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White Pine portrait

This is an eastern Massachusetts white pine that I visited recently. It's not particularly outstanding in height or CBH but it is a gem in its piece of woods.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4037/4465650727_5e79822b54_b.jpg

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http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2796/4465658465_95562d05b8_b.jpg

The entire photo set

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA
by AndrewJoslin
Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:31 pm
 
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Concord Mass. 130' white pine 4/11/10

Ok, the former king has been deposed, the tallest eastern Mass. 130' white in Northboro has been demoted to 125.2. Luckily Doug Bidlack suggested measuring a big white pine in Hapgood Wright Town Forest, Concord, Mass. Doug had measured it at 129' maybe a year and a half ago (Doug can provide details). We visited and measured the tree this morning, my best height was 130.35, I believe Doug got 130.5 from another angle. An interesting tree and certainly the most impressive I've set eyes on in eastern Mass. The CBH is 12.675', it's a single trunk up maybe 25 feet and then divides into 3 massive trunks. The tree stands alone in a wet area with a slope on one side. When I say alone I mean it's the only tree of significant magnitude in the area. There are no white pine near it, the ridge on one side is well populated with hemlock and a smattering of red oak.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2007/4512706967_0712f955af_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2341/4512709005_e6a60364ac_b.jpg

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Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA
by AndrewJoslin
Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:34 pm
 
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Remotely setting an SRT traverse

This is a technique I've been working on to remotely set a single rope (SRT) traverse from one tree to another. This can be a very handy technique for research climbs. In the video I use a homemade slingshot attached to my foot to throw an 8 oz weight trailing a throwline to another tree. The slingshot allows me to make a relatively flat trajectory throw compared to the big arc you get hand-throwing. The other advantage is the slingshot will throw an 8oz bag 50-60 feet horizontally. Once the bag is over a limb I demonstrate a technique called the "Dangle" to send a small grappling hook over to the destination tree to retrieve the throwbag. Once I have the other end of the throwline back I can set my climbing rope to traverse over to the second tree.

Note: For the traverse shown in the video I went out on the line first with a safety tether to test the soundness of the setup before crossing over. Safety first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63_nLZchBpo

As it turns out this is an eastern Massachusetts white pine that I recently measured to be 126' and reported to the ENTS mailing list. When I shot the video I didn't realize the tree was quite that tall. During the video I estimated I was in the 75-85' range doing the traverse test, as it turns out I was more in the 100+ foot range. Doesn't really matter though except to point out that height estimates without benefit of accurate measuring technique can be waay off.
-AJ

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA
by AndrewJoslin
Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:46 pm
 
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Giant sequoia seedlings

I brought back a few sequoia cones from my recent west coast visit, intending them as a gift for my wife Meg. It was interesting watching the cones as they dried out and opened up, then deposited small dark and glassy granules (dried pitch) and many seeds. I planted the seeds in a smallish window box and voila, I have mini-sequoias. Apparently John Muir made ink from the cone pitch/granules. It's known as a very high quality ink, his journals written with sequoia ink remain legible to this day.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4704151122_c938c4757f_b.jpg

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More photos

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA
by AndrewJoslin
Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:42 pm
 
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Re: Thoughts on Art and Photography

Gaines, a very moving account of your encounter with Pollack's work. You're very much on the right track with: "Some theories of art include the idea that the artist doesn't assume complete control, but that he allows for the "powers" inherent the materials he uses to express themselves". I think it will be productive for you to approach capturing imagery of the forest with the same spirit that you approached Pollack's painting. In other words it's a two-way street, you bring your knowledge and perspective to the forest, and with camera in hand remain open to what the forest offers. To paraphrase Matisse, "Inspiration comes while working". My recommendation would be get into the woods and put in the time snapping photos, as you review your photos I think you'll start to see a direction developing. It may not be what you expect, that's the fun part.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:30 pm
 
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Winter climbing Connecticut tulip poplars

