New big pine in Trout Brook.

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dbhguru
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New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:32 pm

NTS,

Today my philosopher friend Dr. Doug Seale and I went to MTSF. Doug had not see the Trout Brook cove, so off we went. The forest in the upper end of the cove is very thick. It is basically a Sugar Maple, White Ash, Red Maple, American Basswood, Yellow Birch forest. My goal was to relocate and measure the 152-foot white ash, but the clutter was too great. That mission will have to await fall. Here are some looks at the forest.
TB-Forest-1.jpg
TB-Forest-2.jpg
TB-Forest-Doug.jpg
Upper Trout Brook cove is awash in beautiful White Ash trees. Here is a look at soaring trunks.
TB-Ash-Forest.jpg
On the way out of the Sugar Maple-Ash zone, we detoured over a ridge with lots of Hemlock.
TB-Forest-Doug-2.jpg
Farther on, I spotted a multi-stemmed white pine that I have bypassed for years because it is a weevil pine. It is one tree, but multi-stemmed. Today I finally decided to measure it. Glad I did. Here's a look.
TB-Leopold.jpg
TB-Leopold-3.jpg
TB-Leopold-2.jpg
Dimensions? Well, its girth is 14.1 feet! YEEEHA! Height? It is 143.3 feet. Not too shabby. So, once again Mohawk has a 14-foot girth white pine. In fact, the tree belongs to the prestigious 14 x 140 Club. In Massachusetts, that club has only 3 members that we know of. There are other 14-foot girth pines, but they are usually between 100 and 120 feet. Here are the club's members.

Monroe State Forest: Grandfather Pine 14.2 x 144.4
Howland Cemetery in Conway: Yo Mama's Brother 14.6 x 142.4
MTSF: Nina Leopold Bradley Pine 14.1 x 143.3

Doug named the big pine for the recently deceased daughter of Aldo Leopold. Nina's pine has 5 stems. Leopold had 5 children.

I'm thrilled that once again Mohawk has a living 14-footer. When Big Bertha croaked, we lost the largest pine. She was 14.6 feet around and 148 feet in height. Nina's Pine has lots of areas of decay, but the crown is in good shape.

Elsewhere, we know of at least three 14 x 140s in the Adirondacks and one in New Hampshire. There used to be two. They are scarce.

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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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:50 pm

Don't bypass such a great tree! Really nice.

I've never even heard the term "weevil pine". A new one for me. Clever reason for the tree's name.

I was wondering...do you guys have poison ivy up there? Always curious now after suffering through that bout of it after bushwhacking in shorts (yeah, dumb, I know) on Mackey Mountain here in NC looking for that great tract of old growth forest.

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dbhguru
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:13 pm

Robert,

Massachusetts has plenty, but MTSF has virtually none. Makes it very nice. I'm spoiled badly.

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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dbhguru
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:51 am

NTS,

I forgot to include an image. Near the start of the trek, I happened to notice a cluster of pines. They are young and healthy. So I took a shot. Here is a peek at those lovelies.
MTSF-Trunks.jpg

Altogether the Trout Brook cove has five 150-footers, four pines and one white ash. The cove has many 140s, more than I've been able to measure. Trout Brook has four great whites over 12 feet in girth. Had Big Bertha not croaked on us, we'd have 5. There is also an open grown red maple over 13 feet around. As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to fall, I'll return with serious measuring intent to update the white pine and white ash lists. So many trees.

As of now there are a total of 116 whites in MTSF over 150 feet that I have confirmed. Eleven of those are over 160. There is one, and possible two white ashes over 150 in Mohawk and about 15 or 16 over 140. I've yet to break 140 on a sugar maple. I don't expect to. However, if I do, the tree will likely be on the side of the Todd-Clark ridge or in the area where the in-forest shots were taken for this series.

It is very apparent that MTSF's 136.0 RHI is about as high as it is going, and in terms of the list of top RHIs in the Northeast will gradually slide down as more great sites are found in southern PA and nearby Delaware - if we continue to include that region as part of the Northeast. This brings me to a question, should we develop better geographical regions for tree comparison purposes using lat and long?


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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edfrank
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by edfrank » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:47 pm

Bob,

I have been considering this issue. See the recent post in the Brandywine, DE thread. http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=2728

I suggest that we approximate ecological regions as our designations with some consideration to state boundaries. "Northeast or New England" would correspond to half of region 201 Acadian Forest. This would include most of PA north of I 80, New York, Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and Maine.
image002.gif
The other portion of 201 - Laurentian forest would be "Upper Great lakes and include parts of Ontario Northern Michigan and Upper Pennisula, northern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota.

Region 202 - Central Interior and Appalachian. I would break it down to "Appalachains." This would include the green portions of SC, AL, GA, NC, VA, easternmost KY, WV, MD, PA, northern NJ, CT, RI, MA and southern NH.. This represents the core of the mountains. You could optionally break teh Appalachians into southern and northern with the border at the PA Line.

And the other portion of 202 would be Central Interior - this would include northwestern-most PA, OH, KY west of the mountains, IN, southern MI, southern WI, southeastern MI, southern IL, southern MO and the Ozarks of AK

Region 203 would be the coastal plain and extend up to include the DelMarVa peninsula.

411 would be Caribbean

205 eastern Great Plains

103 Boreal.

I really think the ecological groupings is the way to go. Westernmost MA would still technically be in New England or northeast.

Ed
"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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AndrewJoslin
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by AndrewJoslin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:50 pm

Great post Bob, I really love the Trout Brook area, good to see there's more to be discovered there.
-AJ

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dbhguru
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:36 am

Ed,

On the surface, ecological zones make much more sense than political boundaries. This is obviously because political boundaries have little to do with vegetation zones. However, it seems to me that ecological zones can be very tricky too. Southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts west of the coastal zone share much in common. That zone can be extended over into eastern New York north of the region that is influenced by Long Island sound. Areas of Michigan and Wisconsin appear fairly similar. I remember walks with Lee Feelich in MTSF where he made comparisons to areas in the Porkies. It seems to me that the problem we always encounter when drawing a continuous lines around a few large geographical area and calling them zones is that they ignore the influence of large bodies of water and of altitude, especially the latter.

As you know, there are areas of the southern Appalachians that are very New England like, but descend a thousand feet and the New England look alike areas disappear. I presume that the best way to identify comparable areas is by species composition, but that can lead to highly fragmented maps - okay by nature, but awkward for us. Even then the matches are never perfect, which seems to thrust us into a lumper versus splitter mindset.

The vegetation change of the Massachusetts Berkshires and Taconics goes from a small zone of spruce and balsam fir to a composition that almost matches central PA in a particular altitude band.

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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dbhguru
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:45 am

Andrew,

The latest pine measurement from Trout Brook is further evidence that the Berkshire region of Massachusetts is a very good white pine growing region. The historical accounts of great pines focus on Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. However, I think that Massachusetts was well represented, maybe one of the centers of the really big pines. There is no way of knowing. The high growth rate zone for the species extends fairly far up into Vermont and New Hampshire and across into New York and down through PA. Parts of Michigan and Wisconsin have historically scored high, and Steve and Rand have found a small area of Ohio where white pines achieve impressive growth. As we travel southward, the white pine zone narrows and is confined to the mountains. Big and tall pines re-emerge in parts of the southern Appalachians, with several areas in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia producing our tallest pines.

Around mid-1995, I thought that I was seeing about the best the species could do in Massachusetts, but the trees on all the young to mature sites I watch continue to grow with no signs of shutting down.

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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edfrank
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by edfrank » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:54 am

Bob,

I keep going back and forth on this issue. One time I like ecological boundaries, the next I like the nearest political boundaries to the ecological zones. What bothers me is that often adjacent areas on the political boundaries divisions are placed in different "areas" while they have essentially the same vegetation and climate. One example would be say western PA and Ohio. Dales stuff up in Erie County in PA would be in a different region than say the Chagrin Reservation less than 100 miles away even though otherwise they are very comparable areas in terms of climate, vegetation, geology, soil, and even glacial history. I don't now what to do I guess. If political boundaries are to be used they need to be fuzzy and overlap at the edges. So Pennsylvania could be in the northeast or mid-Atlantic and eastern Ohio could be mid-Atlantic or midwest.

Ed
"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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dbhguru
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Re: New big pine in Trout Brook.

Post by dbhguru » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:40 am

Ed,

Yes. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest represents an area of overlap. The idea of growing zones also enter the picture as surrogates for climate. Degree days and that sort of thing. I recall an old article in America Forests in which some un-attuned fellow tried to prove where the regions of maximum tree height occurred for each species. He relied on the tree height measurements in the National Register. He came to the conclusion that the maximum height of a species occurred just north of the center of the range of the species. Of course we don't need to get into the pitfalls of his approach. However, it did cause me to think long and hard about where I saw the best of a species. I'm still absorbing and mentally calibrating observations. It is a complicated subject.

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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