Search found 47 matches

Return

Re: Mapping the World’s Forests in Three Dimensions

I was just getting ready to post this!
by Chris
Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:31 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Bear Creek Trail, Gannett Poplar and a nice hemlock!

A 140 ft hemlock is nothing to sneeze at either!
by Chris
Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:52 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: An interview with author, JAMES ROBERT SMITH

Very nice James. I think your next novel should star a group of rogue tree measurers....! j/k

*edit spelling
by Chris
Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:20 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: "Oxbow" at Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Great stuff. I would have never guessed there were as many great sites in Atlanta as you are finding. It gives the city a whole other side [the moist, green, tall side].
by Chris
Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:45 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Saharan cypress

http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/6F/6F9675E0-D98A-4B84-A986-4523DD418B39/Presentation.Medium/Saharan-cypress-in-desert-habitat.jpg
There are only 233 of them on Earth growing in their native soil. Some are as young as 30 years old; others may date back two millennia. They can be 22 meters (70') tall and up to 12 meters (38') around.

Many of them drink from seasonal pools. Others must wait for the rare cloudburst to send rainwater rushing past. All somehow have learned to survive in highland “islands” within the world’s largest desert. And only a few people, including Wawa Muhammad Hamid and Muhammad Beddiaf, have seen nearly every one of them....

Today, the Saharan cypress is closely studied by botanists, not only because of its rarity, but also because it is the only species in the plant kingdom known to reproduce by cloning its male genetic material through a process known as male apomixis. Female apomixis—the division of female cells inside a flower’s ovary as a means of seed formation—is common in several species, including dandelions and blackberries, but male cloning requires an additional step unique to the Saharan cypress: Pollen, carrying the male cells, enters the tree’s ovule, but instead of combining with the female cells, it divides internally to become a viable seed genetically identical to itself.
A Cypress in the Sahara
by Chris
Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:22 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Eldorado Mountains, NV

I have been meaning to write some posts about the desert SW where I am currently living. Yes there are trees! I have a couple about gallery floodplain Cottonwood - Willow forest half way written.

The Eldorado Mountains are located in extreme southern Nevada, just to the west of the Colorado River, and are welded volanic tuff on older precambiran metamorphic core.The mountains got their name for the 150 year history of gold and silver mining. Slopes are steep have thin gravelly "soils" on bedrock. Canyon bottoms alternate large boulders and sand/gravel wash deposits. The area probably gets <5" of precipitation a year. Surface water is completely absent except after rare heavy rain events, when flash floods cause streams flow in canyon bottoms. I examined three canyons [Oak Creek, Lonesome, Unamed Canyons]. Local relief is nearly 2000 ft.
eldorado.jpg

Because of the low precipitation, vegetation is mostly Mojave desert shrubs. But, "trees" do occur in canyon bottoms where shade reduces evapo-transpiration and those occasional rain events result in more moisture.

I use quotations around trees, because they are the shorter than the 150 ft guys that we tend to like or focus on in this group. This raise the question where shrub ends and trees start. I found three "tree" species growing. I didn't measure any trees, but just estimated given the tallest probably 25 ft. Also, there is nothing special about this site that isn't replicated in any number of other similar sites.

Catclaw Acacia [ Acacia greggii var. greggii ] is generally a shrub or small tree, with branches covered with sharped, curved spines, that can draw blood. Like the more famous mesquite, it can have very deep roots that seek water. It is found in dry stream beds [washes], river floodplains, and rocky slopes. Most I saw were <15 ft tall and multi-stemmed.
catclaw.jpg

Desert Willow [ Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata ] is generally a shrub or small tree, with narrow, willow like leaves. It is related to Catalpa and also has attractive spring flowers. It is often used as a native landscape plant and for bank stabilization. Most were <15 ft tall and multi-stemmed.
desert_willow.jpg

The most important tree is Shrub Live Oak [ Quercus turbinella var. turbinella ]. Further to the southeast in Arizona and Mexico it is a major component of oak chaparral, while in Nevada it is restricted to canyons and north facing mountain slopes because of the smaller influence of the summer monsoon. It is evergreen, with bristle tipped leaves. Generally it is a shrub, but can become tree size [in fact American Forests lists the largest some 50 miles west as 51 ft tall]. Most I saw were <15 ft, but a sizable number reached 20-30 ft. Diameters would be tricky to measure, as they are nearly always multi-stem [3-5 seems most common]. Individual steams mostly < 1 ft diameter.
oak_stem.jpg

Like the other two species listed, they have long root systems that sprout, forming colonies. Its acorns can be an important wildlife food and provide shade that provide habitat for various other species.
oak_canyon.jpg
oak.JPG
oak_arch.jpg
by Chris
Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:20 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Forest Hero Award

were http://www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/forests-for-people/awards-and-contests/forest-heroes-programme-and-award/ .