On Saturday, Jan. 8 I had the opportunity to climb with a group of New England tree climbers along a river in Norwalk, Connecticut. A friend from the area located a nice stand of mature tulip poplar mixed with red oak and hickory (don't know the species). The tulips were good sized, the tallest 135.2, here's a climber on the trunk, gives a sense of the girth (I didn't get the CBH) pretty decent for a forest grown tulip in New England.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5129/5337727444_d9b56b9907_b.jpg

My friend Ian didn't seem to understand that we were not climbing in the summer
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5008/5337729602_2aa48e7be1_b.jpg

We set up a traverse line between two tulips, I'm going across at approx. 110'
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5047/5342824046_d6746ea234_b.jpg

Everyone after the climb
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5129/5337738496_4ee5826145_b.jpg

-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:44 pm
 
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Re: QR Codes for labeling trees

I think we're talking about different use scenarios, in an arboretum or well visited area aesthetics are key. If there is signage of some kind, a small QR label could be part of the signage. For wild forest locations a QR code could be very small and placed with subtlety.

I'm not particularly advocating the use of QR Codes on trees (it's too much like a bar code on a cereal box) but I did want to bring it to folks attention as an option to explore and consider. From a research point of view it could be very useful.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:49 pm
 
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Northern California redwoods visit

I had the opportunity to visit redwood groves in Northern California recently with my wife Meg celebrating out 25th wedding anniversary. We we were not disappointed! First day there we were guided by the able and enthusiastic old-growth fan Mario Vaden. Mario showed us some of his favorite spots in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, such a variety of superb trees! I think you could go in there blind-folded and encounter one great tree after another but with Mario leading the way the trees were (as ENTS are fond of saying) off the charts!

The next day Meg and I explored Jedediah Smith Redwoods Park on our own, Mario gave a us a nudge in the right direction. Again, I think just about any trail in Jedediah is going to provide a great experience of PNW old-growth. Jedediah knocked our socks off, the super quiet green world rainforest left our jaws semi-permanently slack. The terrain reminded me of Mohawk, the kind of woods I like with steep slopes holding bigger trees nearer the bottom where the creeks run.

My Nikon 440 and clinometer were pretty much useless, for most big trees to sight the top meant losing the base, I think the TruePulse rules in this habitat.

Some redwood forest eye-candy for you...

Passage to another world (no exaggeration)
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6159/6242010450_cac068d6e5_b.jpg

Meg embraced by a big one
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6221/6241993344_c0cc1f4965_b.jpg

Counting rings, I gave up, outer third of the cross-section has extremely tight rings, probably 500 - 800 year-old "sprout"
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6175/6242031132_3b4595d2c9_b.jpg

Epic cathedral structure
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6056/6241482201_8254680a80_b.jpg

View of the same cathedral
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6042/6241480567_3694f723a3_b.jpg

Meg at the base of a twin giant
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6119/6241514193_8494a20e2d_b.jpg

Many thanks to Mario for meeting us and taking us into the woods,
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:20 pm
 
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Re: Hemlocks Still Abundant Despite Adelgid Infestation

Everything I've seen and everything I know up to now tells me that there will be total wipeout of mid-aged and mature Eastern and Carolina Hemlock in its range. The only limitation on HWA is low enough average winter temperatures, parts of northeastern U.S and Canada have a reprieve for now. There may be some limitation where HWA can't reach geographically isolated hemlock populations, but I think that's a fringe case. As we've discussed in the past imported beetles have failed miserably. One of the big issues identified is that that the eastern hemlock's release of defensive turpenoid compounds are out of sync with adelgid breeding cycles. Imported Asian beetles that feed on HWA cannot do it on their own (if they could sustain their populations) the tree has to be able to participate in controlling HWA.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:15 pm
 
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Tall eastern Mass. quaking aspen

