Search found 76 matches


Hampton Hills, CVNP, 160.8' Tuliptree


Rand Brown and I took advantage of the thaw and mild weather and explored a couple of sites in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. One of them, Hampton Hills(41.16821, -81.5568), is located on the east side of the river midway between Akron and Peninsula. I had visited this park previously, and while I thought it had some nice trees, I didn't feel it held anything exceptional. The last several weeks I've been surveying potential tall tree sites using LiDAR data in the Fusion program, and the tile covering this site surprisingly showed several LiDAR hits above 150', with one at 161.37', all in a single valley or ravine a few hundred yards long. Rand and I set off to explore that ravine, and we weren't disappointed. Here is what we found, during a brief two hour exploration which was limited by slippery conditions on the hillsides(we still need to get CBH's on many trees).

As always, Tuliptrees rule as far as height in our area, and Rand measured one to 160.8'; the second 160'+ tulip found at a Cuyahoga Valley site, and this one is right near a 159' tulip. There were several other tulips in the 150' range in this ravine, as well as a red oak and bitternut that both hit 135'.
Data Hampton Hills.JPG

Tuliptrees, 159' to the right, 160'8' center: Tuliptrees, 160,8' center, 159' right.jpg

Double Tulips, 144' & 150' tops: Double Tuliptree, 144' & 150' tops.jpg

Tuliptree, 150' x 8' 7'': Tuliptree 150' x 8' 7''.jpg

Rand with his new Hi-Visibility Nikon 550: Rand.jpg

This is the first time I targeted a site based on LiDAR data, and I have to say it was very helpful and accurate---the tall trees were right where the LiDAR data said they should be, and with a tolerance of error(161.37 vs. 160.8) that is really fantastic. It is also encouraging that a tree greater than 160' in northeastern Ohio is not a fluke or aberration, since they have now been found on two separate sites.

by Steve Galehouse
Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:25 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Trees Database site now active


My son Mitch, a software engineer, has custom designed, developed and is hosting a site for coordinating data for tree measurement. The link is: .

He gives co-credit to me for its development, but its has been his effort entirely. I hope you'll give it a look and try---it's pretty neat. Some of the data currently on it are for trial purposes, which should be obvious.

by Steve Galehouse
Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:45 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Everett Woods-154.5' sycamore, Ohio ht. record


Today Rand Brown and I explored Everett Woods in Summit County, Ohio, an area I visited quickly a few weeks ago, and an area which held some tall trees according to LiDAR data. We spent about five hours measuring, staying primarily in two narrow valleys, and we weren't disappointed: we found what is likely the tallest recorded sycamore for Ohio at 154.5', a tuliptree at 154.4', a black walnut at 133', a black oak at 129', and a northern red oak at 135', as well as many other tulips in the 130-140' range. The topography is very steep, but we did manage to get girth measurements on a number of trees. A very enjoyable day of measuring. A summary below(click to enlarge), and Rand will follow up with some photos. Everett Woods summary.JPG

by Steve Galehouse
Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:27 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Ander's Run Natural Area and Buckaloons Recreation Area, PA

On 4/13/2011 Carl Harting, Steve Hallow and I met for a measuring trip to Ander's Run Natural Area and Buckaloons Recreation Area in Warren County, PA. It was great to get together with everyone. Even though we couldn't get on the river (the Allegheny is still too high), we got a lot done. Here's the stats for 4/13/11:

Anders Run N.A.

Species CBH Height Comments

E. larch 10.8(2x) 115.2 was 10.8(2x) x 114.8 on 3/5/09, 2nd tallest known in PA

Nordmann fir 7.3 96 was 7.2 x 95.5 on 3/5/09, 194 AF points, cored 117 rings slightly missed center, 3.5ft up fm base

Noway spruce 10.5 137.4 was 10.5 x 135.2 on 10/18/06, cored 141 rings to ctr, 3.3ft up fm base

white pine 7.1 133.8 Twisty Top
white pine 10 151 was 9.8 x 144.9 on 4/16/03, 41 49.460N x 79 16.511W
white pine N/A 160 Burl Queen, was 11.6 x 155.8 on 3/23/04, tac 419, 41 49.484N x 79 16.962W
white pine 11.4 160.2 was 11.3 x 159.6 on 3/23/04 tac 415, 41 49.547N x 79 16.628W

Anders Run now has 2, 160ft class pines, and 7, 150ft class pines. If the old state champ Cornplanter Pine was still alive, that'd make 3 living pines in the 160ft class. Anders is the 3rd best place in the state to see tall pines. 1st Cook Forest, 2nd Hearts Content, 3rd Anders Run.

Dunns Eddy Rd (~half mile down river from Anders Run, Benedict Farm)

shagbark hickory 14 87.5 state champ (likely old limb fuse at CBH) was 13.7 x 83.9 on 10/18/06, 270AF points

Irvine, PA (~half mile north of Buckaloons)

white oak 17.8 87.5 across road from church

Buckaloons Recreation Area

Am. hornbeam 2.7 33

bitternut hickory 5 75.1+
bitternut hickory 12 108 41 50.122N x 79 15.534W

black cherry 9.1(2x) 84.1+

black locust 6.6 85

black walnut 7.6 101.5

black willow 7.8 78.5

dotted hawthorne 1.9 45 tac 915, 41 50.270N x 79 15.366W
tallest known in NE is on site 16 is 3.1 x 45.4

E. hemlock 6.2 96

E. larch 7.4 113.5

green ash 6.2 78.1+

hackberry 4.8 76.5

moss cypress 6 87.7 was 5.9 x 86.4 on 4/2/09, 3rd largest known in state, 166 AF points

N. red oak 7.1 107

shagbark hickory 6.6 89
shagbark hickory 5.6 89.5

silver maple N/A 100

sugar maple 8 84
sugar maple 9.8 84

sycamore 13.7(2x) 118.5
sycamore N/A 123.1
sycamore N/A 129
sycamore N/A 129
sycamore N/A 129.1
sycamore N/A 131.5

tuliptree 10.2(2x) 98

white ash 12.6 109 41 50.261N x 79 15.375W

white oak 14.4(2x) 88.5
white oak 8.8 102.5

white pine 11 108
white pine 10.8 127
white pine 9.2 135

Buckaloons Rucker Index = 108.8

E. white pine 9.2 135
sycamore N/A 131.5
white ash 12.6 109
tuliptree 9.9 108.5
bitternut hickory 12 108
N. red oak 7.1 107
white oak 8.8 102.5
black walnut 7.6 101.5
silver maple N/A 100
black locust 6.6 85

The 130ft class white pine and sycamore where nice surprises at Buckaloons. I had no initial intention of getting a Rucker Index for the site, but the further we progressed along Irvine Run into the "tallish" sycamore stand along the creek it was apparent we'd have enough data for an RI. Also, I could here Ed in the back of my head giving me a rash if we didn't...

The fat bitternut on Irvine Run was also nice. It was the largest I've personally measured. the tree has been beat up pretty bad over the years, but is still a solid tree. Definitely has a little age to it. Wouldn't be surprised if it went over 200 years old.


Allegheny River

At the end of the day we went up-river on Hemlock Road towards the Kinzua Dam scanning the islands for tall trees. Steve Halow was able to measure one sycamore across the open water on Wardwell Island (about 3.2miles down river from Kinzua Dam) to 137ft high. There were other sycamore on this island that would also break into the low 130ft class. Ed, looks like we've got a future float from the dam down to the Buckaloons in the works...

by djluthringer
Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:20 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011


On this date (Easter Sunday) Jack Howard and I went to Green Lakes State Park to measure the tall trees of the Tuliptree Cathedral southwest of Round Lake. We also confirmed that the height of the tall White Pine at the south end of Green Lake is 120 ft. as measured 4/30/2010. Trees in the Tuliptree Cathedral were last measured with laser rangefinder by Bob Leverett on 5/4/2002. On 4/24/2011 I used the Nikon 550 Laser Rangefinder, which has trouble seeing through clutter near the bases of trees and through the dense lofty canopies of these towering trees, but I still got a large number of good heights. Some of these heights may be underestimated due to the difficulty of determining and hitting the exact high points of these broad crowned trees. The Tuliptrees here are the tallest trees yet measured in central NY and the tallest trees I’ve ever measured with the laser rangefinder; they are most likely the tallest Tuliptrees anywhere for so far north; Green Lakes is close to the northern limit of the species.

