Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

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Jeroen Philippona
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Jeroen Philippona » Sun May 08, 2016 6:13 am

Hi Matt,

Nice finds of Bur Oaks! Could you tell something about rainfall in the growth season as well as the temperatures of winter (if possible in centigrade / Celsius). It seems to me that the size limits are due to low rainfall, hot dry summers as well as cold winters. Open grown Quercus robur in NW and middle Europe often become larger (open grown 60 to 100, sometimes 115 feet tall and with girths often of 20 - 25 but sometimes to 30 - 40 feet), when soil and wather availability is good. Are these Bur Oaks of maximum ages or do you think they do not reach their age and girth limits for this region?

Jeroen Philippona

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Sun May 08, 2016 9:33 pm

Jeroen,

Thanks! It's been very enjoyable finding these trees over the last few weeks. In the summer I prefer to measure open-grown trees versus forest-grown, so I hope to find many more open-grown bur oaks this summer.

Average annual precipitation in this area is about 102cm/40" with about half of that in spring and summer. Our coldest month is January with an average low of about -6.60°C/20°F and we can occasionally dip down to -20.5°C/-5°F. Our hottest month is July with an average high of about 29.4°C/85°F. August can also be very hot and it's not uncommon to have several days in a row above 32.2°C/90°F and sometimes a few weeks without any substantial rain.

Bur oak girths in this area reach up to about 6.7m/22'. A little farther south in the range of the species there is slightly more rain and growing seasons are a little longer. Girths there are a little bigger up to about 7.3m/24'. An oak of any species in the Midwestern/Central United States approaching or exceeding 7.3m/24' is very rare and is an extremely large oak for this region.

Frequent lightning can be a major factor in limiting the age on some of these open-grown trees. If a tree has lived 200+ years in an open setting odds are pretty high that it will get hit multiple times and some can be fatal.

In general, I believe that bur oak has the potential to reach its maximum age here and that the very oldest oaks here are probably not the largest girthed. They are probably on sites with less than ideal growing conditions and have very slowly been adding wood over a long period of time.

It would be interesting to see how bur oak does in other climates. Have you seen any of them planted in Europe?

Matt

Jeroen Philippona
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Jeroen Philippona » Mon May 09, 2016 3:11 pm

Matt,

Thanks for the information, precipitation is a bit more than I expected. Climate in Ohio is probably rather comparable with Ukraine or southern parts of Russia, although there rainfall in large areas is less. In NW Europe summers are cooler and winters less cold. I have seen very few Bur Oaks in Europe and those were rather young, in arboreta. In England there are some trees wich date from around 1890: two outstanding specimen in London are 80 en 86 feet tall wih girths of 9 and near 10 feet. These are the largest known in the UK, were the species is extremely rare. I did not see them, the information is from Owen Johnson in his book "Champion Trees of Britain & Ireland". Most American white oak species do not grow well in the UK and NW Europe, probably because of the much cooler summers. American oaks wich grow good in NW Europe are Quercus rubra and Q. palustris. It seems that Q. bicolor does fine also in some parts of Europe.

By the way, from medieval times in large parts of Europe there were man made oak savannas created by the grazing of catle, horses, sheep and pigs. Remnants of these are rather good preserved in Romania. Perhaps there were natural oak savannas in parts of Ukraine and Russia and in Turkey.

Jeroen

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KoutaR
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by KoutaR » Tue May 10, 2016 2:46 am

Matt & Jeroen,

I remember seeing a fairly big bur oak in Jardin des Plantes, Paris. My visit predated my tree-measuring time but I think it is the same tree as this on monumentaltrees.com:
http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/fra/p ... ntes/6175/
Tim has measured its girth as 12.9 ft.

Kouta

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue May 10, 2016 4:56 pm

Jeroen & Kouta,

Thanks so much, that's fascinating information!

As a side note, based on various photos of plaques and tree reports from some countries in Europe, it appears that much care is taken to keep records of when a tree was planted. I haven't seen that very often here, but I think it's a great practice. I do know of a "Presidential" grove in Cincinnati, OH that honors presidents with a tree planting when they leave office. Those are some trees that I need to go measure.