The thing that caught my eye where the winners from the US, two girl scouts! http://grist.org/sustainable-food/scouts-honor-the-push-for-sustainable-cookies-isnt-over-yet/ Grist has a nice writeup.
Girl Scout cookies are made with palm oil, which has seen a huge spike in demand as both a biofuel ingredient for Europeans and a trans fat-free ingredient in processed foods (like high-fructose corn syrup and similarly evil ingredients, palm oil is everywhere once you start looking for it). As a result, thousands of acres of rainforest — mainly in Southeast Asia — have been razed to plant palm fruit trees. In addition to destroying endangered species habitat and old-growth trees, many palm oil plantations have been known to employ children and treat their workers badly.

It’s actually two seasoned Girl Scouts who are putting the most pressure on the organization to stop using palm oil. Ironically, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen, 16-year-old Girl Scouts from Ann Arbor, Mich., first learned about the destructive effects of the palm oil industry five years ago, as part of a project to earn a Girl Scout Bronze Award. Last year, they gathered almost 70,000 signatures on a petition to Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA), asking the organization to stop using rainforest-destroying palm oil.
by Chris
Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:06 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Soundscape ecologists spawn new field

A sound map is just SO cool. I love it.

The one I always think about is airplanes. There are very few places you can go where you won't hear one if you wait around long enough.
by Chris
Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:49 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Frazer Forest, Atlanta, GA

I love the taste of Paw Paw. But it really is being lucky and finding a ripe fruit.
by Chris
Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:56 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Devils Playground, Mojave National Preserve, CA

The Mojave River starts in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California and flows east into the Mojave desert, eventually "disappearing" in the sands of its dry channel. However, during wetter times in the Pleistocene, in flowed into several pluvial lakes , eventually reaching its terminus in Lake Manley in present day Death Valley. It also deposited larges amounts of sand. As the climate dried, winds blow this sand into dunes systems.

One of the largest, is the Devils Playground in the Mojave National Preserve. The sand complex covers some 50 square miles and culminates in the 600 ft tall Kelso Dunes. On the north end, the playground takes on the form of a mostly flat sand sheet.

And yes, there are trees. The Honey Mesquite ( Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana ).

Honey Mesquite is wide ranging, from Texas west to California, and south into Mexico. A phreatophyte, it requires large amounts of water that it draws from partially from groundwater and it, like other mesquites, is famous for its long roots, often extending many tens of feet to tap this underground water source. In rare instances mesquite roots have been been found nearly 200 ft in length! If that isn't enough, they also have extensive networks of shallow roots to capture water from those infrequent rain events.

Its seeds are an important food source for many native animals, including historically Native Americans. It is also a host for the parasitic Mesquite Mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum ), itself an important food source.

In the Devils Playground, I observed two forms. First, was a multi-trunk form tree, with the largest having individual trunks ~1.5 ft in diameter and ~ 30 ft in height. Most were ~15 ft tall, but spread 30 ft across, with rooting branches. These were found in an open, flat, savanna type community.

mesquite_view.jpg
half_Mesquite1.jpg
half_Mesquite2.jpg
half_Mesquite3.jpg

The more interesting form was associated with nebkha. Nebkha (or nabkha), also known as coppice dunes , are formed where sand movement slows down and stops around existing vegetation. As sand gathers into a dune and increases in height, the plant also grows upward, becoming taller compared to the original land surface, but static compared to the dune.

So on the surface, these were short stature shrubs, mostly less than 3 ft tall. But when combined with the 20 ft dune at the bases, they start to give their "true" dimensions.