Trees measured 4/24/2011:
Height in feet first followed by dbh (when measured):

Tuliptree 135
Tuliptree 133 these 2 near Hemlock cored 11/17/2001 to 330 years old
Tuliptree 141 40” dbh balding bark toward view toward Round Lake
Tuliptree 138 slender tree cored by Bruce Kershner 5/4/2002 to 160 years old
Tuliptree 133
Tuliptree 141
Tuliptree 145 32.9” dbh near small Hemlock
Tuliptree 147 37.1” dbh near Hemlock tallest tree measured in central NY, possibly same tree that Bob Leverett measured 2002 as tallest at 144.7
Tuliptree 138 39.6” dbh next to above
Tuliptree 139 big tree across trail
Tuliptree 147 in hollow when seen from trail also tallest measured
Tuliptree 126 slender near bridge over stream

Bitternut Hickory 139 19” dbh next to tall Tuliptree, 135.6 ft. in 2002, at 139 ft. this tree could be tallest Bitternut Hickory in NY State.
Bitternut Hickory 130 slender
Bitternut Hickory 125

Sugar Maple 117
Sugar Maple 116 slender balding bark
Sugar Maple 105 average tall tree in forest across stream

Hemlock 108
Hemlock 131 45.3” dbh Onondaga County champion, possibly tallest Hemlock in NY State, possibly oldest tree in Onondaga County, est. over 450 years old (est. from 392 rings on smaller long dead stump, and est. age of 330 years on smaller Hemlock cored 11/17/2001 by Fred Breglia)
Hemlock 130 38.1” dbh next to champion just above
Hemlock 106 28.4” dbh next to biggest Sugar Maple
Hemlock 120 slender
Hemlock 113+ tree cored 11/17/2001 between 2 taller Tuliptrees, could not hit top but 113 ft. is well below highest point, tree measured 116 ft. 2002

Basswood 111 across trail upslope
Basswood (?) 118 35.3” dbh across trail upslope, bark not quite like Basswood but branch pattern looks like Basswood
Basswood 106 near biggest Sugar Maple

Due to clutter conditions I was not able to get heights on the following in Tuliptree Cathedral:

Tuliptree 42.9” dbh near edge of stand – big and old
Tuliptree 48.8” dbh possibly largest Tuliptree in stand, log lodged against trunk

Sugar Maple 51.6” dbh, biggest in stand, one of largest in central NY, spiral grain, shaggy bark, leaning trunk, possibly 300-350 years old – Bob Leverett measured the tree to 117 ft. tall in 2002

Trees measured outside Tuliptree Cathedral:

Group of tall Tuliptrees on steep slope above southwest shore of Round Lake:
3 trees measured – 111, 109, 125

Group of Tuliptrees above northwest shore of Round Lake at trail break – tallest 116, 115

Basswood on trail between Round Lake and Green Lake – 101 ft.

A beautiful place with spring wildflowers starting to bloom, 2 meromictic lakes with unusual green-blue color; Round Lake was still as a mirror with the old growth forest on its shores reflected in the water, like a forest in an inverted sky.

Tom Howard
by tomhoward
Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:43 am
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

Fork Ridge Tuliptree climb

All the variables needed for the climb of the tall tuliptree Ian Breckheimer located last May finally came into place. An NPS research permit, good weather, and competent arborists convened last week for the initial ascent and modeling of the super-tree. The expedition members were Josh Kelly, Hugh Irwin, Michael Davie, Mike Riley, Nich Maidment, Aaron Knoblet, Ana Poirier, and I. I should note that this group consisted of a collaborative effort of FIVE tree care companies! Ian Breckheimer and his father Steve, whom found the tree, also joined us later in the day.

The hike in was around four miles (6.7 km). We set up a base camp and decided to go ahead and haul the climbing gear in to the tree, verify the height, and if time permitted, rig it with ropes for the next day of measuring. We decided to access the location of the tree from an adjacent ridge, opting for a descent to the site rather than a potential nasty bushwhack up a steep slope with heavy packs. This added a good bit more hiking but left the unknowns to a minimum. Unfortunately, Ana lost a boot during the first stream crossing and she and Josh stayed back to try to locate it.

All I had to go on was a GPS point that Josh gave me. He was not in the climbing group that went up for the rigging so we entered unknown territory. The slope was ridiculously steep and the effort to stay upright was compounded by the weight of the gear. In a semi-controlled slide we dropped off the ridge and down into a steep, rich cove. The transition from dry ridge top to lush, tall cove forest was abrupt. We scouted ahead and spotted what we thought may be the tree. Nope; farther down we went. We did not know what to expect- except we knew it was a large tree.

Michael Davie and I were leading the group and at the same time we saw “the tree”. This time, it was obvious! It was also a lot bigger than I imagined, especially in the crown. Just to be sure we roughly measured the height. Various expletives echoed in the steep cove as both Mike and I measured the height of the tree to over 190 feet (58 m). Yep, we found it!
Whole tree from upslope HI001.jpg
Tall canopy HI001.jpg
The rest of the group tumbled down and we assessed the tree. I was most worried about rigging it and climbing among the large amount of deadwood present. Josh Kelly had thought the lowest branch was around 85 feet (26 m). Well, the first fork was closer to ~102 feet (31 m); the second at ~115 feet (35 m). Neither was suitable in the slightest for rigging the tree; they were too tight and too large to scramble over even if we could get a line set there. Also, potential pitches between the upper branches were few and far between. I explored with the laser scope and found the only available spot for an ascension rope. It was solidly 160 feet (49 m) above the base. This height is beyond any human capacity to hand-throw and out of the reasonable range of conventional rigging devices such as slingshots.
Canopy gnarlage HI001.jpg
Fortunately, I anticipated this being the case and with the help of my son, Aven, built a pneumatic throw-weight launcher. This device uses compressed air from a bike pump to propel a 12 ounce throw-weight with a thin line attached to it. The bag with thin trailing line is launched into the tree, over a suitable branch, and then a climbing line is attached and pulled through. This allows us to ascend up the rope, not the tree itself. Traditionally, at least in eastern trees, a pole-mounted slingshot is used. But we needed something easier to carry, more predictable and capable of greater range. Our collapsible device had launched the throw-weight and line 300 feet (91 m) vertically in testing. Now it was time for the real test.

I located a spot with a clean shot to the intended branch fork. As most arborists familiar with tall tree climbing know, the first shot is always a “calibration shot” and often results in a deployment tangle nightmare of throwline. I had full intention of a blown shot, so while the others were getting out their cameras to film the “real shot”, I opened the valve. Much to everyone’s surprise the bag sailed cleanly through the intended fork and clear out the other side of the tree! With a bit of finagling with some minor tangles the tree was rigged. A single shot rigged the tallest tree yet climbed in the eastern US!
Whole tree southeast WB001.jpg
We only had 300 feet (91 m) of static rope so we had to anchor one end upslope to allow the other end to reach the ground for climbing. With my rigging fear in the past, we had time to climb the tree and return to camp before dark. I was the only one who went up, and I did an initial inspection and tried to come up with a plan for the next day. Shortly before I ascended Ian and Steve joined us. Ana and Josh also had just arrived after an unsuccessful attempt to find her wayward boot. She hiked in Josh’s way-too-big sandals stuffed with socks and duct-taped to her feet.

The hanging rope illustrated how the tree slightly but significantly leaned and also how offset the top was. I was not sure which top was the tallest but we were definitely rigged on the correct leader. The tree forked into three main tops. All of these were stout and alive with new leaves just emerging.

I ascended the rope and watched the trunk taper a bit and then remain virtually unchanged for over 80 feet (24 m). The bark was thick and indicative of an old tree. The first limb fork was huge since the trunk was still nearly four feet thick. Epiphytic birches were present in the debris of the closely squeezed fork. No rope would ever have fit in there without locking up. Same for the next fork, which was the top of the main trunk. This point was 115.5 feet (35.2 m) above the base and 46.5” (1.18 m) diameter.
Will ascend IB001.jpg
Above the last fork the three main tops spiraled and spread apart. There were virtually no more straight sections as the tops wound their way upwards. Huge pieces of deadwood teetered and shook as I climbed into the crown. I left the ascension rope and switched to a double-rope climbing technique. At 175 feet (53.3 m) I stopped climbing higher and scouted the tops. The lead I had climbed was not the tallest point but within a foot or two. I decided I could reach the tallest point with a pole the next day for the tape drop. I set my line, descended to the other rope and rappelled down to the ground. We also identified and set the midslope position with pins. The tree was ready!

We left the gear hung in the trees and dropped down the cove to check out the stream crossing as a possible better option for the return the next day. It was a far better option, and much quicker.

