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Catching up

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:53 am
by dbhguru
Hi Ents,

It is great to have the BBS up again. Kudos to Ed for his relentless efforts to rescue the BBS from the incompetence of the hosting organization. There is no other organization that has the extensive big tree-important site data bank that we possess. It is a national treasure, but is obviously vulnerable.

On June 10th Monica and I headed south to Tennessee where I presented a tree-measuring workshop for Dr. Sharon Jean-Philippe and the University of Tennessee Urban Forestry Dept. Jared Lockwood joined us in Knoxville as an assistant. We all spent a week in Townsend, TN adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains NP. We rented a cabin with one heck of a view. Here's what we saw from our deck.
TownsendTN-2.jpg
The species diversity is very high around our cabin and worthy of a separate post, which I'll defer to Jared to make - he being the botanist of the trip. Carry it away, brother Jared.

After Townsend, we headed north to the Virginia State Department of Forestry, and in cooperation with Virginia Tech offered another workshop for 40 trainees of Dr. Eric Wisemen's VA big tree program. American Forests was to be at the VA event, but Rose Tileston fell prey to a case of food poisoning and was unable to attend.

Of immediate interest is reporting that Monica's Pine, which grows only 86.5 feet from our downstairs back door. I am immensely pleased to report that Monica's Pine has reached 140 feet in height courtesy of measurements taken with my Impulse 200LR, and affectionately named Sasquatch. Monica's pine joins 7 other pines in the Mass Connecticut River Valley reaching to a height of 140 feet or more. In addition to these 8 pines, we have one tuliptree and one sycamore for total of 10 trees reaching the 140-foot threshold. Are there others? Almost certainly. There are several hot spots to search, but for now, this is the list.

On other news, I have just received an offer from Harvard Forest to archive data with them - lots of data. Along with the big tree database at Virginia Tech, this could be our best opportunity to find a scientific institution that would champion our tree measurements. Details need to be worked out, but it would be hard to find a more prestigious organization to work with.

This is all for now. I plan to write a full trip report and will post it on the BBS, but that won't be for a month or so.

Bob

Re: Catching up

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:21 pm
by Larry Tucei
Yes it is good to have the BBS back up Bob!
Congratulations on the opportunity!
Larry

Re: Catching up

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:24 am
by dbhguru
Larry,

Yes, the return of the BBS gives us all pause to reflect on what we need to protect its wealth of information existing nowhere else beyond private files. It is a sobering thought. The free-wheeling nature of the BBS is perhaps its greatest strength, but can also be a weakness. It has been traumatic experiencing the sudden inaccessibility of our data that show what different species are doing and ultimately capable of. We need a backup plan. But for us to sustain a cooperative effort toward a stated goal is more challenging than herding cats, and feral ones at that.

On another theme, here's a shot from a stop along the Clingman's Dome road. We see a yellow birch nestled against a red spruce. The birch is pretty old, but we'll never know just how old. It is largely hollow.

YB&RS.jpg
While at the parking area, we met an old gent with a long white beard. He was using an expensive looking camera driving a jalopy with an Arkansas tag. He had a heavy accent. In. a conversation with Monica, he said that he wasn't;'t from Arkansas, but California. He said that he had taught courses at Cal. Polytech, which caused to blink. I don't recall the exact title or content of the courses, but it seemed strange. Nonetheless, he was anxious to get our interpretation of the surrounding vegetation. He had assumed the red spruce were hemlocks. At that elevation, red spruce and Frasier fir are the conifers. Our chat was most amiable and Monica, Jared, and I were only too happy to share our knowledge. It happens on occasion.

I'll close with an image taken just outside our cabin, a young bear hoping for a handout. We think he had been being fed by the previous occupant of the cabin. We didn't make that mistake.
BearCub.jpg
Bob

Re: Catching up

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:53 am
by dbhguru
Ents,

On our return trip, Monica and I stopped at a West Virginia rest stop on I81. In walking the grounds we encountered a large mature hardwood. I'm embarrassed to say that I couldn't identify it. It is quite tall and the leaves are very high so as to give no visual clues. The leaves looked like maybe an oak, but what oak would have bark looking like below? Ideas?
MysteryTree-a.jpg
Bob

Re: Catching up

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:38 pm
by Erik Danielsen
Bob, if I had to make a guess from the bark alone, I'd call that a cuke! Probably isn't, though.

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Catching up

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:04 pm
by dbhguru
Erik,

I can see why you'd say that, but leaves aloft Don't show the outlines of cuke leaves. Los of hickories in the vicinity, some white oaks, a couple of reds, and this tree. Frustrating.

Bob

Re: Catching up

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:43 pm
by ElijahW
Bob,

Scarlet or Southern Red, perhaps? I thought it might be Basswood, but you can see the streaking typical of Red oaks on the forward-facing branch. I would expect smoother bark, though. If it were Black Oak, the bark would normally be blocky.

Elijah

Re: Catching up

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:21 pm
by Larry Tucei
Bob
It’s looks like Cherrybark Oak, Southern Red is much darker and wider longer platelets

Larry

Re: Catching up

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:16 am
by dbhguru
Larry,

Cherrybark would be soooo cool, but in West Virginia? Plus, it didn't quite match other cherry bark's I've seen. Guess I'll have to drive back down to WVA and get lots more photos. Here is the only other photo I have - a trunk close up and Monica in for scale.

MysteryOak-3.jpg
Bob

Re: Catching up

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:48 pm
by Larry Tucei
Bob,
That photo is better, may be Post Oak. Larry