NY Rucker Height Index

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ElijahW
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by ElijahW » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:25 pm

Erik,

You're welcome, and thank you for all of the work you've done.

Identifying and measuring small trees and shrubs was a goal I set last year. The smaller stuff still is a weak point for me. I rely heavily on guidebooks and Google and probably will for some time. The downside of all of the new species is the current length of my list. Like Bob always stresses, the more information you have, the more likely the case that things get lost or ignored.

Last year was probably the first since 2014 or 2015 that I didn't do any measuring in Zoar. I'll do my best to get there in 2020, but other things keep taking priority. I think 2020 holds lots of promise, especially for the under-measured species. Much work is left to do.

Elijah

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ElijahW
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by ElijahW » Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:37 pm

NTS,

I've attached abbreviated spreadsheets containing a list of NY's tallest known reliably measured trees at the end 2020, as I've done for the past few years. The two lists are organized by ordinal height figures and by alphabetical Latin species names, respectively. I also have several editorial comments to include about my list.
NY Max Height List 2020 (Public).xlsx
(37.42 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
Comments:

1. The former Abies concolor champion in Durand Eastman Park was blown down. The new champion is a tree in the same section of the park.
2. The former Abies grandis & Abies procera champions turned out to be misidentified (by me); both are actually Abies nordmanniana.
3. The champion Castanea dentata in Washington Grove is confirmed dead as of 6/20.
4. The former Cercidipiphyllum japonicum champion in Durand Eastman Park is presumed dead. The tree listed above is new.
5. The champion Pinus edulis in Glenwood Cemetery appears to be dead, as of 12/20. The needles are all brown, but are still attached.
6. The champion Salix spp. in Fuertes Bird Sanctuary is likely a Salix nigra-Salix fragilis hybrid, but I've been unable to get a close look at the leaves and twigs.
7. Champions for Prunus virginiana and Toxicodendron vernix, measured last by Jess Riddle in 2009, were taken off the lists because of my self-imposed 10-year limit (mirroring the American Forests policy). No replacements for those species have been found.

If you have time, please browse the spreadsheets. If I've erred, and I'm sure I have at least once, please let me know, and I'll make corrections in the future.

A happy New Year to All,

Elijah

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:09 am

Hi Elijah,

Thanks again for your continued maintenance in this authoritative list. The only thing I see that's missing is the 134.8' Black Cherry from Allegany State Park (Trackless West topic).

Those exotic Abies must be hard to sort out. I try to just avert my eyes when I meet unfamiliar planted conifers. Someday I'll learn their identification, too many grasses and mosses to learn right now.

This next year we'll have to see if any of the other 140' White Ash in Zoar Valley are still hanging on. If we get a good cold snap I think I may have a good candidate for a replacement Toxicodendron vernix that would be best accessed if its swamp ices over.

Hope the new year is treating you well,

Erik

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dbhguru
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:11 pm

Elijah,

Ditto to what Erik said. You guys are a 2-man army.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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ElijahW
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:41 pm

Erik,

You're very welcome. I replaced the Black Cherry; sorry for the omission.

Poison Sumac I'm unfamiliar with, though I'm sure I've run across it before. It would probably behoove me to know it better.

You're right about the Firs. Many of them look very similar, and I generally need a key, along with needles and twigs, to be relatively sure about an ID. If Conifers.org was someone's home, I'd have definitely worn out my welcome by now; I've spent many hours reading on that site in the past year or so.

Bob,

Thank you.

Elijah

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:50 pm

Poison sumac you'll most often find in association with wetlands with more calcium, often in areas with limestone bedrock. Often peaty wetlands that might be colloquially termed "bogs" but are technically "fens" with higher pH groundwater as one of the major sources of moisture (true bogs are built up with peat above the surrounding water table so get all their moisture from rain, and get quite acidic). Lots of those in the region from the Finger Lakes up to the Ontario shore, but some of the glacial valleys in my area have them too.

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dbhguru
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:23 am

Erik, Elijah, Brian, Dale, Michael, etc.,

We've got to find a way to more broadly publish these results. They are a goldmine of information and they scream out to be consolidated into an online booklet that can have a secure home in academia as well as on the NTS BBS. I can think of two academic institutions that might be interested: University of Vermont and Virginia Tech. At Univ. of Vermont, I am friends with the head of the forestry program, Dr. Anthony D'Amato, and at Virginia Tech, Associate Professort of Urban Forestry, Dr. Eric Wiseman. There may be others, but these two are my best candidates.

I wouldn't want to move on this if you all are not aboard. Can we discuss it?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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bbeduhn
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by bbeduhn » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:04 am

Bob,
I’m on board. If a couple of key measurers are also on board, it could be a go. It would be fairly simple to compile a document from our postings.
brian

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ElijahW
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:09 pm

Bob,

I'm open to putting something more substantial together. I would like Erik's OK, as well as other contributors like Tom Howard, depending on what kind of detail you're looking for. Much of the information included in my spreadsheets can also be found in the VT database already, though some of it is a few years old. The data I keep privately is more detailed than what I post online (GPS coordinates, comments, etc.); I've removed that because some sites are private property and others are sensitive environments. I do want good data put out there into the world, of course - that's why I started this thread. What Brian has compiled in the last few months has been tremendous. I think putting everything in one place would be a great thing.

Elijah

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: NY Rucker Height Index

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:52 am

I'd definitely be interested in participating. I do also tend to have more detailed data on my end than what's reported on the site. I think something special would be a document that goes through NTS height records of each eastern tree species. That's where we've got the most saturation, and where I think our data stands out most distinctly from standard narratives of what horticulturists, silvics manuals etc will say. And of course there are still species we probably haven't gotten close to maxima for still (if there's not a 150' Carya laciniosa in a rich southern bottomland I'd be surprised), and noting both those and the fact that trees everywhere just keep growing may spark some inspiration in those who read it.

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