The next morning was cold but clear and we were relatively unencumbered by heavy gear. Five climbers went up for the volume modeling; Mike, Nich, Ana, Michael and I. I was the primary data recorder while the others traversed the crown and relayed the measurements. I had full intention of doing the 3D crown mapping this day but soon became overwhelmed with the complexity of the tree and the logistics of doing it without a survey laser. It was all but impossible in the amount of time we had.
Five aloft HI001.jpg
Five climbers AK001.jpg
Nich on far lead001.jpg
The focus thus changed to a tape drop and volume modeling of the entire tree. I climbed up near the top and with a 17 foot (5.2 m) pole was able to isolate and measure the highest twig. The highest point was not over anything solid- and originated on a twisted part of the main central lead. With a clinometer I transferred the measurement to the other lead that Mike Riley was on so we could drop the tape from there and have it as close to the trunk as possible. The tape was dropped and Josh was on the ground and “zeroed” it on the midslope tack.
Mike Davie in top001.jpg
Nich at top of main001.jpg
Mike Riley Ana Poirier in top001.jpg
We were anxious to know how tall the tree actually was. The “Boogerman Pine” at 188.9 feet (57.6 m) was the number to beat. The pine has had the reign as the tallest eastern tree since 1995. Well, the Boogerman has been surpassed. The tape drop of the great tuliptree was 191.9 feet (58.5 m)! This is the first tuliptree ever accurately measured to exceed 190 feet (57.9 m) and it now stands as the tallest native broadleaf tree known in all of temperate North America- surpassing a black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) in Olympic National Park by over 10 feet (3 m)!
We went about the volume modeling for the rest of the day. It actually didn’t take all that long since there were not too many pieces to measure. Not having to monument them in three dimensions really did speed things up.
Will and Mike trunk wraps AK001.jpg
Basal measurements HI001.jpg
Climbing party HI001.jpg
Back at camp, Josh and I were speculating on the volume of the tree. I estimated ~2,600 cubic feet (73.6 m3) when it was thought to be 187 feet (57 m) tall. After the tape drop we both thought it may be closer to 3,000 cubic feet (85 m3). Admittedly, that is a lot of wood for a moderate sized tree. However, some of the hemlocks Jess Riddle and I had modeled for the Tsuga Search Project were surprisingly large for the relatively small basal dimensions. This is because although rather slender, they were very tall trees and had really long, slow-tapered trunks. Ditto on this tree- and our suspicions were correct.

Table 1: Sampled tree lengths, volume and relative distribution
Tree summary
Length (ft ) Length (m) Volume (ft3) Volume (m3) Percent
Main trunk 115.5 (35.1) 2,015.8 (57.1) 70.9%
Segments 438.32 (133.6) 791.3 (22.4) 27.8%
Branches 573 (174.7) 37.1 (1.1) 1.3%
Tree totals 1126.82 (343.5) 2,844.2 (80.6)

At 2,844 cubic feet (80.6 m3) this is not a small tree. It is likely larger than most other “big ones” of much shorter height. The large size of this moderate tree has us rethinking the size of some of the other big tuliptrees we know of but have heretofore not thought seriously about. Since they are short or have a short main trunk with a large crown we have regarded them as being smaller than a larger trunked tree. Curiously, the main trunk volume of this tree rivals the volume of some of the modeled giants with considerably larger diameters but shorter trunks. This, coupled with the relatively small crown of this tree still having nearly 800 cubic feet of wood has got our attention!

In addition to the climb, tape drop, and volume modeling completed by the climbers, Hugh, Ian and Josh worked on a .2 hectare (.5 acre) circular plot of the woody stems surrounding the target tree. The exceptional growing potential of the site is further demonstrated by the results of the plot which included the heights of the surrounding trees. Including the target tree, there are nine Liriodendron in the plot, all over 31” dbh. Two of the trees adjacent to the target tree are over 170’ tall (see table 2) – both tuliptree. There has been some discussion about this, but this plot certainly has eye popping above ground biomass. Whether old-growth stands such as this have higher biomass than second growth stands is a worthy topic of future research.

Table 2: Dominant and Co-dominant Trees in plot
Species DBH Height (feet)
Liriodendron tulipifera 49.15 (114.7 cm) 172.7 (52.6 m)
Liriodendron tulipifera 48.2 (122.4 cm) 172 (52.4 m)
Liriodendron tulipifera 54 (137.2 cm) N/A
Liriodendron tulipifera 41.7 (105.9 cm) 157.4 (48 m)
Liriodendron tulipifera 47.8 (121.4 cm) 167.5 (51.1 m)
Liriodendron tulipifera 42.8 (108.7 cm) N/A
Liriodendron tulipifera 55.5 (141 cm) 149.1 (45.5 m)
Liriodendron tulipifera 31.7 (80.5 cm) N/A
Liriodendron tulipifera 67.8 (172.2 cm) 191.9 (target tree 58.5 m)
Betula lenta 23.3 (59.2 cm) N/A
Tsuga canadensis 31.1 (79 cm) N/A
Fraxinus americana 34.2 (86.9 cm) 140+ (42.7 m)

It appears the crown volume of these trees is considerable and adds up to some serious volume. The “Greenbrier Giant” in Tennessee comes to mind immediately. This is a fat, stumpy tree but it has an immense crown. Another big tree in Deep Creek that we took some time to measure may fall into this category. This giant is 21’1” CBH (6.4 m) and 179 feet (54.6 m) tall. It has a rather short trunk but what a crown! This tree could very well rival the huge 4,013 cubic foot (113.6 m3) Sag Branch Tuliptree that has the current reign as the largest tuliptree known.
Giant tree JK001.jpg
These superlative titles of height and volume may soon pass to trees yet to be discovered within a new study just initiated by ENTS. This three year study of superlative tuliptree in the Smokies (NC side only) is a permitted study. Locations of the trees cannot be given on publically accessible sites such as the ENTS BBS. However, all ENTS are encouraged to participate in this project and assist in the field efforts.

Thus, the climb of the Fork Ridge Tuliptree is the beginning of a new understanding of the species. It is also the tip of the iceberg- as it is quite likely that we have not found the tallest one yet. LiDAR strongly suggests taller trees may out there. They are remote and it will take some serious effort to document them all.

The National Park Service plans to submit a press release next week about this tree and the work of ENTS. This should get some great exposure for the park and the resources it protects, as well as the important work we ENTS are doing in the eastern forests.

Submitted by Will Blozan (with special thanks to Ian and Josh) on behalf of the ENTS LiDAR and NPS Tuliptree study crew
by Will Blozan
Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:00 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Brandywine Creek State Park


I made several outings to Delaware's 933 acre Brandywine Creek State Park in December of 2010. The park is located in New Castle County and three miles north of Wilmington and just over a mile east of Winterthur. The Brandywine Creek, also referred to as the Brandywine River, flows south through the park creating two sections, west and east. The site was a former dairy farm in the late 1800's and was owned by the Du Pont family. The state's first two nature preserves are also within the park: Tulip Tree Woods and Freshwater Marsh.

Nearly half of the western portion of the park consists of passive fields and native meadows. Three to four foot high grey stone walls from the dairy farm era line the park's west border, meadows, and encompass Tulip Tree Woods. The other half is in several stages of succession with mature stands in Tulip Tree Woods, on the ridges, and in several small ravines along Brandywine Creek's west bank. Multiflora rose and other invasives choke the understory of woodlands that are in early succession. Several white oak wolf trees were found in this forest type. The largest measured 16'6" x 100.3'.

P1020588 Stitch.jpg

Tulip Tree Woods is a 24 acre preserve dominated by large 190-220 year old tulip poplars. Twelve specimens were documented with girths of 12' or more with heights over 120' with four surpassing 150'. The tallest of these measured 12'11" x 156.8'. The largest and likely oldest poplar in Tulip Tree Woods is 15'11" x 122.3'. The tallest measured is a slender 6'10" x 157.5' specimen. Common canopy species include black, northern red, and white oak, pignut hickory, and american beech. The largest and tallest white oak in the preserve is an impressive 11'4" x 130'. Two pignut hickories measured 7'2" x 141.2' and 7'4" x 141.7' and are the tallest documented for the park. The crotch of a blowdown has severely damaged the base scarring both sides of the taller specimen. A third or more of it's crown is dead and may not recover. Another park record within the preserve is an 8'5" x 135' american beech. A few white ash frequent the preserve's northwest corner with the largest and tallest specimen measuring 11'2" x 129.5'. Blackhaw viburnum and flowering dogwood were impressive as well with measurements of 1'2' x 30.3' and 2' x 52.4' respectively.

P1020590 Stitch.jpg

A small ravine west of Tulip Tree Woods along the creek's west bank also supports a few 150' tulip poplars and a very impressive black oak. The black oak is a personal best for me and may well be a state height record at 11'7" x 137.2'. Another small ravine to the south and north of Freshwater Marsh supports 9 species of mature trees with an average girth of more than 9' and an average height of 117'. An impressive 10'4" x 104.2' red maple, with crown damage, grows along a small spring at the base of the ravine and a 16' x 127' tulip poplar grows on the nothern ridge above the ravine.

P1020659 Stitch.jpg

The portion of the park east of the Brandywine Creek is even more impressive. Human disturbance has been limited over the past 200 years or more due to it's steep and rocky terrain. Huge boulders of Wilmington Complex blue rocks, which were formally a volcanic island more than 500 million years ago, are strewn along much of it's slope.

