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American Chestnuts, Pepperell, MA

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. Bear with my while I try to figure out all of the bells and whistles.

I found two mature American chestnut trees behind my house in Pepperell, MA. These are not the average scrawny root sprouts. I figured I'd share with everyone since there is a dearth of material on American chestnuts on this site.

The two trees are full-sized and appear to be from new seeds, rather than from shoots. The larger tree has a girth of 26 inches; the smaller is 17 inches. I haven't measured their heights but I think they are both in the 40-45 foot range and are blight free. This entire area is filled with chestnuts of varying sizes but these two are by far the largest. I have already contacted The American Chestnut Foundation about them.

You can see a bunch of pictures here:

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0Bw1ZerQEvrM0NUwzZENCcEdQeDg/edit

I also uploaded an attachment of the larger tree. I'm trying to figure out the gallery situation.

The larger one dropped burs in September; the smaller one did not flower because it's under canopy. Since I only discovered them in late June, I don't have pictures of the flowers. This fall I was only able to find one viable seed on the forest floor; most of the seeds were sterile. I'll plant it in a pot next spring.

I'm confident that TACF will reintroduce blight-resistant chestnuts into the wild in the coming decade. They have made a lot of progress in the last 35 years to bring back this iconic tree. The Redwoods of the East will rise again.

Hope you enjoy.

Eric
by EMorgan
Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:08 am
 
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Re: Freakin Big Oak, MA

Just moved to Arizona so I couldn't check on the tree after Sandy. It did survive a direct hit from a microburst in July 2008. That storm took out a nearby 125 year old oak as well as some historic Sunderland trees across the river (and some of Whately).
by EMorgan
Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:00 am
 
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Skull Valley Cottonwood, etc., AZ

Hello,

I moved to Arizona from Massachusetts a few weeks ago. I now live in Flagstaff, at the foot of Mount Elden. Upon arrival, I immediately began my big tree searches. Since, this entire area was logged in the late 1800s/early 1900s, there aren't many large trees left. The large trees that are left in Flagstaff are mostly Ponderosa pines.

I expanded my search outward and learned that a former national champion cottonwood tree died in Patagonia, AZ. See the article http://azstarnet.com/news/science/environment/landmark-southern-arizona-cottonwood-tree-topples/article_6b999e0e-fe7b-58f2-957e-beb067789306.html .

It fell literally 2 days before I arrived. However, the reigning champion cottonwood tree is alive and well in Skull Valley, AZ, about 20 miles southwest of Prescott. First, if you want to see some pictures of the tree go to my GMail drive: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0Bw1ZerQEvrM0YnhYUWFKcVNOWjA/edit
It's a colossus. The official measurements are in the Register of Big Trees. I didn't measure it today. Twas a family outing, and my kids are too young to wait around for me to measure it. The measurements are here:
http://www.americanforests.org/bigtree/populus-fremontii-ssp-fremontii-3/
It was hard to find, because nowhere are its coordinates stated. Here they are:
Latitude: 34°30'42.60"N
Longitude: 112°40'55.23"W
I found it on Google Earth using the picture from the AZ Star article. Technology is amazing. Oh, and BTW, this is the largest flowering plant in North America!

The GMail folder includes another cottonwood that was located nearby (1 pic). It looked to be roughly in the 35' circumference range. Also, there are some pictures of another giant that I may nominate, if I get the time and the equipment. It's the one near the bench.

Enjoy,

e
by EMorgan
Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:15 am
 
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Re: LIDAR

UMass Amherst has at least one LIDAR for measuring wind speeds. It's housed at the Wind Energy Center. Last I checked, it wasn't being used. They might be interested in getting it up and running again...

e
by EMorgan
Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:50 pm
 
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Re: Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant

You might also check out Design in Nature by Adrian Bejan. He's a giant in thermodynamics (Duke University) and has some interesting things to say:
http://www.amazon.com/Design-Nature-Constructal-Technology-Organization/dp/0385534612
by EMorgan
Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:27 pm
 
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Re: "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math"

@ Edward Frank

My main point was that using the statistics of a coin flip is a bad way to discuss weather. The corollary was that the stated size of the number was also misleading.

The "coin flip" approach was also used in Wunderground.com:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2149

Master's was forced to acknowledge that, by assuming uncorrelated months, he only found the LEAST likely odds; it lit up the blogs and drew unnecessary attention to denialism. If statistics are to be used, use them properly, or all information will be suspect. Statistics appear to be the main approach that the "deniers" use to gain entry into the minds of the masses.

The "deniers" are sophisticated and attack McKibben and any others in their way. On occasion, they land punches, and heavy ones at that. If you haven't familiarized yourself with them, check out:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/

Some posts are actually amusing, and offer some hope. Here's one from a Duke University professor. Can't argue with thermo:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/

Boy he destroys the deniers in the comments. It's great. Know thy enemy.

The larger point is that the scientific debate regarding climate change must continue. If it does not, then science itself is at risk. Science, by definition, is never settled, and climate science is no exception. Some of the "deniers" actually have interesting things to contribute, and shouldn't be lumped into one pool. Consider Richard Lindzen of MIT, as an example. He's considered a thorn in the side of climate science, yet he raises interesting, nuanced questions. Writing off scientists of his caliber is dangerous and shortsighted. The politicization of climate change is unfortunate because the dialog and debate is stifled. There are important questions that need to be answered: how does the ocean affect the climate; what about sun spots, etc? We don't know the answers to these questions, and we need to. That's the bottom line.

Eric
by EMorgan
Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:02 pm
 
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