Matthies Grove 4/28/2010

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tomhoward
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Matthies Grove 4/28/2010

Post by tomhoward » Sat May 08, 2010 1:07 pm

ENTS,

I recently got back from a beautiful trip to MA, RI, CT. CT is a lovely state with rolling forest-covered hills with a great many oaks in bloom.
I'm enclosing a report on the magically beautiful Matthies Grove of White Pines:


Matthies Grove, People’s State Forest near Pleasant Valley, CT 4/28/2010


On this day Jack Howard and I visited this magical site along the Farmington River on a cold windy day which enhanced the grandeur of these towering White Pines with the trees rocking back and forth in the wind. We were led to this site by The Sierra Club Guide to the Ancient Forests of the Northeast by Bruce Kershner and Robert Leverett. The grove, which is at least 95% White Pine (with Red Oak, Hemlock, Black Birch, Beech, Striped Maple as associates) is in a beautiful natural setting along the river with hardwood forest covering the hills on the other side of the river. The White Pines of Matthies Grove are the tallest trees we saw on the trip to New England. Tree heights measured:
White Pine slender young-looking 121 ft. measured from river bank
White Pine near above 107 ft.
3-trunked White Pine, old-looking 121 ft.
White Pine with big trunk 123 ft.
White Pine, 35” dbh 129 ft. + I couldn’t get a clear sight at the topmost twigs as the canopy where this tree grows is quite dense.
White Pine 34.7” dbh by picnic table, 2 ascending limbs to 107 ft., shorter than the White Pines around it (near the 129+ ft. tree).
Slender White Pine 118 ft., another slender White Pine (with fishing sign)118 ft.
White Pine with huge bird nest (osprey nest?) 23.5” dbh, 120 ft. +.
White Pine near just above 28.7” dbh 126 ft.
Slender White Pine near river 120 ft.
White Pine to left of tall group (as seen from parking lot) 124 ft.
I also measured 2 White Pines side by side at 35.5” dbh, 32.5” dbh – canopy there too dense to measure height.
I counted 120 rings on an old White Pine stump with 13” radius.
These White Pines seem to be about 150-180 years old, and the grove is wondrously fragrant, easily the most beautiful forest we saw on our trip.

Tom Howard

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Matthies Grove 4/28/2010

Post by gnmcmartin » Sat May 08, 2010 7:55 pm

Tom:

I love your statement: " I visited this magical site along the Farmington River on a cold windy day which enhanced the grandeur of these towering White Pines with the trees rocking back and forth in the wind."

My timberland is blessed with some white pine plantations. The tallest trees are "only" 95 feet tall, but on a windy day, laying down on my back and looking up into the tops of these beautifully moving trees, is one of the most beautiful things I can experience in the woods, or anywhere. And the sound of the wind enhances everything.

--Gaines

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