P1020669 Stitch.jpg

Invasives are nearly nonexistant except along the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, which follows most of the east bank of the creek, and the park's west boarder with a development. Tulip poplars are larger and taller with a few specimen possiblly over 250 years old. The largest poplar measures 19' x 149.1'. This poplar may not be as old as it's size suggest. It recieves a constant suppy of water from an old spring house less than 20 yards away. Although the tree has balding bark it lacks other old growth characteristics such as large limbs and a gnarly form. Sixty six poplars were documented with dimensions in the 12' x 100' range with fourteen of those at or exceeding 150'.

P1020673 Stitch.jpg

The tallest tulip poplars grow in a swale on a west facing slope in the southeastern corner of the park. Two poplars recorded heights over 160'. One at 13'7" x 160.1' and the other at 9'9" x 164.9'. White ash had four specimens with recorded heights over 140', two of which had girths of 11' or more in the same swale as the 160' tulips. The tallest ash measured 11' x 148.7'.

P1020666 Stitch.jpg

Bitternut hickory recorded several specimen over 130'. The tallest measured 6'5" x 147.4'. Chestnut oak and Mountain laurel are common on the steep slopes and ridges along the creeks east bank. The tallest documented chestnut oak is a 6'8" x 127' specimen.

P1020653 Stitch.jpg

On 12/22/10 I was hiking along the east bank of the Brandywine Creek and heard the flap of a large wing. A Bald eagle was flying low to the water and heading upstream. The creek was frozen solid the week before but in the sun's rays and clear skies had nearly thawed. Mallards and Canadian geese where common on the creek that day and were likely on the eagles menu. Cruising 15' above the water and with a single up-stroke from it's powerful wings it perched 40' high on a sycamore limb situated on the west bank. I quickly grabbed my camera from my backpack and slowly headed back upstream 150 yards towards the eagle, taking several photos along the way. As I paralleled the eagle I took a perfect zoomed 40 yard photo of it jumping from the limb into flight. It was a beautiful site and a memory I'll never forget. The cameras batteries were shot and the last two of the three photos I took were not saved to the memory card. So here is an out of focus photo of a Bald eagle in a sycamore tree.


I did manage to take a photo of a Witch-hazel in flower on the same day. It must have been a late bloomer.


Brandywine Creek State Park Site Index

Species CBH Height Comment
A Basswood 7'11" 105.8'
A Beech 6'6" 125.7'
A Beech 8'5" 135' N 39*48.522' x W 75*34.641'
Bitternut Hickory 7'11" 133.9'
Bitternuy Hickory 6'9" 140'
Bitternut Hickory 6'5" 147.4' N 39*48.255' x W 75*34.097'
Black Cherry 5'7" 115.6'
Blackgum 9'9" 81.4'
Blackgum 5'9" 111.8'
Blackhaw 1'2" 30.3'
Black Oak 11'8" 130.5'
Black Oak 9' 133'
Black Oak 11'7" 137.2'
Black Walnut 7'1" 116.5'
Chestnut Oak 9'10" 119.3'
Chestnut Oak 6'7" 125.7'
Chestnut Oak 8'6" 126.9'
Chestnut Oak 6'8" 127'
Common Persimmon 3'8" 75.5'
E Hophornbeam 2'1" 56.6'
Flowering Dogwood 2' 52.4'
Mockernut Hickory 6'5" 114'
N Red Oak 7'8" 139.5'
N Red Oak 7'7" 140.5'
N Red Oak 7'3" 140.8'
Pignut Hickory 9'7" 138.8'
Pignut Hickory 7'5" 140.5'
Pignut Hickory 7'2" 141.2'
Pignut Hickory 7'4" 141.7'
Red Maple 10'4" 104.2'
Sassafras 3'10" 90.5'
Shagbark Hickory 4'1" 102.5'
Shagbark Hickory 5'3" 113.4'
Silver Maple 10'9' 99.3'
Slippery Elm 5'7" 102'
Sugar Maple 5'4" 97.6'
Sycamore 18' 96.6'
Sycamore 5'2" 125.6'
Tulip Poplar 6'10" 157.5'
Tulip Poplar 12'2' 158'
Tulip Poplar 10'2" 159.4'
Tulip Poplar 13'7" 160.1'
Tulip Poplar 9'9" 164.9'
White Ash 6'4" 140.1'
White Ash 11'4" 142.9'
White Ash 8'10" 147.4'
White Ash 9'7" 147.5'
White Ash 11' 148.7'
White Oak 11'4" 130'
White Oak 8'7" 132.2'
White Oak 8'6" 137.9'
Witch Hazel 1'7" 34'

There may be several new state height records but we have very little data from Delaware.

Brandywine Creek State Park 12 x 100 Club

Species CBH Height Comment
Black Oak 12'5" 103.2'
Black Oak 13'7" 107.6'
Black Oak 12'3" 115.2'
Black Oak 12'1" 118.9'
N Red Oak 12' 105.2'
N Red Oak 12' 121.7'
N Red Oak 15'11" 131' N 39*48.432' x W 75*33.727'

Note: Tulip Poplar is excluded from this list and will be included in a seperate report.

Brandtwine Creek State Park Rucker Index

Species CBH Height
Tulip Poplar 9'9" 164.9'
White Ash 11' 148.7'
Bitternut Hickory 6'5" 147.4'
Pignut Hickory 7'4" 141.7'
N Red Oak 7'3" 140.8'
White Oak 8'6" 137.9'
Black Oak 11'7" 137.2'
A Beech 8'5" 135'
Chestnut Oak 6'8" 127'
Sycamore 5'2" 125.6'

RI 140.62'

Brandywine Creek State Park may very well be Delaware's superlative site to see large and tall Tulip poplars.

by George Fieo
Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:45 am
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Brandywine Creek State Park's Tulip Poplars


Here is the list of 12' x 100' Tulip poplars for Brandywine Creek State Park along with some photos.

TTW TP 12'11' x 156.8'.jpg

P1020640 Stitch.jpg

P1020651 Stitch.jpg

P1020676 Stitch.jpg

P1020735 Stitch.jpg


P1020767 Stitch.jpg


12' x 100' Club
CBH Height Coordinates
15'11" 122.3'
12'4" 125.5'
16' 127'
15'3" 127.3'
12'2" 130.2'
12'3" 130.4'
12'8" 131.4'
12'4" 131.6'
14'1" 132.2'
14'8" 134.4'
13'5" 134.6'
12'4" 135.2'
12'2" 135.3'
13' 135.3'
13'4" 135.8'
12'1" 136.9'
13'8" 137.2'
13'9" 137.5'
12'8" 138.1'
13'7" 138.2'
12'2" 138.7'
12' 138.8'
15'4" 138.8'
14'9" 138.9' N 39*47.997' x W 75*34.132'
14'1" 139.5'
14'8" 139.8'
12'3" 140'
14'7" 140.3'
12'4" 140.5'
12'5" 140.7'
13' 140.8'
17'3" 140.8' N 39*48.011' x W 75*33.980'
14' 141.3'
13'11" 142'
15'2" 142'
12'1" 143'
12' 143.2'
12'7" 143.4'
13'10" 144.4'
17'3" 144.8' N 39*47.970' x W 75*34.045'
12'5' 144.9'
12'4" 145.2'
12'2" 145.3'
12'6" 145.3'
14'11" 145.6'
13'7" 145.7'
12'1" 145.8'
13' 146.1'
12'1" 147.2'
12'8" 147.3'
13'8" 147.5'
12'5" 147.7'
14'10" 147.8'
12'1" 148.1'
14'11" 148.7'
12'5" 148.9'
19' 149.1' N 39*48.642' x W 75*33.756'
13'4" 149.3'
12'9" 149.5'
13' 149.5'

12' x 150' Club
CBH Height
12'3" 150'
13'10" 150.3'
12'11" 150.4'
12'2" 150.5'
12'2" 152.1'
13'10" 152.2'
12'11" 152.6"
12'10" 153.4'
12'5" 153.5'
13' 153.5'
13'5" 153.7'
13'9" 154.1'
15'2" 154.1' N 39*48.241' x W 75*34.107'
13'5" 156.6'
12'11" 156.8'
12'9" 157'
12'2" 158'
13'7" 160.1'


by George Fieo
Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:53 am
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

North Chagrin Reservation: Cumulative Forest Data

Height Index

153.5' Tuliptree
139.5' Northern red oak
139.3' White ash
136.0' Eastern hemlock
133.0' Bitternut hickory
128.6' Slippery elm
127.7' American beech
127.7' Sugar maple
127.5' Blackgum
125.7' American elm
125.7' Eastern cottonwood
123.3' Black cherry
123.2' Black walnut
122.7' Sassafras
120.7' White oak
120.3' Red maple
119.0' Pignut hickory
118.8' Eastern white pine
118.5' Cucumber-Tree
118.5' American sycamore
112.5' American basswood
110.5' Shagbark hickory
107.8' Black ash
103.8' Mockernut hickory
087.4' Yellow birch

