. And Mr. Leverett, I am so excited to hear that you and Mr. Blozan have gotten the society out to visit the tree; it is quite a sight. And thank you James for the invitation :) Looking back over what I wrote, I think I may have been a little harsh on this tree. It really is more gorgeous than I made it out to be.

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Beth
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by Beth » Fri May 21, 2010 12:13 am

It lives on top of a ridge that is currently part of a cow pasture and along the edge of tillable ground. I think that it is going to be dead in a few years. To bad it can't be cored to find out how old it is since it is hollow for about 16 feet. Nice home for some critter though, I bet.
Beth
Trees are the Answer

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James Parton
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by James Parton » Fri May 21, 2010 10:10 am

Ryan,

You could not have found a better group of " treeish " folks to hang out with. After awhile many become familiar friends and if you have a chance to go to an ENTS event by all means do so. ENTS is a very rewarding and educational experience and you learn to look at trees and forests more closely.

Welcome to ENTS!

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

RyanLeClair
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Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by RyanLeClair » Fri May 21, 2010 8:19 pm

Beth, that's too bad the tree is in bad health. Can I ask you for a favor, that If you're near the oak sometime soon, do you think you could get a photo? I'm really curious to see how it compares to the CT tree. I hope that sometime I can make it to an ENTS event.

RyanLeClair
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by RyanLeClair » Fri May 21, 2010 8:19 pm

Beth, that's too bad the tree is in bad health. Can I ask you for a favor, that If you're near the oak sometime soon, do you think you could get a photo? I'm really curious to see how it compares to the CT tree. I hope that sometime I can make it to an ENTS event.

RyanLeClair
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: East Granbym CT Black Oak

Post by RyanLeClair » Sun May 23, 2010 1:15 pm

Beth, that's too bad that the Illinois tree is in such bad shape. Can I ask something of you, if you get the chance could you please get a photo of the tree? It would be much appreciated, it would be interesting to compare the Ill. tree to the CT specimen. I hope that sometime I will be able to get down to an ENTS event.

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