I’m Jared, and I currently wander beneath the trees of eastern-central Massachusetts. I’ve had an interest in plants and natural spaces since I was young, and have deepened my scientific understanding of the botanical world as an undergraduate and graduate student. It has only been relatively recently, though, that I’ve taken a particular interest in big, old trees. Aside from the awesome physical presence that large trees have, I find myself drawn to them for the continuity and perseverance that they represent. I imagine them almost like immovable ambassadors from the distant past.
Big trees seem to be the exception rather than the rule in this part of the country, which makes the search all the more thrilling for me. I’m a rank novice when it comes to measuring trees, and I haven’t even received the laser rangefinder that I ordered online. Nevertheless, I find myself driving around eastern Worcester county scouting for trees that stand out as worthy of another visit when I’m properly equipped. I’ve included two photos of eastern white pines that border the Old Common in Lancaster, MA. There are three of these behemoths in a row several paces from the road. I’ve never seen a trunk of such girth on this species – my conservative guess is around 4 feet in diameter at breast height. The bark has an especially aged appearance, too. Since this old common was cleared for settlement in the mid-seventeenth century, I wonder if these trees may be living representatives from that time. Is that conceivable?
I am excited to get out there and come back with some real, repeatable measurements! In the meantime, I will leave you with this impressive red oak that I happened upon in Bolton, MA. I returned to it today to measure a healthy 144 inches of girth at breast height! For the record, that was my first CBH measurement. Woohoo!
Until next time,