The 6th annual Forest Summit and the accompanying ENTS rendezvous go down in the record books as spectacular successes. These may have been our best events. The line-up of speakers was stellar and they all performed beautifully. The ENTS activities on Saturday were off the charts. This was ENTS at its best and that's not hyperbole. Now to the tree details. I'll save descriptions of the other events for another post.
I picked up Will Blozan from the airport on Tuesday morning and we headed straight to Tanglewood to look at the Norway Spruces that I had promised to show brother Will, including the Octupus-armed behemoth. The spruces didn't let us down. Tanglewood has some real tree treasures. Here are some numbers for the trees we measured on Tuesday.
Location Species Height (ft) Girth (ft)
West SPFLF Sycamore 104.0 20.25 (was about 19.2 feet when I started measuring it years ago)
Ice Glen N. red oak 114.0 11.45 (I've reported on this tree before, but hadn't found the top)
Tanglewood Norway Spruce 103.3 12.3
Tanglewood Norway Spruce 109.0 12.9
Tanglewood Norway Spruce 110.0 14.7
Tanglewood Black Locust 90.0 17.6 (coppice)
Tanglewood Black Locust 87.5 17.7 (coppice)
Tanglewood Norway Spruce 116.0 8.8 (tallest Norway we found on Tanglewood)
Tanglewood Norway Spruce 111.6 12.45
Tanglewood N. Red Oak 101.1 13.8
Tanglewood White Pine 12.9 (broken top about 100 feet tall)
Tanglewood White Pine 118.2 11.50
Tanglewood White Pine 118.5 12.0
Westfield River Norway Spruce 121.8 (several slightly over 120)
We rested after returning from our successful trip to Tanglewood. On the way over and back from Tanglewood, we saw many Norways between 100 and 110 feet. They are common in that height range as planted yard or border trees.
On Wednesday we headed toward the airport to pick up Dr. Susan Flader. However, our route would be by way of a few detours, the first to Columbus avenue to check on a Pin Oak and then to Simsbury, CT to update measurements on the giant Pinchot Sycamore. The Pin Oak in Northampton, MA is a whopper. It measures 17.7 feet in girth and 113.3 feet in height. I had it at 112.5, but Will's eagle eye found a higher point farther into the crown. Its spread is 107 feet. Its point total is 352. Not bad for a Pin Oak. It has its roots down into some water source.
On arriving at the Pinchot Sycamore, we went right to work. Will located the smallest girth from just above chest height down to the ground. So we have the Pinchot's most conservative measurements. Taking the measurement at breast height would yield 28 feet, if not 28.1. There is also a companion sycamore to the Pinchot a short distance away. Here are the measurements for both trees.
Tree Girth Height Crown Spread Maximum Spread Points
Pinchot 27.91 100.5 150.5 156.0 474
Companion 20.3 101.7
The Pinchot's largest limb measures 55.2 inches DBH. A second limb measured 45.5 inches DBH and a third limb measures 43.5 inches.
The climb of Jake Swamp on Saturday morning went off well. However, Jake's height didn't quite make 170. That was a bummer, but oh well. The shortfall is attributable to two and possibly three sources. First, we reset the base point to be as accurate, if not conservative as possible. The new base point is 0.4 feet above the old. The extremely dry season causes some crown thinning, through Will didn't report any breakages. I suspect the tuffs of new needles that were present in early June would have added 0.1 to 0.2 feet. Then there was the ground-based measurement error - my error. The amount was about 0.7 feet. Any way Jake ends up officially at 168.9 feet. Jake was measured to 168.5 feet on Will's 2008 climb, which would have been 168.1 feet on the new base point. From the ground, the new growth seemed more than 0.4 feet per year. In fact. I'd bet on it for at least 2009. However, we have Jake tied down as of 2010.
On a subsequent walk we dedicated a tree to Dr. Susan Flader. It is in the ENTS grove. The measurements are girth = 9.6 feet and height = 156.1 feet. We rededicated Jess Riddle's tree at the other end of the ENTS grove. Measurements are girth = 7.3 feet and height = 150.2 feet. Finally, we remeasured Lee Frelich's pine -- a growing machine. It is 8.6 feet in girth and 162.4 feet in height.
While we were walking in Mohawk, John Eichhholz took Will and a few others to Buckland State Forest to look at the Norways and European Larches. John is one of the best tree measurers on the planet and little escapes his eye. So, it was appropriate that he break his own record and he did. He tagged a Norway at 150.4 feet in height! Yes, we've broken 150 for Norways. That is off the charts. The small Buckland stand is extremely important because the 150-footer is slim. I think John said about 6.7 feet. He'll report fully on it, but the Buckland stand is very significant. Incidentally, management of the Buckland stand falls under MTSF. So now the Deerfield River valley and gorge has three species of trees that break 150 feet and four that exceed 140. Given the latitude of 42.5 to about 42.8, that is pretty good. In fact, it is extraordinary.
I'll begin wrapping up by pointing out that we measured three 20-foot girth trees this time and three more over 17 feet around. We added a new 150-footer of a different species and added a slug of big girth Norways. These tree confirmations make the western Mass ENTS events well worthwhile, but they'd never get the attention were it not for the dedication of the Ents who come year after year. Will Blozan, Lee Frelich, John Eichholz, and Gary Beluzo, and others are a part of soul of Mohawk.
The final bit of news is very sad. The real Jake Swamp has just passed away. Jake knew of his tree, but was too sick to come to the event. the Jake Swamp tree now stands as a living memorial to a great man, a peacemaker who came to Mohawk on no less than three occasions. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on. You can google Jake Swamp and learn of his dedication to world peace and Native American causes.
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest