Saheda as of 2017

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dbhguru
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Saheda as of 2017

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:21 pm

Ents,

Yesterday, Ray Asselin and I went to the Elder Grove in MTSF. The plan was to re-measure the pine we call Sacajawea, which is closing in on 160 feet, but the hardwood canopy is too thick and we couldn't see the top from anywhere. Sacajawea will have to await mid-fall. However, we did manage to find an opening sufficient to re-measure the flagship pine Saheda. I have reported on this tree in the past. It was climbed by Will Blozan in 1998 and again in 2007. It has received a lot of attention over the years.

Our latest measurement places Saheda at 171.4 feet, or 3.4 feet shorter than New England's tallest tree, Jake Swamp at 174.0 feet. Presently, Saheda is #2 in New England, but is much more imposing than Jake, which has a girth of 10.8 feet and is still holding onto some of this dead side limbs, though not many.

Saheda's circumference is 12.0 feet on the button, and is close to 200 years of age. The three attachments provide views of what for me is one of New England's most iconic trees.

Besides the measurements of Saheda, this picture book pine has another story to tell, or be told about it. It reveals a curious lack of imagination on the part of both the State and mainline environmental groups in Massachusetts. I've spent an eternity of time promoting the Elder Grove, and Saheda in particular. Progress has been made over the years, but both the State and the environmental groups just don't seem to know how to treat this great tree in the context of natural resources of which we can be justly proud. This is not to say that those who go to visit Saheda aren't impressed by it, but they aren't sure where the tree fits into our value system for superlative natural objects.

Bob
Attachments
Saheda-LookingUp.jpg
Saheda-3b.png
Saheda-1a.jpg
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Joe

Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Joe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:01 pm

Bob said, "...both the State and the environmental groups just don't seem to know how to treat this great tree in the context of natural resources of which we can be justly proud. This is not to say that those who go to visit Saheda aren't impressed by it, but they aren't sure where the tree fits into our value system for superlative natural objects."

Our value system has no measure for superlative natural objects. Either we who appreciate such objects have to arbitrarily put dollar signs on such things and proclaim that value as truth or we must create a new economics such that the all mighty dollar is only a subset of a grander value system.

H.D.T. once said, "Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them." The state and enviro groups ought to rise above "most men" but they can't because only the artist who removes himself from such cares and labors can have such a vision.

Joe

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:57 am

Bob- Awesome White Pine and only 200 years young! I have no doubt that in another 100 years both the Pines you mentioned will be 200 feet in height! I can't wait till the time I come up and see all your great trees! Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by dbhguru » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:37 pm

Joe,

HDT was pretty much spot on in his observations about human nature.

I have little doubt that most people who see the redwoods and sequoias are awestruck. The sheer size of those leviathans is so off the charts. By contrast, our eastern trees understandably generate far less emotion. Scale rules the day. Still, there should be recognition for our best in officialdom.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Joe

Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Joe » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:33 pm

Bob, it all gets back to enlightening the state and enviro groups and the general public as to why it's important to recognize and protect exceptional trees. If they don't get it- then we're all doing something wrong.

I suspect the problem is that "modern mankind" is so alienated from nature- that they just don't see what the big deal is - other than, "oh, yuh, cool, that tree is groovy- but, heck, I gotta get back home because the Super Bowl is on". Pre modern people see something magical about exceptional trees or animals because they respect such life forms. Modern people are far more excited by "hot" cars, fancy homes, big screen TVs.

You know my old buddy who has been in the NPS for many years (he's now at Mt. Rushmore). He has a very "successful" brother, a PhD in chemistry- who when he drives through national parks- just drives through- at most, he lowers the window, as he just drives through- saying, "well, I saw this national park- now let's drive to the next".
Joe

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Don
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Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Don » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:05 pm

Joe-
Similarly, I was not far away when a family of five pulled their mini-van with New Jersey plates, into a parking spot on one of Grand Canyon South Rim's grand views...the father got out, directing the rest of the family to remain in the car, that the video he was going to take would capture the experience for them and that they could view it in the comfort of their home, once they got back.
Of course from a traffic management perspective, in a National Park with more than 4 million visitors annually, this could be viewed positively...
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

Joe

Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Joe » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:26 am

Don, the Grand Canyon is still my favorite park. I've been to the bottom 3 times. Each time was totally mind blowing. After the intense hike to the bottom with a 60 pound pack- I stopped at the lodge for "Irish stew" and a very large piece of chocolate cake!

Joe

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Don
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Re: Saheda as of 2017

Post by Don » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:44 pm

Joe-
Phantom Ranch family style servings of the various stews they offer are legion among all those Rim to River, and Rim to Rim hikers I've chatted with ! I spent a week down there (I wore a lot of hats at Grand Canyon, but the one down at Phantom Ranch was the Hazard Tree Coordinator hat) overseeing the falling and/or pruning of cottonwoods that were considered threats to the 1920's cabins serving Phantom Ranch...it's other-worldly down there, settling into the routines in such remote outposts (I know, it's only 7 miles up Bright Angel Trail, but in July when it's 111 degrees at midnight, it's a tough hike.
60 pound pack? Ya done good Joe, them are big steps!!!
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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