Matt

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Sun May 15, 2016 5:29 pm

All,

There isn't a lot of public land in the Darby Plains, although fortunately there are a few places including Deer Creek State Park. Deer Creek is on the eastern side of the plains and straddles Fayette and Pickaway counties. The yellow dots on the lower right of this updated map represent the Deer Creek trees. The sizes of the yellow dots correspond to measured girth.
Bur oaks measured in the Darby Plains
Bur oaks measured in the Darby Plains
I found two "Mother Tree" bur oaks at Deer Creek, which are listed first on this table. In one particular location the small bur oaks were very thick and it was great to see an example of how well the species can reproduce here when given the chance. So often you see these old bur oaks at the edges of farm fields with very little chance for reproduction. It was also nice to add some smaller trees to my database.

Click on table if too small:
5-14-16.png
Here are a couple photos of the largest one. It's showing nice regrowth after suffering a severe loss. The wide lightning scar provides evidence for the catastrophic event that took place in the tree's history.
15.42' x 58' bur oak
15.42' x 58' bur oak
15.42' x 58' bur oak
15.42' x 58' bur oak
Matt

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Don
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Don » Sun May 15, 2016 6:25 pm

Nice GIS map work, Matt!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue May 17, 2016 5:55 pm

Thanks Don!

The transparent bubbles worked out nicely so that all the trees at one location can be represented, instead of just one big solid bubble. I really like the satellite image as a background for the large scale, relatively flat terrain maps, whereas I think I'll lean towards a topographical background for smaller scale maps with more elevation changes.

Matt

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:42 pm

All,

I finally found a scientific reference recognizing the numerous presettlement bur oaks still residing in the Darby Plains. This 1981 report is by Charles C. King from The Ohio State University, College of Biological Sciences: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bi ... isize=text

Here's an excerpt:
excerpt.png
Along with post oak, I've also seen strong associations with bur oak in the plains including shingle oak, white oak and shagbark hickory. I'm going to start including these associated species in the database. On Monday I found a bur oak/white oak mega-grove and I'll report on it in a few days. Shingle oaks, shagbark hickories and one post oak were also present.

Matt

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Darby and Sandusky Plains Bur Oak Project

Post by Matt Markworth » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:43 pm

All,

Here are some new trees for the project. I've been seeing strong associations in the plains between bur oak, white oak, post oak, shingle oak, and shagbark hickory. I'm going to start including these species into my database.

First up are some post oaks that are in a grove with some bur oaks that I previously posted on. These trees are in Pickaway County. There are more bur oaks, post oaks, and shingle oaks in the grove that I'll measure. The size of the circles on the map of the grove correspond to the girth of each tree.
PIC post oaks.png
Deer Creek bur-post grove.png

Click on image to see its original size
Post Oak - Tree ID: PICpost1 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr

Next up are two trees that I stumbled upon while in the southern part of Logan County, just to the north of Champaign County. It's possible these trees were alive during the time of the Shawnee "Mac-a-cheek" village. The sign for the village is across a small field from the 13.88' CBH bur oak.
Logan Co bur oaks.png
Logan Co bur oaks.png (11.15 KiB) Viewed 1452 times

Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: LOG1 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: LOG2 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr
Mackachack.jpg
Here's the mega-grove that I mentioned in my last post. It's in Union County. These trees don't appear as old as some of the other trees I've seen in the plains, although a very rough ring count of a stump (with a similar base to other trees at the site) yielded a respectable 150 years (approximate). There are more trees at this site that I plan on measuring.
UNI grove.png
mega-grove.png

Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: UNI2 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: UNI14 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: UNI1 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: UNI4 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
Post Oak - Tree ID: UNIpost1 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr


Click on image to see its original size
White Oak - Tree ID: UNIwhite2 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr

Lastly are some trees on a glacial esker in Champaign County. There is a bur oak mother tree with lots of small bur oaks. I chose a few small ones to measure that looked like they had plenty of open space above them. I'll keep an eye on them with hopes of remeasuring periodically over several years.
esker bur oaks.png

Click on image to see its original size
Bur Oak - Tree ID: CHA4 by Bur Oak Project, on Flickr

Matt

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