RHI05: 140.26'
RHI10: 133.85'
RHI20: 127.46'
Girth Index

18' 03" Red oak
14' 08" American chestnut * stump circumference @ highest point (2.5')
13' 09" Tuliptree
13' 06" White oak
13' 01" American beech
12' 07" Sugar maple
11' 07" Red Maple
11' 06" Blackgum
10' 08" Cucumber-Tree
10' 08" White ash
10' 06" Eastern cottonwood
10' 04" Eastern hemlock
10' 01" Black cherry
08' 10" American basswood
08' 08" Eastern white pine
08' 08" American elm
08' 05" Black ash
08' 04" Sassafras
08' 04" Black walnut
08' 02" Butternut
08' 01" Slippery elm
08' 01" Shagbark hickory
07' 05" American sycamore
06' 10" Mockernut hickory
06' 07" Pignut hickory
05' 05" Yellow birch
02' 01" Northern fox grape *Vine
RGI05: 14.65000'
RGI10: 13.02500'
RGI20: 11.02917'
Blue denotes a single specimen for height and girth

Conical Volume

<1100ft³ <900ft³ <700ft³ <500ft³ <300ft³

1.) Northern red oak
1113 ft³ 18' 03" by 126.0'
1064 ft³ 18' 02" by 121.5'
1021 ft³ 17' 08" by 123.3'
953 ft³ 17' 05" by 118.5'
706 ft³ 15' 01" by 117.0'
583 ft³ 14' 02" by 109.5'
506 ft³ 13' 00" by 112.9'
485 ft³ 14' 09" by 084.0'
421 ft³ 10' 08" by 139.5'
2.) Tuliptree
689 ft³ 13' 09" by 137.4'
676 ft³ 13' 08" by 136.5'
571 ft³ 11' 11" by 151.6'
520 ft³ 11' 11" by 138.0'
495 ft³ 12' 02" by 126.0'
465 ft³ 12' 02" by 118.5'
454 ft³ 11' 06" by 129.4'
449 ft³ 10' 06" by 153.5'
446 ft³ 11' 10" by 120.0'
409 ft³ 11' 00" by 127.5'
311 ft³ 10' 03" by 111.5'
3.) American beech
541 ft³ 13' 01" by 119.2'
528 ft³ 12' 09" by 122.5'
416 ft³ 11' 07" by 117.0'
379 ft³ 10' 11" by 120.0'
377 ft³ 11' 02" by 114.1'
345 ft³ 10' 06" by 118.0'
4.) White oak
533 ft³ 13' 06" by 110.2'
473 ft³ 12' 02" by 120.5'
370 ft³ 10' 09" by 120.7'
5.) Sugar maple
496 ft³ 12' 07" by 118.1'
362 ft³ 11' 02" by 109.5'
389 ft³ 11' 06" by 111.0'
344 ft³ 10' 01" by 127.5'
344 ft³ 10' 07" by 115.7'
7.) Eastern cottonwood
368 ft³ 10' 06" by 125.7'
8.) White ash
358 ft³ 10' 08" by 118.5'
339 ft³ 09' 07" by 139.3'
9.) Red maple
357 ft³ 11' 07" by 100.2'
10.) Black cherry
333 ft³ 10' 01" by 123.3'
11.) Cucumber-Tree
324 ft³ 10' 08" by 107.5'
12.) Eastern hemlock
317 ft³ 10' 04" by 111.8'

Additional Information

North Chagrin History.rtf
Chagrin composite map.jpg
Chagrin Birds Eye Map2.jpg

Damage and ongoing problems within the forest:
*Chestnut blight - chestnut, once a dominate in the parks mixed forest - is now locally extinct in this forest
*Dutch elm disease - prevents the parks elm from establishing large numbers, and mature sizes
*Emerald ash borer - northern half of the forest is currently decimated from EAB
*Invasive earthworms - duff layer damage
*Overpopulation of white-tail deer - diversity and density of undergrowth suffering - Undoubtedly due to predatory extinctions via ecological isolation
*Invasive plant species - The park has planted many decorative non-native species in the fields, now establishing themselves in the forest. Birds and deer have further spread non-native species
*Extinction and extirpation of forest wildlife - Especially large mammals, but also birds, amphibians, and reptiles
*Drainage problems - mainly this is due to poor trail design
*Lack of formal protection - Invasive species will not be intervened by the Cleveland Metroparks

Problems present in the local area, but unconfirmed in the park:
*Beech bark disease

Definite, or potential problems in the near future:
*Hemlock woolly adelgid

Re-establishment of wildlife diversity in the forest
Black bear - Extirpated since the 1830's, recently seen in Ohio, at least one survives almost exclusively within North Chagrin Reservation
American beaver - Extirpated since the 1830's, beaver recently re-established their presence in the floodplains below the forest
Eastern coyotes - Perhaps non-native. Today's population originated from the west and had been spotted in the area since the late 1970's. A pack of three coyotes with pups holds territory to the north, and two coyotes with pups is established to the south. Alpha pairs with three or four subordinate adults are not uncommon in the local area.
White-tail deer - Another animal extinct since the 1830's, sightings occurred in the late 1930's. Though, the historic population was never this high. Until the unlikely return of large predators the parks deer are annually culled, but it was once, and is now again a part of the ecosystem

*This post will be continuously updated with information. Please inform me of any errors on State Champion trees. I based the initial data on the BTD
Big Trees Database

Updated 9/10/2011
by dantheman9758
Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:50 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

South Mountains Again!

Holy Moley! I went bushwhacking in the South Mountains again today. Saw a GORGEOUS forest of big tulip trees and a stand of still-healthy Carolina hemlocks on the verge of a cliff face. (They can be saved.) I'll post more later.
by jamesrobertsmith
Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:00 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Northeast Ohio finds


Rand Brown and I returned to Sand Run today to do some remeasuring and further exploration. It was a beautiful day with, 60F and sunny, and the woods and slopes were easy to traverse since we've not had rain for a week or more. Our primary mission was to measure the state record tuliptree, which we had previously measured to 163.72'. We took many measurements of the tree today, and I think we can safely say Ohio now has a 170 footer. We had several measurements in excess of 170', up to 173', and others in the mid to upper 160's. From what seemed to be the best vantage point, we got a 170.57' reading and a 169.46' reading, for an average of 170.01'. Also found were a cottonwood at 143.4' x 7' 10'', and a really nice scarlet oak at 119.9' and 11' 8''. These finds and other increases in previously measured trees push the Rucker 10 for Sand Run to 137.14, and the Rucker 10 for the Cuyahoga Valley(read greater Akron) to 142.36.

Sand Run:

Cuyahoga Valley:

These Rucker indices are comparable to those of sites much farther south.

by Steve Galehouse
Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:16 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

new 170ft class pine at Cook Forest


Just re-measured a pine today that was first measured at 9.4ft CBH x 167.9ft high on 7/26/03. Today’s measurement yielded 9.6ft CBH x 170.5ft. I first hit 170.3ft, but since it was so close to the 170ft threshold I decided to find a good mid-slope measurement and utilize a pole for the bottom measurement. So, I settled on 170.5ft. It’s a bear to measure, and located on the steep slope between Seneca & Mohawk Trails. If you know where the Seneca Hemlock is… just go up the trail ~200 yards, then up the hill ~65 yards to the tree (tac 358, 41 19.696N x 79 12.714W).

Also, re-measured the Seneca Hemlock today. I last measured it at 12.1ft CBH x 147.5ft high on 9/21/10. Today, I was only able to squeak it up one tenth of foot to 147.6ft high. It was another bear to measure, had to go wayyy upslope to get the best measurement.

Also, tried to re-measure a fat white pine near the new 170footer that I hadn’t measured since 3/4/03. Back then, I had it to 12.4ft CBH x 159.4ft high. It is now dead, and looks like it’s been so for years.

Also, tried to bump another tall pine into the 160ft class in the vicinity and uphill from the Seneca Hemlock, directly on Mohawk Trail
(tac 346, 41 19.840N x 79 12.650W). On 5/1/03 I had it to 9.9ft CBH x 157.8ft high. It now sits at 9.9ft CBH x 159.5ft high. Believe me, I couldn’t put any more height on this one. This was the worst of them all to measure. Had to go almost to the top of the hill to get the best shot. Wouldn’t have been possible without my pole to help me eyeball the base. GPS had me running around like crazy up & down hill trying to pin-point these trees. Now my legs feel like jelly… Will would’ve run me into the ground today. Damn desk fat…

So, our current white pine tally stands at:

Height Class # trees

180 1
170 3 (remember, the Jani Pine lost the majority of its top and is now ~135ft high)
160 29
150 77
140 146

by djluthringer
Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

West Virginia Big Tree Register

NTS: Two years ago I offered to help update the WV Big Tree Register which had been moribund for about 10 years. The WV Division of Forestry was very agreeable. With a lot of good ideas from the NTS board and Scott Wade's PA list I listed several goals to shoot for when updating the Register.

