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Re: Confirming a State Champion

I visited this tree a few years ago in the fall and collected some leaves and several acorns from the ground. I planted the acorns in a farm field that I am returning to a woods here at my home in northwest Ohio, and the seedlings are growing well. (It's a conservation project and I thought it would be good to mix up and perhaps improve the genetic pool a bit by planting a few trees with more southern roots - pun intended.)

I heard some of the same speculation back then that the tree may be a Shumard or Scarlet or a cross. I used one of Lucy Braun's books to try to ID the tree by the leaves and acorns, and I likewise didn't see an obvious answer. For what it's worth, the offspring seedlings have leaves with shallow sinuses that rather resemble a straight red oak. The likely explanation is that it seems leaf sinuses on seedlings don't tend to be as deep as on mature trees. Another explanation is that the parent tree crossed back with nearby red oaks, but I don't think it's quite that simple.

I would speculate that this magnificent champion tree is a cross and is some intermediate form. I've read a lot of literature about oak hybrids and its a fascinating subject, but I don't claim to be anything but an amateur on the subject
by DwainSchroeder
Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:31 pm
 
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Re: Mid-Holocene decline of the Hemlock due to climate

Hemlock trees do seem to be very climate sensitive. They are beautiful trees and I know a few people who tried planting them as yard trees. But here in northwest Ohio our climate can be rather severe, a lot of summer heat and also some dry and windy summers are hard on the hemlocks. Most of them won't make it for over a few years unless they're babied a little (watered and mulched) and in an area protected from the wind.

I planted a few small hemlock seedlings about 30 years ago, in a hardwood woods. Most tree seedlings won't survive in a woods unless they are in an opening where they can get some sunshine. But hemlocks are shade tolerant and a few of the seedlings survived and they look very healthy. They are growing under the canopy of large hardwood trees so they are growing very slowly, but if some more sunshine became available - say a big adjacent tree died or blew over, I believe they would be ready to take off.

A state park in southeastern Ohio (Hocking Hills I believe) has a lot of nice old and very large tall hemlocks. I've read that Ohio had a lot of hemlocks coming out of the last ice age. As the climate warmed back up, the hemlocks got crowded out by the more vigorous trees species that liked the warmer weather. But Hocking Hills has some damp protected ravines where the hemlock forest held its own and still survives today. If you ever get in the area it's worth seeing.

Dwain Schroeder
by DwainSchroeder
Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:51 pm
 
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Re: Manufacturing of an increment borer

You have taken on a very challenging project. Years ago, I toyed with the idea of making a 30" borer to look at growth rings on a giant burr oak in Goll Woods Preserve (northwest Ohio), for a precipitation history study. The tree was already dead but still standing The Preserve has a strict "no disturbance" philosophy though I believe I could have gotten permission to bore the dead tree. Long story short - I gave up on the idea after considering the design difficulties including that the wood would be somewhat dry and very hard; and also my interests moved on. I was in Goll Woods this Spring, but my failing memory won't let me recall if that tree has fallen yet....

Unfortunately, I don't have any specific details on the design aspects of borers to offer, but I still would like to respond. I have a 14" long "Suunto" borer which has worked well for me. I believe it was made in Sweden. It has three screws which I have been told, but it is not necessarily obvious to me, allows for easier and more efficient engagement than a two screw design. I believe what you call spreader bars, are located between the threads, but the last thread is tapered to allow for easier extraction. I believe that 28"/30" bores are available commercially but are quite expensive, and the idea of a do it yourself project is always interesting and educational.

I'm sure you already know, but material selection would have to be critical for your project. Borers are subjected to very high stresses. A 30" long borer may also be somewhat vulnerable to a "torsional squirm buckling" action - perhaps not, but something to look at when calculating the required wall thickness.

Good Luck!
by DwainSchroeder
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:04 pm
 
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