Sorry to tantalize but I found a superb quaking aspen in a small grove of same species in the Fowl Meadow area of the Blue Hills Reservation. It looks to be in the high 70's low 80 foot range. I will return at the earliest opportunity to measure. This area of woods just east of the Fowl Meadow marsh is proving to contain some nice trees, nothing to stop your heart but a good species mix and height/volume for far eastern Massachusetts woods.
-Andrew
by AndrewJoslin
Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:53 pm
 
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Re: Trees at the 9/11 Memorial

Congrats on catching Freddy the 9/11 Memorial pigeon!
by AndrewJoslin
Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:54 pm
 
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Re: Devil's Den Preserve, Redding, CT

RyanLeClair wrote:I'll almost certainly be along for the ride, too. Also, if anyone is interested there is a ~6 ft. DBH red oak at nearby Fairfield University.


We'll look at everything interesting, time permitting. Looking forward to getting together with the ENTS!
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:18 pm
 
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Re: What are these eggs?

It's a salamander species, don't know which one. They appear (in the video and as you mentioned) to be in a pool in a fast running stream which should narrow it down some. The aquatic breeding salamanders in my area (eastern Mass.) like quiet vernal pools to lay eggs. I wonder if they are Hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis eggs. Hellbender likes swift water stream habitat.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:02 am
 
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Re: Pinus strobus in Meshomasic State Forest

Will, unfortunately I have not done any canopy recordings; I have never been to the heights at which you do much of your work, although some day would love to try. In the hemlock soundscape I recorded, I noted that all the sonic action was all taking in the upper canopy - a shame I could not be up there - and I am absolutely sure the sounds must be amazing, as you can attest with your experience. So, all of my soundscape recording is being done at ground level.

I'm sure we can make that happen for you, let's make a plan to get you up into the canopy, we have some very good tree climbers in New England to help support the effort. I think it would be a worthy NTS project to get you up into the white pine canopy to record. Some of the sites with magnificent trees are isolated enough that we can keep human generated sound to a minimum.
-Andrew
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:32 pm
 
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White pine climb with Michael Gatonska

I met with Michael today to introduce him to rope and harness tree climbing technique. The goal is to enable Michael to do some wind and tree sound recordings in the forest canopy and to prepare him to climb and make recordings for a future NTS event. We hiked in to woods east of Hartford CT and found a fine old white pine in a grove by a small river. As we started setting ropes a dog barked off in the woods which triggered an unusual mid-day Barred Owl duet. After Michael made an impressive 65' or so ascent using single rope technique we re-pitched up a little higher and set up equipment to do some test recordings. The weather cooperated and some gentle gusts came in creating a nice sway in the trunk and the soft wooshing sounds characteristic of wind in white pine. A newly arrived spring migrant Pine Warbler visited and hopped around the limbs near us, not too bothered by our presence. Eventually and reluctantly we returned to the ground and enjoyed another round of Barred Owl calling back and forth as we took the ropes down. Michael's a natural in a tree, I think we're off to good start exploring the New England forest canopy soundscape.

We have lift-off!
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/6906181140_74426fb5f5_b.jpg

Look down from 65' or so
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5032/6906182318_e65957d95b_b.jpg

Taking in canopy space
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5447/7052272557_759066e926_b.jpg

Descending out of the tree
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7228/6906184628_aebf01854e_b.jpg

Touch down, congrats on a great first climb!
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5331/6906185776_03e3b7df95_b.jpg

Base of the trunk detail
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7185/7052276103_5c2d2526e7_b.jpg

Trout Lily on the edge of the white pine grove
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5112/6906189006_563e47f117_b.jpg

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, MA
by AndrewJoslin
Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:11 pm
 
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Re: White pine climb with Michael Gatonska

Glad it worked out so well, looking forward to the next climb and more canopy recording sessions!
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:47 am
 
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Windy white pine climb

I recently videotaped a climb on a white pine in eastern Massachusetts. Purpose of the climb beyond the enjoyment of going into the woods and getting some time aloft was to document my technical processes climbing a white pine. As it turned out it was quite a windy day and the video captured some of what it's like high in a conifer with strong gusts. Tree is a single trunk that divides approximately at 35' into three leaders, each of which reaches up into the 105-110' range. This is typical height range for mature white pine in a grove within 5-7 miles of the coast. A few that close to the ocean get over 120' but not many.

https://vimeo.com/41220504
(pardon the poor sound quality)

Interesting dead limb structure, looks like a witches broom, it's at the end of a long down curving limb. There's another limb sprouting out the witches broom which arcs up and is quite long. Looking at it in the tree it took me a little bit to figure out what was what, at first it didn't look like it was connected to the tree. I wish I could've seen the witches broom while it was still alive.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8014/7128796087_3ff6e26f44_b.jpg

Base of the trunk (believe it's in the 11' CBH range, have temporarily misplaced my measuring record book)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7104/7128782491_02bb3a9afd_b.jpg

Crown view
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7138/6982706032_94df191953_b.jpg

Nice old American beech nearby
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7048/6982712740_e9e5739807_b.jpg

-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:34 pm
 
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Re: Windy white pine climb

Andrew-
Maybe we can spend a day (or two) and collaborate on this? just a thought - a bit of filming of your techniques and process of climbing (which maybe I could film you with some bits of your commentary!) of getting up into the canopy, and then a bit of sound recording while we are up there? Does your Sony camera have an external mic input? If not, I am sure we can manage something.

This way you wont have the camera on your helmet; at least not all the time - and we could actually map out creative process from bottom to top for both ends, if this sounds like we could get some descent resutls?

That sounds good. Unfortunately no external mic jack on the camera. At any rate we should climb again and see what we can come up with. Maybe a week from this Friday or whenever your schedule allows. So many layers of birdsong in woods now, a new element to work with.

Also I think a tree hammock needs to be installed for recording upper canopy sounds so you can be comfortable/quiet while the mic is running, we can set that up.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Thu May 10, 2012 7:05 pm
 
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Thoreau Tree recording session

On July 14, 2012 composer and NTS member Michael Gatonska joined me to hike to the Thoreau Tree with the goal of making arboreal recordings in the area of Dunbar Brook/northern Berkshires. With high humidity and temperatures predicted to be in the low 90's f. we had our work cut out for us. As many NTS know Michael has been recording wind sounds associated with various tree species. Our hope was to ascend the emergent Thoreau Tree and pick up some wind above the deciduous forest canopy. As it turned out what little wind there was died by the time we were in position to record. I think the trip was not wasted, Michael continues to improve his climbing skills and showed great determination in hot conditions to make a 100' ascent to reach the lower crown of the tree. Those who've visited the tree know it is no slouch, Thoreau has the magnitude of a PNW conifer. I'm surprised again each time I have the privilege to visit this very impressive white pine.

Instead of wind we enjoyed a chorus of bird calls emanating from the Dunbar Brook valley. Perhaps hundreds of vireos of several species calling at once, black-throated blue and black-thoated green warbler were calling from near the tree, hermit thrush, wood thrush and scarlet tanager were also playing their parts. Beneath the avian chorus the soft rumbling purr of Dunbar Brook far below us provided a soothing rhythm section. Words can't do it justice, I'm looking forward to hearing what Michael captured.

A glimpse of Thoreau's 153'+ top, Michael spotted it first
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8145/7569248410_247e09cdcd_b.jpg

Michael at the base of the tree. Note the remains of a formerly up slope sugar maple that snapped at the butt and crashed down next to Thoreau
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8151/7569259976_132a6ce944_b.jpg

The mighty trunk, the first live limbs on this side of the tree are in the 110' height range
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8167/7569251658_9ba3a4bd41_b.jpg

Young beeches at the base of Thoreau
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7116/7569255542_cb4531668f_b.jpg

Resting and rehydrating after 100' ascent
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8011/7569262734_26776ed075_b.jpg

Recording. Deer flies, blackflies and mosquitos stayed with us in the tree so we had to give blood while we limited movement and noise during recording, well worth it though.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8434/7569272944_84c0cc0761_b.jpg

-Andrew Joslin
by AndrewJoslin
Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:33 pm
 
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NPR program about champion tree measurers

Heard this today on the NPR (National Public Radio) program "Living on Earth"

http://www.loe.org/shows/shows.html?programID=12-P13-00036

Scroll down to the last show entry "Trees".

trees.mp3


-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:03 am
 
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Re: Beginner Tree Climbing certifications

Nice going Eli, looking forward to climbing with you some day.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 pm
 
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Hapgood Wright white pine remeasured 3/22/13

I revisited the Hapgood Wright white pine on Friday 3/22/13. I made two measurements from roughly opposite sides and got the following:

1. 131.6'
2. 131.1'

I think the slightly taller measurement is good, maybe Doug Bidlack can revisit and see what he gets.

For CBH I got 12.8'.

Measurements from April 11, 2010:
12.69' girth
130.16' tall

After an excellent lunch of fish tacos in Concord center I returned to the tree and put a line in to go up and take a look around. What's impressive is there was no major crown damage from the series of severe storms that have hit the area in the last 3 years since Doug and I measured it. The tree is a beast! It stands alone above everything else on the site, takes what nature gives it and shrugs. There is a tree covered ridge just to the south which no doubt has helped this tree maintain its height. At the top of the tallest leader the trunk is quite substantial, not the graceful tapering spires you'll see in the tallest western Massachusetts white pine. It's clear the top has broken many times over the years, the topmost trunk changes to a 45 degree angle very similar to Thoreau in Monroe State Forest. I was happy NOT to be doing a tape drop measurement, the wind was up enough that there was quite a bit of movement, I did not want to explore the last 15-20' to the very top.

The impressive trunk flare is concealed by snow
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8584300262_6d06036fe7_b.jpg

Mighty trunk
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8584300778_23114f7989_b.jpg

Great crown spread near the top, the center leader is the tallest.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8525/8583200943_ec70d6f346_b.jpg

Tied in on the last 15' or so to the top
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8584307108_b42bea3dce_b.jpg

View from the top looking north over mostly red maple in a wetland
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8584307980_2e9f07917d_b.jpg

All the photos from the visit

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
by AndrewJoslin
Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:43 pm
 
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Re: More Troubling News about Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Yep, it's too bad that the stuff is so heavily overused n agriculture, doesn't help the highly targeted use on hemlock. Nobody in politics or public policy likes subtlety and gray areas.

With hemlocks going out of the ecosystem I worry about the bird species that depend on them. In winter black-capped chickadee does a lot of foraging on hemlock cones. On the ground ruffed grouse takes shelter under hemlocks when snow cover is deep and they feed on cones/seed on the ground. In eastern Massachusetts black-throated warbler nests primarily in eastern hemlock. Last 5 years BT warbler is pretty much gone from my local woods as the hemlocks severely declined. Never mind all the other ways hemlocks help the local ecosystems, for one keeping small brooks and streams shaded and cool, makes the trout and other stream inhabitants happy.

There could be issues with any of these co-related birds and fish being effected by treatments for adelgids. It's a wash anyway since the hemlock as a viable ecosystem component is on the way out. Their "dependents" will suffer much more from the loss.
-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:01 pm
 
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Subjective view of the Sequoia old-growth

I recently finished editing a montage of video and photographs from a visit to the Sierra National Forest in April 2010. The purpose of the video is to communicate a subjective sensory/emotional view of the Sierra Nevada old-growth, enjoy:
https://vimeo.com/66697211

-AJ
by AndrewJoslin
Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:59 pm
 
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