1. The Register should be online. Finally happened in summer of 2011.
2. All Multi-stem trees should be identified as such.
3. Any circumference not taken at the standard 4 1/2' mid slope height should be clearly indicated.
4. The register must indicate how the height measurement was made.
5. Include the three biggest point total trees in the register but also to include the largest circumference, tallest height, and widest spread. ie basically a maximum dimension list.
6. Update the register annually with the biggest point total tree reinspected within 5 years and the others within 10.
I introduced six district foresters to the sine based method of height determination with a clinometer and laser range finder and they did the bulk of the inspections and we probably got through 90 percent of the database in 2 years.

The results may be found here:


I will be involved for at least another year and intend to push for a better information on the website especially as it pertains to access/location. At present we only list the tree location to county and nearest town.

I value any comments on how the WV Big Tree Register is presented any any improvements that can be made.

Turner Sharp
by tsharp
Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:52 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Georgia canopy heights from LiDAR

In terms of tree heights, North Georgia has long taken a back seat to the mountains of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and northwestern South Carolina. Out of dozens of overstory species that reach their maximum height in the southern Appalachians, the Georgia mountains support the height records for only four species, and three of those are pines growing in the Chattooga River watershed. That lack of records has endured despite extensive searching, rainfall comparable to more record rich regions of the Southern Appalachians, and long growing seasons. However, that pattern is poised to change thanks to LiDAR.

LiDAR data is currently available for only about half of north Georgia’s mountains, but a plethora of extremely promising sites are already apparent. LiDAR indicates literally hundreds of groves with trees over 150’, and 160’s are common in some watersheds. Many of these areas have been little or not at all previously searched, but others are known tall tree sites. Many of the latter appear more extensive or have a wider range of productive habitat types than previously thought.

The apparent lack of tall trees in Georgia was partly a product of the types of sites that are most productive in Georgia. Coves dominated by a mix of tall hardwoods, by far the most abundant and productive tall tree sites in western North Carolina, are relatively predictable based on topography and the records of uncommon rich site species. Georgia has few cove forests that are the same caliber as those found in western North Carolina in terms of productivity. Instead, LiDAR indicates Georgia has an abundance of sites where white pine grows well. Such sites are less predictable from topography, and the tall trees are often scattered rather than densely packed in discrete groves. Consequently, most of the records from north Georgia will be species that grow well in association with white pines or on similar site types, but there is also some potential for rich site hardwoods that grow best at low elevations.

This holiday season I will be visiting a few of the most promising sites. Overestimation of tree heights due to leaning trees on steep slopes is much more common with white pine than tuliptree, so it is hard to say just how tall the trees will turn out to be. The data is dense enough to see a strong lean, so the largest errors can be avoided. The tallest hits that look reliable are around 190’, so the Boogerman Pine’s reign as the tallest known conifer in the east may not last much longer.


by Jess Riddle
Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:40 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Tyler State Park, Pa.


Tyler State Park is located in Bucks County just outside of Newtown. The park consists of more than 1,700 acres of woodland and actively farmed land. The woodlands are a diverse mix of floodplain and upland species in several stages of succession.

The park was surveyed in 2003 as having two possible old growth sites. A white oak blowdown within the larger site was removed to clear a trail. A fresh clean cut was made 6' above ground at which the girth measured 7.8' and revealed ~200 consistently tight growth rings. There are larger trees and I would estimate their ages to be between 200-250 years, some possibly older. Species in this age class includes green ash, pignut hickory, tulip poplar, and white oak. The smaller site consists mostly of tulip poplar and black and northern red oak. American beech is also common at both sites.

P1030744 Stitch.jpg

P1030794 Stitch.jpg

Coniferous species include eastern red cedar, eastern hemlock, norway spruce, and white pine. Hemlocks are confined to the steep slopes and ridges of the Neshaminy Creek and are most abundant in the northern half of the park. These hemlocks max out with girths around 6' and 90' in height. A lone hemlock located in a parking area measured 10'2" x 104.3'. This tree has some age on it and may have beed spared during the last harvest. White pine and norway spruce are in several plantations throughout the park. A small naturally occuring stand of white pine grow along a steep slope on the east bank of the Neshaminy Creek which is owned by the Bucks County Community College. The park borders the college on three sides and I did not measure any trees here do to lack of time. This is only the second site where I have seen native white pine in SE Pa. The other site is located along the Schuylkill River in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County. Both of these sites are nearly identical in geography.

Tyler State Park Site Index 11/22/2011
Species CBH Height Comment
A Basswood 9'2" 102.1' Beautiful single stem
A Beech 8' 115.7'
A Elm 9'6" 99.6'
Bitternut Hickory 9'10" 118.5'
Black Birch 8'8" 98.9'
Black Birch 7'1" 107'
Black Cherry 5'3" 125' With 140' tulips
Blackgum 5'3" 108.7'
Black Oak 11'10" 115.1'
Black Oak 10'4" 115.9'
Black Oak 11'2" 123.6'
Black Walnut 5'11" 118.9'
Black Walnut 5'2" 123'
Flowering Dogwood 1'3" 32.6'
Green Ash 10'3" 123.9'
Green Ash 9'10" 132.7'
Green Ash 10' 133'
Green Ash 7'11' 133.6'
Mockernut Hickory 5'2" 127.2'
N Red Oak 15'4" 102.3' Severe storm damage
N Red Oak ~9.5' 124.3' Crown of fallen AB @ base
Pignut Hickory 8'6" 124.2'
Pignut Hickory 6'7" 126.5"
Pignut Hickory 7'9" 130.2"
Pin Oak 8'1" 114.8'
Pin Oak 9'4" 117.4'
Red Maple 4'8" 107.7'
River Birch 4'3" 66.9'
River Birch 7'5' 72.7'
Sassafras 3'2" 92.9'
Shagbark Hickory 6'8" 118.9'
Slippery Elm 4'1" 102'
Sycamore 9'10" 123.9'
Sycamore 5'4" 127' Within white pine plantation
Tulip Poplar 11'7" 144.7'
White Ash 5'9" 123.8'
White Oak 11'9" 113'
White Oak 8'2" 119.4'
White Pine 6'6" 127.4' Plantation tree

12' x 100' List
Species CBH Height
N Red Oak 15'4" 102.3'
Tulip Poplar 12' 128.2'
Tulip Poplar 15'11" 129.4'
Tulip Poplar 13'11" 131.9'
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 132.2'
Tulip Poplar 13'4" 132.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'8" 141.9'

Tyler State Park Rucker Index 11/22/2011
Species CBH Height Coordinates
Tulip Poplar 11'7" 144.7' N40 13.629 x W74 58.813
Green Ash 7'11" 133.6' N40 13.825 x W74 57.666
Pignut Hickory 7'9" 130.2' N40 13.596 x W74 57.673
White Pine 6'6" 127.4' N40 13.597 x W74 58.742
Mockernut Hickory 5'2" 127.2' N40 13.216 x W74 58.524
Sycamore 5'4" 127' N40 13.616 x W74 58.738
Black Cherry 5'3" 125' N40 13.222 x W74 58.472
N Red Oak ~9.5' 124.3' N40 13.607 x W74 58.859
White Ash 5'9" 123.8' N40 13.427 x W74 58.554
Black Oak 11'2" 123.6' N40 13.624 x W74 58.816

RI 128.68'

by George Fieo
Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:29 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

NTS RHI Dashboard


George’s, Eli’s, and Jess’s recent posts included important Rucker indices that highlight some extraordinary sites. The RHI values they report shine the spotlight on a need we have in NTS. We need to implement, perhaps as a BBS project, a list of sites with their RHIs and we need to keep the list current and visible. Managers in big companies commonly implement something called dashboards that include performance statistics for their company, department, branch, etc. Managers review their dashboard daily. The idea for the dashboard grew from the challenge of trying to keep track of too much data. The mind can track and juggle only so much information. Years ago, I helped develop software systems called EISs (Executive Information Systems). Top level mangers could not be expected to sift through tons of reports, flipping pages and hunting for summary statistics. Visibility and accessibility became the clarion call. Today these executive summaries are commonplace.

I propose that we create an NTS RHI dashboard. It would be organized in our typical hierarchical fashion: State to property to site. An Excel format would work, but that is of secondary importance. The column headings that seem most important to me are:

Header Information for a Site

GPS coordinates of a point at the site, e.g. an entry gate

Detail Information for a Site

Tree species
Number of trunks
Method of height measurement (LC=laser clinometer, CT=clinometer tape)
Measurer of the particular tree
Date of last measurement

We all can think of other items of information, but this is a dashboard. Less is better. Ideally, we’d first see a summary that included only the header information. The detail would follow. I would not go beyond these two levels.

