Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

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#1)  Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

Postby bailey » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:53 pm

My family has a 40 acre agriculture farm in Milmay, NJ.   15 acres of this is swamp and bogs butted up against the Game Preserve.  There is two small groves with very big and gnarly looking blueberry bushes, one is on the edge of our property, another grove is on the game preserve near where the Tuckahoe River first starts surfacing, possibly more hidden since the briers are prolific in these woods.
The man my dad bought the farm from in the 70s was born in this house in 1917 said these bushes were big when he was little.  That always stuck in my mind as a kid and now I am middle age.  Does anyone know how long blueberry bushes can live or how to estimate age?  Most information I find says 50-100 years, but are referring to cultivated blueberries, not wild ones.  
I have gone to Whitesbog to see the blueberry bushes that were planted there in the 1930s and they were large but nowhere near as thick at the base or as tall, but I am also assuming the Whitesbog blueberries have gone through years and years of pruning and other endured human endeavors.   These blueberry bushes, I counted 9 of considerable size are in a very boggy soil and all within about 50 feet of each other, the only other thing that grows well in this spot is moss.
Any help in guidance on dating these or information about known old blueberry bushes would be greatly appreciated.
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#2)  Re: Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

Postby Larry Tucei » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:06 pm

Wow-   By far the largest Blueberry Bushes I've ever seen. I would cut one of the larger limbs near ground level and count the rings. If I had to guess I would say 75-100 years or more. Larry
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#3)  Re: Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

Postby bailey » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:27 am

Thanks Larry, appreciate it.  It would be nice to know if these are over a 100 or not but I can't bring myself to hack on these at all.  I am surprised I have not been able to find any pictures of confirmed 100+ year old blueberries that I can compare these with.
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#4)  Re: Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

Postby mdvaden » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:00 am

When leave grow, you could look for a large dead stem and cut that to cut rings.

Otherwise, you could get an increment boring tool and go half way through a couple of big stems or go all the way through and cut the ring count in half. I don't think boring would be detrimental.
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#5)  Re: Any idea on age of these Blueberry bushes?

Postby Barry Caselli » Wed May 04, 2016 5:05 pm

I can't really answer your question, but I have seen similar looking Blueberry bushes here in Mullica Township. Since I first discovered them I have wondered how old they are, and I also have been curious of how long they can live.
               
                       
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