Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

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eliahd24
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Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by eliahd24 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:01 am

Hello NTS family. It is with some sadness that I write to let you know that a Georgia state champion Oak has recently come down. It had a large (widening) split in the crown and coming down the trunk. I had previously identified it as Northern Red, though upon closer inspection I believe it may have been a Black Oak. Regardless, it is now dead. It was truly a beast at 20'1" cbh x 123.4' tall x 115' spread.
Grand (young) oak
Grand (young) oak
But the real reason I'm writing is to let you know just how young this tree was. It took 3 days to remove the giant crown and trunk of this tree. At the end of the 3rd day, all that remained was a 3 foot high stump that was big enough to serve as a stage for the homeowners kids to play on. I was able to locate a single defined pith and counted 88 rings from bark to pith. I figured I'd round up and call it 90 total. 90 years old and 20 FEET in circumference! Some of those rings were nearly 1" apart! This bad boy was putting on 4+ inches of girth per year in some years. The guesses of it's age were consistently around 150-170 by most folks (novices and experts alike). We all thought it was pre-Civil war, but no. Not even close!

So, once again the amazing growing ability of an open grown oak tree in a region with 50" rain/year is shown. And large size does NOT equal old age!

Oh and here' s a link to a YouTube video I took during the last stages of trunk removal:
http://youtu.be/ONdW9dVPy_E

~Eli

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eliahd24
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by eliahd24 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:02 am

Forgot to mention location- this was on private property just beside Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

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Rand
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by Rand » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:01 pm

Crimeny... I guess that begs the question of how big they can get in another 100 years.

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ElijahW
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by ElijahW » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:32 pm

Rand wrote:Crimeny... I guess that begs the question of how big they can get in another 100 years.
Using the equally horrible method of extrapolation, the tree would have been about 40' around, and a hair under 250' tall.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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James Parton
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by James Parton » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:56 pm

It reminds me of an oak stump nearly 6 feet in diameter I found in Greenville SC. The tree was only about 65 years old. It is amazing on how fast some trees can grow.
James E Parton
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edfrank
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by edfrank » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:26 pm

lucager1483 wrote:
Rand wrote:Crimeny... I guess that begs the question of how big they can get in another 100 years.
Using the equally horrible method of extrapolation, the tree would have been about 40' around, and a hair under 250' tall.

Elijah
That sounds reasonable to me.
"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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Will Blozan
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by Will Blozan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm

Rand wrote:Crimeny... I guess that begs the question of how big they can get in another 100 years.
It would fall apart first...

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Rand
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by Rand » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:47 am

Will Blozan wrote:
Rand wrote:Crimeny... I guess that begs the question of how big they can get in another 100 years.
It would fall apart first...
I was just being optimistic that somewhere out there would be a red oak with a stable branching pattern that didn't embed bark between its major forks.
Yeah, I know I know, but I have seen a few...

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:50 am

Guys, Remember the big Cherry Bark Oak we measured in Congaree. H-141' CBH-23' 6" Avg. Sp-146.5' x 124'
But the circumference measurement was taken in the Basal flare. It would be more like 20' above the flare. This tree is over 200 years old so what's cool is that these two trees are good examples of an open grown and Forest grown tree growth rates. One more thing, I believe with all the CO2 gases city trees are growing at an accelerated rate. I often find city Live Oaks with .50-.75 radial growth however I have noticed that the averages are between .25-.375. We know many factors influence growth rates we have discussed this on several occasions. Larry
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Congaree State Champion Cherry Bark Oak
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Rand
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Re: Once again, LARGE SIZE doesn't equal OLD AGE

Post by Rand » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:34 am

Yeah, I remember it well. I still kick myself for not having a camera during that trip.

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