one last visit to the great oak

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#1)  one last visit to the great oak

Postby tclikesbigtrees » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:14 pm

Someone had posted a link to an article that the Basking Ridge Presbyterian oak was dying. I had been to see the great oak a few times. Since it was reported that it was dying, I wanted to see it one more time before it was gone forever. Yesterday my son and I went to see it. It was worse then I had thought. It looks about 2/3 or more dead. I would think that maybe in about a year, it will be completely dead. Who knows? I know that trees die, but that one just seems special. The church without the great oak wont be the same. It is part of its history. The cemetery looks cool with the tree in it also. I attached some photos to see what it looks like now.

Tom
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#2)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby adam.rosen » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:08 pm

I was there in October, in town for a funeral, but that Oak called my family for a visit and we all paid our respects.

Ever heard this saying:  Oak trees live 600 years, 300 to grow, and another 300 to die.  She's dying slowly.
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#3)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby KoutaR » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:56 am

adam.rosen wrote:Ever heard this saying:  Oak trees live 600 years, 300 to grow, and another 300 to die.


In Europe the saying is: oak spends 300 years growing, 300 years resting and 300 years declining.

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#4)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby Jeroen Philippona » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:46 am

I suppose this white oak will not die another 300 years. From historic documents it seems to be 500 - 600 years old. It could be that it is dying sooner than necessary because of pressure on the roots.  

I include a recent article on the age of oaks in Europe (Quercus robur and Q. petraea). From 10 big and old oaks growth in circumference was measured for up to 231 years.
These oaks have cbh now of between 7 and 12 meter (23 and 40 feet) and all are single trunked. From in total 50 oaks growth in girth was measured.
The results are combined with a theory on growth in younger phases of the trees.

The conclusions on the age of these oaks look rather reliabe to me. The 10 oaks are estimated between 411 and 907 years old.
In table 5 the girths of two oaks from Scotland and Ireland are copied wrongly from two other oaks in the table from Kent (England) and the Czech Republic, but the conclusions on the age are based on the real girths and growth measurements.
Still my experience is that growth during the first 200 years of a open grown oak can be somewhat faster than used for the growth curves here. Some single trunk Quercus robur and petraea have a cbh of over 6 metre (10 feet) within 200 years. But others are much slower, of course in closed forest stands but also on poorer soil conditions.

Jeroen
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#5)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby John Harvey » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:34 am

I put off seeing this tree for a while. In NJ the state seemed so large and a 2.5 hr drive seemed lengthy. Here, now, I'm driving 5-7hrs every other week to see a large tree or grove of trees. This tree really impressed me. Its location. Its form. Its girth... It really has everything a big tree lover or even a big tree could want. The rarity of something like this in the northeast can not be overstated. I didn't have the emotional connection to this tree I have to the Salem Oak or the Clement Oak but it is just as special as either tree. It's a legend and I'm so sad to see it go.
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#6)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby John Harvey » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:43 am

In a way it is a fitting tribute that so many human grave stones surround a tree that sprouted before the birth of the buried, and lived perhaps centuries past their deaths. I traced my family tree back to 500AD recently. I stood below a 2300yr old tree more recently and thought about the momentary nature of our existence.
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#7)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby tclikesbigtrees » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:32 am

Thank you John and the others for replying.  John, we also saw the Warren Kinney oak while we were up there. In the past, if I had known about it and that it was that close, I would have gone to see it.  Now that the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Oak is dying, the Warren Kinney is my favorite oak in New Jersey. It is quite a tree. It is something that there are two huge oaks within a couple miles of each other.

Tom

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#8)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby DougBidlack » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:42 am

Jeroen,

thank you for that nice paper.  There is some really good information in there.  I'm surprised that there aren't more papers like this.  Are you aware of any others for North America or any other part of the World?  Like you, I have noticed somewhat better growth among the white oaks of North America but my experience is quite limited to growing trees from seeds for no more than 20+ years and very few measurements of older trees.  I wonder about the impact of increased carbon dioxide on these more recent measurements.  I wonder if arboreta collect cookies when they cut trees down.  If they don't, they should as it would be a great resource for researchers.

Doug
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#9)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby Barry Caselli » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:11 am

tclikesbigtrees wrote:Thank you John and the others for replying.  John, we also saw the Warren Kinney oak while we were up there. In the past, if I had known about it and that it was that close, I would have gone to see it.  Now that the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Oak is dying, the Warren Kinney is my favorite oak in New Jersey. It is quite a tree. It is something that there are two huge oaks within a couple miles of each other.

Tom


I have never heard of this one!
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#10)  Re: one last visit to the great oak

Postby sradivoy » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:24 am

Here's a very nice tribute. I love the cultural dimension of this tree and the manner in which it brings people together in a small town from generation to generation. This "civilized" open grown tree had something that a wild tree can never have.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/peoplean ... spartanntp

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