Mesquite_Cartoon_Roots.jpg
mesquite_view2.jpg
half_Mesquite4.jpg
half_Mesquite5.jpg
by Chris
Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:28 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

I love that birch! Maybe not as classically pretty and graceful as the Poplars, but damn, she has character!
by Chris
Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:28 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Oak Creek, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

The Red Rock Canyon NCA is located west of Las Vegas, at the base of the Spring Mountains. It is most famous for a 3000 ft red sandstone escarpment and is a very popular rock climbing site. A number of short, steep sided canyons have cut into the escarpment. These create shady, cooler, and moisture sites that allow a chaparral community to grow grow. Most canyons also have springs that have associated riparian zones.
redrock_Oak_Creek_Canyon.jpg
Oak3.jpg
I know this group is focused on trees, but I couldn't resist posting the below photograph. Blackbush ( Coleogyne ramosissima ) forms a trasition zone between lower, Creosote ( Larrea tridentata ) dominated Mojave desert and the higher, Sagebrush ( Artemisia sp. ) Great Basin. It is long lived [up to 400 years], slow growing, poor dispersing, and killed by fire. Sharp transitions between Blackbush dominated and free areas are common and often are artifacts of decades old burns. With age, Blackbush dominate, creating high cover, nearly uniform height stands. So the below is a good example of an "old growth" shrub-land.
Black_Bush.jpg
But back to the trees. Oak Creek is well named for the many Shrub Live Oak ( Quercus turbinella var. turbinella ) a species described in another post . And there were some great examples. The largest were ~ 30 ft tall and with 2 ft diameter stems.
Oak2.jpg Oak1.jpg
These tall oaks were found on the banks of the dry creek. As you moved away, upslope, they became smaller and mixed with a number of species including Ashy Silktassel ( Garrya flavescens ), Yerba Santa ( Eriodictyon angustifolium ), Cliffrose ( Cowania mexicana ), Utah Juniper ( Juniperus osteosperma ), and Singleleaf Pinyon ( Pinus monophylla var. monophylla ).
pinyon1.jpg
pinyon2.jpg
The creek channel itself was full of large boulders and generally bare. But in somewhat protected places, California Redbud ( Cercis orbiculta ) and Netleaf Hackberry (either Celtis reticulata or just a variety of Sugarberry, Celtis laevigata var. reticulata ). During floods, rocks and other debris would crash through the channel, resulting in most of the plants being twisted and broken. But they live on.
hackberry.jpg
Redbud.jpg
As the dry creek bed exits the canyon, a spring flows for several thousand feet creating a riparian zone. Shrub Live Oak is still common, but is dominated by Velvet Ash ( Fraxinus velutina ). There are also thickets of willow [and all the associated taxonomy confusion), probably Coyote Willow ( Salix exiga ) but possibly Arroyo Willow ( Salix lasiolepis ) and a few Fremont Cottonwood ( Populus fremontii ).
Ash.jpg
Ash2.jpg
Cottonwood.jpg
But the tree these springs are most famous for are Interior Ponderosa Pine ( Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum ). They are found at much higher elevations in the Spring Mountains, but here at 4,000 ft they form small, relict populations. The next canyon north, Pine Canyon, has a large number of trees. At Oak Creek I counted a grand total of three live trees and a few more dead snags. None of the populations are reproducing. The trees all looked healthy with a number of cones are present, but no young trees.
Pine2.jpg
by Chris
Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:37 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Maryland’s largest striped maple tree in Druid Hill Park

Those twigs/buds look very similar to this example of Acer davidii

http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/images/acda545.jpg
vs Striped Mpale
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/images/acpe5348.jpg

But as Ed said, everyone makes mistakes. I also second Bart. Usually the bark makes it a dead ringer.
by Chris
Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:58 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Three favorite tree Question.

#1 Virginia Pine - I always think of a short, knobby, twisted specimen growing straight out of some sandstone knob. They are tough individuals that takes the worst nature can give, yet still grows and maintains a unique individuality.

#2 Black Maple - The tree of my youth. There are some big, spreading, open grown specimens around my parents place. Those trees during a blaze of orange in October is my vision of autumn.

# Quaking Aspen - This is an odd one because in the east, the tree doesn't really have much magic. But go west... it is simply pops. There is nothing like crossing endless acres of sagebrush or shortgrass prairie [lovely places in their own right] to come to some rising mountains and finding a clonal group of Aspen sheltering in some valley, the wind twisting the leaves every direction.
by Chris
Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:26 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Global Forest Canopy Height

http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/77000/77637/forestheight_ice_2005_detail.jpg
http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/77000/77637/forestheight_ice_2005_palette.jpg

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77637&src=iotdrss
http://lidarradar.jpl.nasa.gov/
by Chris
Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:48 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Fanny Bennett Hemlock Grove - WV

