The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

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dbhguru
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by dbhguru » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:06 am

James, Ed, Will, Gaines,

I've made a virtual career out of studying silver maples and agree with Gaines, the species naturally coppices at 2 to 3 feet off the ground when growing in the open. The Northeast is a haven for planted silver maples. They were once the landscape tree of choice. The multi-stemmed form is very common for these trees. It is a tougher call for trees growing in wetlands, but there too, multi-stemmed specimens greatly outnumber true doubles.

One reason I took on the double trunk math challenge was because I believe as Ed does that we need to find a solution where the multi-stemmed trees can live with honor.

By contrast to silver maples, the vast majority of white pines that look like doubles are doubles. There is a genuine difference in the common growth form of these two trees.

One fact that lies in the back of our minds, prejudicing us against the multi-stemmed forms is the frequency with which real doubles, tripples, etc. are passed off as single trees by big tree hunters and reported in the champion tree lists. I'm as soured on those abuses as anybody, but no longer want to penalize silver maples.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
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James Parton
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by James Parton » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:38 am

Ed,

I really like your comments here. I have always felt the classification of tree forms should separate fused trees from multiple trunks, at least in the cases where past trunks have fused together to the point where the tree appears single. That would not make them equal to a tree that has always been single trunked and there should be a destinction between them. I would suggest that completely fused trees have their own class because they simply behave as a single tree.

I love Scott's photo. The tiny tree began life as a double trunked and of course as it grew it would have fused very early on to where it would have become single. This is an extreme example of the point I am trying to make. Sometimes trees just grow multiple stems, even from the beginning.

James
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James Parton
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by James Parton » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:46 am

Bob,

Yes, I agree with Gaines too. The Silver Maple is a natural multi-trunker but still it should be taken into consideration since it is a natural growth form for that type of tree. Naturally if it coppices early in life, trunk fusion will occur later in life.

James
James E Parton
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Jimmy McDonald
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by Jimmy McDonald » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:44 pm

So is it agreed that this tree should be measured at its narrowest point below 4.5', or should it be measured at 4.5'? I'm often confused by this because i see many silver maples and willows that are much larger at 4.5' than at 2'. I usually write down the measurement at 4.5' and the narrowest point below 4.5'. I don't really know which one would be correct. Can anyone clarify this for me?

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edfrank
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by edfrank » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:51 pm

Jimmy,

If the girth at 4.5 feet is exaggerated by low branching, a burl, or other anomaly, then girth should be measured at the narrowest point below 4.5 feet and the height noted. From the Tree measuring Guidelines of the Eastern Native Tree Society: "Girth is a dimension taken at a point 4.5 feet (BH) above average soil level (A). This measurement is called circumference at breast height (CBH). If a burl or other atypical growth formation is encountered at this point the least distorted girth below this point is used (B); otherwise above BH."

Some reason and judgment needs to be used when making this determination. If the base of the tree is really distorted, perhaps a measurement just above a burl might be appropriate even if it is higher than 4.5 feet. If several trunks are fused together, a girth measured above the fusion is better than measuring the fused trunk girth. In these cases th height of the measurement needs to be noted. There is a column in the measurement spreadsheet I devised and a field in the ENTS database web form for entering this alternate height information. (I really would measure both the girth of the fused trunk at 4.5 feet, and the girth of individual trunks above the fusion for multitrunk trees.) If there are really low branches the girth should be measured at the narrowest point below the branching and the height noted if this is below 4.5 feet.

Edward Frank

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Larry Tucei
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:23 pm

James, Awesome tree! Sometimes Live Oak fuse in the same way as your Silver Maple. Even after 4 years of measuring them I still find some trees to be difficult to ID as Multi-Trunked or Single. I've learned to look at the Pith to ground helping me ID its class. Its still a geat tree! Larry

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James Parton
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Re: The Pisgah Forest Elementary School Silver Maple.

Post by James Parton » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:00 am

Larry,

Yeah, it can be a bit confusing but I guess I learn as I go. Experienced ENTS like Will, Bob, Ed, etc are great teachers.

James
James E Parton
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