Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

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#1)  Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby edfrank » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:33 pm

Hello all,
Here's the latest EARTH MATTERS column, by Hitchcock friend and big-tree lover Bob Leverett.

http://www.gazettenet.com/2011/03/05/big-trees-eastern-forest-past-and-present

Michael Dover
------------------------------------

Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Image
Photo: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present
Photo by Monica Jakuc Leverett
The author stands between two big white pines in Pack Forest in the southern Adirondacks near Warrensburg, NY.

By Robert T. Leverett Gazette Contributing Writer

There are many reasons why people like trees, but big trees in particular have always stimulated human imagination. Size matters. Hulking forms casting twisted shadows vie with arrow-straight trunks of the forest cathedral. These are contrasting images, but equally iconic. In honoring the giants, some employ the camera. Others prefer canvas or pen. My greatest satisfaction comes from measuring big trees. It's been a lifelong passion.


.
"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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#2)  Re: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby James Parton » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:09 pm

Bob,

Nothing fits you better than seeing you between two of your great totems. The Great Eastern White Pine. Your leadership in ENTS has helped make ENTS what it is!

Hats off to you!
James E Parton
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New Order of Druids

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#3)  Re: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby gnmcmartin » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:08 pm

Bob:

  Now that's a wonderful picture--I might just copy this into my computer and get a print. Right now, living where I do, white oaks are my favorite trees.  But if I lived around white pines like these, I bet they would be at the top of my list. I have been working cutting vines at the VA Arboretum this last week--busting myself. At the entrance to the woodland, there are some white pines--not really big ones, except compared to the usual ones here.  The last two days there has been a good south wind blowing--boy oh boy are the tops of large old white pines gorgeous blowing in the wind! I could just lie down on my back and look up at them for hours!

  --Gaines
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#4)  Re: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby Neil » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:35 am

nice article, Bob!

thanks for keeping trees in the news!

neil
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#5)  Re: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby dbhguru » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:32 am

James, Gaines, Neil,

 Thanks. And thanks, Ed, for posting the link. Along with Cook Forest and MTSF, Pack Forest is a true forest icon. It appeals to our lingering collective memories of the great pines of the pre-colonial Northeast. What a sight they must have been, and Pack Forest is as attractive as any white pine woodland I know of. I can't wait to get back up there and model the Grandmother white pine using the method that I've been perfecting. The method is attached. It is what will be used to model the tuliptree in Poplar Forest in April along with Will's climb. Gaines, can you come down and join us at Poplar Forest on April 22nd? James, can you come up from NC? At this point it looks like the team will consist of Will, myself, Dr. Nancy Weiss, and maybe Ranger Dan. But we could use more Ents. Lots more. This is a high visibility ENTS effort that is for a noble cause. As Poplar Forest's Director of Archeology stated: "Mr. Jefferson would have approved. Two of his favorite things were trees and mathematics".

ENTS,

  As spring approaches, I find the tree projects on my plate growing without bounds. As of late, I've been working with Michael Taylor, the redwood guru in California, on his ingenious modeling method for measuring the height of a tree using three transit stations and 3 remote baselines. It involves the iterative solution of 3 simultaneous equations, so it is not for the faint-hearted and it definitely requires a computer program. You cannot do the calculations in the field, but Mike's method promises accuracies of a centimeter or less. The method does not require any horizontal angles, believe it or not - only external baselines and vertical angles. I had to write a testing program using freeware called Chipmunk Basic to find a converging solution. Yep, Chipmumk Basic. I'm pleased to report that that darn little free rodent version of the Basic language works pretty well -- considering that it is free. But oh, how I miss Visual Basic. Alas, the price of converting to MAC. I can hear Ed saying, "I told you so". The MAC gives us Apple Script, a highly sophisticated, but difficult too learn scripting language that promises to automate everything and communicate with the dead. But my aging, nearly 70-year old brain just doesn't want to stretch to accommodate all the object-oriented concepts and many threads that this modern, all-purpose scripting language require you to learn. It attempts to be more English-like and in the process is verbose. I'd rather be out measuring trees.

   Back to limb modeling. I would be most appreciative if any of you would give the attached LimbLengthModeler a test. I have successfully used it on three trees in the back. The first attachment shows one of the trees and the measurement points used. The calculations show that about 24% of the volume is in the thick limbs of this forest-grown oak. That is a little more than I expected. Bart Bouricius thinks that tuliptree limb mass for mature trees will be more on the order of 20%. Oak limbs are a little thicker on average. Limb volume as a percentage of the total is a result that we want to determine the tree being modeled in Virginia.

Bob
Attachments
BusterT-L1-L13.jpg
LimbLengthModeler.xls
(783.5 KiB) Downloaded 71 times
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
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#6)  Re: Big trees of the Eastern Forest, past and present

Postby James Parton » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:22 pm

Bob,

I sure wish I could come. I have a vacation around that time but my wife is having bladder surgery on the 20th of April and I will need to be here to help her through it. Hopefully as time goes on I can find the money and time to make it up. I would love you to give me a tour of MTSF. That is a goal of mine, my friend.

I will probably get a Mac for my next computer when my 8 year old CyberPower PC ( Windows XP Professional ) machine finally dies. I have another Windows XP machine that my daughter uses and my wife has a Windows 7 Laptop, so I will not lose some of those Windows pluses by going to a Mac. Mac's are awesome. I have never been able to fully adjust to Windows Vista or Windows 7 after using XP for so long. I wish those had more in common with XP.

My mother has a Mac Mini and that has given me a little " Mac " experience.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

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