Thanks for the report. I looked back at my notes and photographs from a visit of May 2011 [I must have been in the good mood, I didn't mention HWA, but noted "lots of snags and woody debris on floor and in stream channel"....]. Anyways, besides some of the species you mention, I noted a few very tall Red Spruce [impressed me most because it seems like the tallest I have ever seen] near the center of the tract along the stream and a few big White Pine and White Oak far up on the south facing ridge. I didn't measure or anything.
redspruce.jpg whiteoak.jpg whitepine.jpg
by Chris
Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:37 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

$1 USGS Maps

Thought people here might be interested. $1 topo maps are a very good deal!
There are now over 60,000 maps and publications for sale for only a dollar now through May 7!
Going, going, gone! Huge Blow-out Sale on Maps and More!

http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_science_pick/going-going-gone-huge-blow-out-sale-on-maps-and-more
by Chris
Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:16 am
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: In search of the Boogerman Pine and the Sag Branch Tulip

Thank you for posting that. Besides the obviously amazing trees, it is always heart warming to know there are still parents that help their children form a relationship with nature. It is so easy to get disillusioned and think "kids now are so into their iPhones" they aren't getting the nature experience that, I would bet, every member here had as a child. :-)
by Chris
Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:54 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Bear attack! (On my Doug-fir tree?!?!)

There is certainly no shortage of black bears in PA! Perhaps the bear was attracted to the scent of the sap from the pruning you had done.
That was my thought.

Or maybe the bear is a real traditionalist. Only native trees! I hear they are getting radicalized....

http://store.afa-online.org/images/P/stickr_17230.jpg
by Chris
Mon May 14, 2012 7:46 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Ocala National Forest questions!

Juniper Prairie is what came to mind. Sandhill Cranes and Florida Scrub Jay are both great vocal birds and found in the area.

Also maybe check out Riverside Island [high Longleaf Pine upland with several woodpecker species]. There are several big springs, but most are develop and get lots of human use.

Finally, not in the National Forest, but Ocklawaha Prairie is between the forest and Ocala is very birdy.
by Chris
Sat May 19, 2012 1:24 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Tree Humor?

I have always thought this webcomic cartoon was cute.

Image
by Chris
Sat May 19, 2012 7:17 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

What The Petunia Knows

Real interesting episode of On Point about plants in general, not just trees. Run time about 45 minutes
We ooh and ahh over flowers, fields of green, begonias, sequoias, even the humble petunia. But it’s easy to underestimate a plant. My guest today says it’s no use playing them Mozart. They’re deaf as can be. But by a whole lot of other measures, plants are wide awake and really paying attention.

They can see when you come near them. Feel when they’re touched. Smell what’s going on around them, and respond. And they remember. In their own way, not entirely different from humans, they know what’s going on.
What The Petunia Knows
by Chris
Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:38 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

The Future of Forest Fires

Climate change is widely expected to disrupt future fire patterns around the world, with some regions, such as the western United States, seeing more frequent fires within the next 30 years, according to a new analysis led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with an international team of scientists.

By the end of the century, almost all of North America and most of Europe is projected to see a jump in the frequency of wildfires, primarily because of increasing temperature trends. At the same time, fire activity could actually decrease around equatorial regions, particularly among the tropical rainforests, because of increased rainfall.
Press Release
Open Access Journal Article: Moritz et al. Climate change and disruptions to global fire activity. Ecosphere 3(6)

http://www.esajournals.org/na101/home/literatum/publisher/esa/journals/content/ecsp/2012/21508925-3.6/es11-00345.1/production/images/large/i2150-8925-3-6-art49-f06.jpeg
by Chris
Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:18 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: Maybe not the Turkey you imagine

Finally – Some true Turkish Delight! Discovery of some tasty oaks
by Neil Pederson | 6.17.2012 at 11:53am
After a few days of mild frustration, the sampling of potentially old umbrella pine lifted our spirits and put us in a good frame of mind to conduct our last day of research in the temperate rainforest region of northeastern Turkey. We headed out of Borçka and met with a forest officer in charge of forests in the Murgul Mountains. He seemed pleased with our research goals and supplied an extra jeep and a forest ranger to assist with our work. As often happens in fieldwork, highs like the discovery of great trees or the donation of free assistants get intermixed with unforeseen issues. On our last day of fieldwork in Turkey, we experienced all of that.
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ProfileOldQuercusPetreaBlanket-252x600.jpg
by Chris
Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:44 pm
 
Jump to forum
Jump to topic
cron