We have RHI-site information spread throughout the BBS, website, and database, but it is not easy to find conveniently, and we cannot expect you to do our work for us. We need to keep RHI information from and center.

I predict that an RHI dashboard would stimulate interest and serve to motivate our members to go forth and find new sites. It would also keep the RHI front and center to researchers from around the world.

The amount of material that we pump out daily on the BBS these days is impressive and serves lots of worthy purposes. However, bread and butter stuff like RHIs can get lost in the sheer volume and when that happens, importance and focus diminishes. We need to find ways to keep critical information up on everyone’s radarscope. What better way to showcase the exceptional efforts that George Fieo is making in southern PA than to have an RHI dashboard and have all his sites reflected.

The source of the data for the dashboard would be (or should be) the NTS database. It makes sense to make maximum use of the database, but we need highly visible summaries that require the absolute minimum number of steps to access. Simple is better. Coming from me, this may sound like I’ve made some sort of conversion. But this isn’t about accuracy in our numbers. We can never let down our guard there. This is just about visibility, convenience, and marketing. Think daily stock exchange.

by dbhguru
Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:45 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Rothkugel Plantation, WV

NTS: I had a chance to stop and measure some trees in this plantation the afternoon of 10-22-2011. Gaines McMartin has previously posted about this site. His comments and some good pictures can be found here:

I thought I would add a little more information about this site. It is located near Thornwood, Pocahontas County, WV along WV 28 not less than ½ mile from its intersection with US 250. Pictured below is a sign along the road marking the location of the entrance of a trail (right of sign) that loops through the stand.
Photo by Turner Sharpon an earlier visit to the stand 6/20/2011

The elevation at this sign is 2,920’. The aspect is west to northwest. There is a small hollow with an intermittent stream to the right of this entry trail. I walked up this trail about 2/3 way to about 3120’ measuring trees until I got good heights and CBHs for 5 dominant Norway Spruce (Picea abies) and 5 European Larch (Larix decidua). The trail later loops to the right to the other side of the small hollow and comes back to WV 28. Instead of doing the loop one could continue up to the top of Smoke Camp Knob at 4200’ elevation but would have left the plantation. This trail is marked as FS 324 on the official Forest Service map

My five tree height average for Norway Spruce was 120.8’ and lower then Gaines 7 tree average of 122.7’. The tallest Norway Spruce I measured was at 135.5’ and will be height record for West Virginia .The five tree average for the European Larch was 102.1 with the tallest at 104.9’. The complete listing of trees measured can be found in the Trees Database at:

Max Rothkugel was in the employ of George Craig and Son Lumber Company of Philadelpia, Pa when he established this 150 acre plantation in 1907. Site preparation consisted of burning the slash left over from previous logging operations. Apparently Rothkugel had a failure on a 20 acre experimental tract in 1906 because of birds and squirrels getting most of his broadcast seeds. In 1907 instead of broadcasting seeds his workers spot planted groups of seeds about six feet apart. His goal was to plant about 60 % Spruce and 40 % Larch with occasional strips of Black Locust to discourage grazing by sheep and cattle. The Spruce and Larch seeds were obtained from Josef Janwein’s Seed House in Tunsbruck, Tyrol. The Black Locust seeds from Willadaen Nursery in Warsaw, Ky.

Apparently several years after its establishment fire got into the stand and the young seedlings may have been reduced to 25% of their original coverage. The area burnt soon had blackberries and were much appreciated by the local population but was soon followed by native hardwoods. In the area I covered the crown canopy was at most 25 percent Spruce/Larch. I did not notice any Black locust or any reproduction of Spruce or Larch. The USFS acquired the stand in 1924. Driving along the highways near the little towns of Durbin, Frank, Bartow and Thornwood one cannot help but notice a number of Spruce and Larch trees about the same age decorating people’s yards and fence rows which may have affected the survival rate in the plantation.
I had the privilege of visiting Buckland State Forest in Massachusetts with some ENTS to see a Spruce/Larch plantation. My impression is that the Massachusetts site has better moisture conditions and a deeper, richer soil. If the Massachusetts site is a CCC plantation it means it had to be planted after 1933 which would make it at least 26 years younger than the Rothkugel Plantation. The spruce there are pushing 140 -150’ with at least one measured slightly over 150’. The Rothkugel is pushing 125-135’ range although I believe we may find a few 140’ trees. The big difference between the stands was the vigor of the Larch at Buckland. I believe some of them are approaching 150’. I did not see any Larches in Rothkugel in a dominant crown position and most look sickly. I would be surprised to find one at 110’. It would be nice to get a confirmed age of the Buckland State Forest stand.

More information may be found in the Forest Quarterly, Volume VI published by the New York State College of Forestry in 1908. It may be found at the following link:

On pages 40-46 is an article by Max Rothkugel titled Management of Spruce and Hemlock Land in West Virginia.
Additional information may be found in a publication titled 50 Year History of the Monongahela National Forest. Pertinent information is found in chapter 6, page 44. The rest of the publication makes interesting reading as it covers the early years of the National Forest. It may be found at the following link:

Turner Sharp
by tsharp
Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:01 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

South Jersey's wild Bald Cypress

A couple weeks ago a Youtube friend of mine went on an expedition to find the only known Bald Cypress tree in New Jersey believed to have NOT been planted by man. I had given him instructions based on what I had read in two different books.
Here is his report, with many pictures:

Meanwhile, today was forecast to be sunny with a perfect sky. When I got up in the morning, I found that to be true, so I headed out on a road trip, which was to include a search for the cypress. After arriving at the Beaver Swamp Wildlife Management area in Cape May County, I studied my map and the instructions I had gotten from my books, and then went into the woods. I found the tree in 10 minutes or so. Once I knew where it was, I could see it from almost everywhere, including where I parked my car. I did not measure it. At the time I was thinking that I had measured it in the past. But I'm not sure now. Witmer Stone's book from 1910 says it's 55 feet tall with a circumference of 7' 4 1/2". The other book I have is from the 1980s and says it's "about 60 feet tall and 5 feet in circumference". Of course the tree didn't get smaller over a 73 year period! I believe it's at least as big as the 1910 measurement.

The trees I saw at Beaver Swamp were Pitch Pine, Loblolly Pine, American Beech, White Oak, Black Oak, Spanish Oak, Willow Oak, American Holly, Sweetgum, Atlantic White Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar and Swamp (Red) Maple. I think there is also Sourgum, Virginia Pine and Scarlet Oak there, but I wasn't 100% sure if I saw any.

My Youtube account has 9 recently-uploaded slideshows of photos I took on recent hikes. Later tonight or tomorrow I will make a slideshow of my little hike in Beaver Swamp and upload that to Youtube. But right now it isn't there. .

by Barry Caselli
Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:25 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: NPR-Radio Times -1 Million New Trees in Philadelphia by

Dear NTS,

NYC is running a similar initiative. They are around 1/2 a million trees:

A guest to our lab told us about it sometime last spring. She thought it would be one of Mayor Bloomberg's major legacies. You will only see his name towards the end of the major sponsors in small print. But our guest made it clear he quietly made this a personal project. Apparently he has been well schooled in the economic value of urban trees (and takes climate change seriously). One of these USFS programs drove the point home for Mayor Bloomberg.

It will be great when these cities become re-treed!.

by Neil
Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:50 am
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Re: NPR-Radio Times -1 Million New Trees in Philadelphia by

Great news for Philly. I lived in town for many years, and although Philly has great parks like Wissahickon Creek and Rittenhouse Square, I always felt the street could have a better canopy. I live in Baltimore now - we have an organization, Tree Baltimore, promoting the proliferation of our urban canopy. Some fun facts: Baltimore has about 27% tree canopy, about 2.8 million trees. We also have 43% hard surfaces, and 19% grassland. American forests suggests a canopy coverage of 40%, so rough math suggests we need to plant about 1.4 million trees to reach that target.
by MickR
Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:06 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

North Bend State Park, WV

I visited North Bend State Park near Cairo, Ritchie County, WV on December 19th and 22nd 2011 to do some tree measuring and make myself scarce for Christmas shopping duties. This time I targeted some bottom land along the North Fork of Hughes River. Access was along the Connector Trail leading from the park to Tunnel #13 on the North Bend Rail Trail near Cornwallis, WV

The Connector Trail follows the river right (descending) side of the river and was originally a spur line from the Main B&O main line. It is about a mile long and is at an elevation of 690’. The bottom land varies in width from 30 to 200 yards wide and prior to a dam being constructed a few miles upstream flooded almost every year. Prior to the park being established in 1950 this was in pasture/cropland.

My goal was to walk along the trail until I got at least 10 species for a Rucker Index. I had to walk the entire mile to get eleven species. About 75 percent of the canopy is Sycamore (P. occidentalis) and Tuliptree (L. tulipifera) and were mostly in the 6-8’ girth range. An occasional larger girth tree was found near the river where it did not interfere with previous farming activities. There was a ¼ mile stretch where the stand density was high and the heights looked good. It was along this stretch I measured 15 Sycamores and 8 Tuliptrees over 130’ with the tallest Sycamore being 139.6’ and Tuliptree at 142.7’. Measuring heights from the trail was easy. It was about 10 above the bottom land level and thanks to a high deer population there was no ground clutter except for some Pawpaws. Several times I measured heights of 3-4 trees from one location. This required one to make sure to match the dbh and height to the appropriate tree. It was while measuring in this section that I took a couple of long laser shots of across the river of Sycamores with one coming in at 148.9’. On December 23rd I returned and hiked the Nature Trail down to verify this height and settled on 145.6’ which is a height record for WV. The two pictures below show this tree.
Photos by Turner Sharp 12/23/2011
17.6' x 145.6' x 105'

This tree beat the WV height record previously held by the Great Webster Sycamore which was measured by Will Blozan, Jess Riddle and Ron Busch in 2005 at 144.3’. It was toppled on a windy day in August 2010 after suffering a bout of arson.
The bottomland on this river left (descending) side was very narrow or nonexistent so was probably never totally cleared for farming. Large sycamores dotted the river bank downstream for quite a distance. Pictured below are two of them.

Sycamore Twin
Left 13.0' x 135.6', Right 13.3' x 135.2'

A fallen giant. Usually they fall in the river.
17.1' x ? The CBH was taken at 4 1/2' above root collar

The Rucker Height Index for this site is RH10= 102.3’. The entire list of tree measured may be found at:

Two species that are conspicuous in their absence are Cottonwood and River Birch
I had previously measured trees along the Giant Tree Trail in the park with a RH10 of 122.5. Combing the two data sets gives the park a RH10 of 125.6’

The original trip report is on the old Google Groups list.
And the full list of trees measured on that trip is listed in the Trees database at:

by tsharp
Fri May 25, 2012 6:35 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Fork Ridge Tuliptree intact after tornadic winds


Michael Davie sent an alarming note out a while back about a tordanic track near the site of the Fork Ridge Tuliptree, the current tallest eastern tree. Today I was not too far away and was able to zoom in to the tree from an overlook and it appears to be fine. I originally was looking in the wrong place and did not see the tree but when I was able to access photos from last year I see it is indeed alive and well.

Great news!!!!!!

There is a good chance Steve Sillett and Marie Antoine ( The Wild Trees ; by Richard Preston) will join NTS this fall for a 3D modeling of this tree. Now we know it is there so...

by Will Blozan
Sun May 27, 2012 8:05 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Elder's Grove, in Paul Smith's NY

twisted crack.jpg tree goddess.jpg looking up.jpg results of microburst, 7-22-12.jpg I went to the 1675 Grove, or the Elder's Grove, in Paul Smith's NY on July 28, 2012. We lost one of the big ones during last week's microburst. The rest of the trees are standing tall and looking very impressive. I love how the canopy in that grove has two levels- normal second growth level and then the OMG level. I have pictures of some of the tall trees in the grove, a picture of myself with the enormous snag, only a few days old, and a photo of some sort of tree nymph who I ran into on the way.
The directions to the grove can be accessed with a google search for elders grove, and an article from Adirondack Life comes up.

I know that there are trees in the MTSF that are taller, and the tall ones are more numerous, but the 1675 grove has a gnarly factor that is hard to match. Some well weathered yellow birches are a bonus, not big, but obviously old and really cool. There is also at least one old growth maple that's right up there with some of the other old growth maples I've seen-Gifford Woods or the Syracuse witness tree.
by adam.rosen
Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:15 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

I spent the weekend exploring a small part of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. For the most part, it was more practice just wandering around the forest and developing an eye for trees and oddities in the forest. The rivers and creeks in the area are low this time of year as we await the fall and winter storms to arrive.
Above is a picture of the wonderful Eel River, with a view towards the Founder's Grove in the distance. To the left are logged hillsides with second or third generation redwoods.
One of the coolest parts of this particular trip for me was waking up in the middle of the night to frogs croaking and a full moon shining into the forest. Some of the redwoods can take on a white appearance. In the full moon, the white redwoods were glowing. For a minute, it looked like someone had set up a spotlight in the forest and shined the light upwards towards the canopy.
Despite seeing many people hiking the trails this weekend, it's still exciting to personally see incredible trees for the first time.
The redwood above was one of the largest I saw all day, right along the trail.
The redwood sprouts growing at the base of the trees are bright green this time of year. It seems that they are taking advantage of the summer sun to get some grow time in. I wanted to check on an albino that is growing in the park to see how it is doing. It looked like it usually does, no major new growths that I could see.
Other than that, another great outing in the redwood forest!
by Mark Collins
Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:22 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic

Ordway Pines, Norway ME Aug. 21, 2012

3 Great White Pines Ordway Pines 20120821 medium.jpg Tall Pines Ordway Pines Norway ME medium.jpg NTS,

Jack Howard and I visited this grove on this beautiful sunny day. Ordway Pines is featured in The Sierra Club Guide to the Ancient Forests of the Northeast, as the site of the greatest White Pines in Maine. This is a realistic claim, and Bob Leverett has measured a White Pine there to 152.5 ft. in 2006 or later, the tallest accurately measured tree in Maine. These huge towering White Pines are an awesome sight, soaring high into the sky far, far over our heads. We had to keep craning our necks to look up into the crowns so far above us.

The approach to this grove was quite unassuming, through an ordinary neighborhood, till we came to a sign saying “Ordway Grove” by a small dirt parking lot on Pleasant St. in Norway across from near the intersection of Pleasant St. with Maple St.

A trail leads into the grove, through a patch of Japanese Knotweed (I believe, called “Mexican Bamboo” in the site brochure). There are also native plants like New England Aster, which was starting to bloom. The trail enters the grove by an old stone wall, by which a large Red Oak grows. So far not very impressive. But go a few steps up the trail and the great Pines appear, seeming to be impossibly tall, far taller and larger than the Bowdoin Pines. These were the largest and tallest trees we saw on our New England trip.

There are not very many of these great White Pines, maybe 20 or 30 trees, in densely packed groups. The big Pine area covers about 2 or 3 acres of the 9-acre Ordway Grove. The big Pines are easily over 200 years old, with the oldest possibly 300 years old or more. They have rough bark to high in the canopy, rugged old windswept crowns as typical of great old growth White Pines. The area where the old Pines grow has classic old growth characteristics like snags, coarse woody debris (old downed logs in varying states of decay), pit and mound topography, various types of Fungi. The rest of the Ordway Grove is mainly 2nd growth.

White Pine is the dominant tree in the oldest part of Ordway Grove. Associate trees include Hemlock (some big trees), Beech, Yellow Birch, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Striped Maple, Red Oak.

I measured several trees, and due to difficulties in seeing the tops, as trees are in leaf, could not see the highest points of the trees. Hence, the heights listed here are lower than the actual heights of the trees.

Trees measured:

White Pine 135 ft. +
White Pine straight up shot at least 120 ft. to lower crown, 32.4” dbh, this tree next to White Pine snag
White Pine in group of 3 tall White Pines, straight up shot, at least 135 ft. into crown
White Pine 140.4 ft. by Ice Road Trail, snag next to this tree
White Pine 143 ft. in same group
White Pine 141.7 ft. in same group
White Pine 128.2 ft.
White Pine 37.5” dbh, rough bark to lofty height
White Pine 137.2 ft. fairly slender
White Pine 132 ft. in group of 3
White Pine 141.5 ft. across Main Trail from biggest White Pine
White Pine 140 ft. + (could not see top, tree taller), 48” dbh, biggest tree in grove, biggest tree seen on New England trip
White Pine about 120 ft. at edge of younger White Pine group
Red Oak 31.9” dbh, by Main Trail

After reluctantly leaving this glorious grove, Jack and I continued west toward New Hampshire, on our way back to North Syracuse. The route west, on ME route 117 to US route 302 toward New Hampshire, went through some very beautiful country, with low mountains, lakes with shores lined with tall White Pines. Along the roads were seemingly countless groves of tall fragrant rough-barked White Pines well over 100 ft. tall. It was an enchantingly beautiful drive, and towns like Bridgton, ME, Fryeburg, ME are filled with big tall White Pines. Large picturesque Pitch Pines are mixed among the White Pines in some places.

We pulled off of Rt. 302 in Bridgton (to get a tail gating truck off our back), and stumbled across beautiful Shorey Park by Highland Lake. In this park was a grove of tall White Pines rising out of a lawn, and I measured an average one, no taller than its neighbors, to a height of 124.4 ft. There are White Pines like this everywhere in this western part of Maine.

I am enclosing 2 pictures of the Ordway Pines taken by Jack Howard with his cellphone camera.

Tom Howard
by tomhoward
Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:13 pm
Jump to forum
Jump to topic