Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

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Will Blozan
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Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by Will Blozan » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:39 am

NTS,

While I was up at Cook Forest State Park last month for a hemlock woolly adelgid meeting I had a few hours of "tree time" with Dale Luthringer. He mentioned a large hemlock needing volume modeling so it seemed like an ideal project. We went armed with the macroscope 25, tripod, lasers, and tapes. One of my former employees, TJ Heacox joined us for the day and assisted on the measurements. I believe the tree is named the "Susquehannock" or similar. Sorry Dale- I should have asked for the spelling...
Good view of most of the tree
Good view of most of the tree
Dale for scale
Dale for scale
The tree was easy to get to and as of yet appears uninfested with HWA. In fact, it has one of the largest spreads of lush, massive branches I have seen on a hemlock. It is a fairly young tree and has relatively even trunk taper. However, the lower 40 feet is quite chunky and it maintains a 12' girth for over 30 feet.
Reticle and view of tree
Reticle and view of tree
TJ assisting with tapes
TJ assisting with tapes
View up trunk
View up trunk
CBH was 13.52' and my height (used in the calculations) was 134.3'. The lowest measurement we took was at 2.5 feet above midslope due to massive trunk flare. We used a cylinder from there to midslope in the volume calculation- which is likely conservative. The measurements indicate a wood volume of 940 cubic feet- far larger than the previous champion Camp Trail Hemlock's 844 ft3. I found an error in an earlier spreadsheet of the huge Tionesta Hemlock volume taken in 2007. It is slightly larger than once thought but at 866 ft3 it is still significantly smaller than this Cook Forest tree. I believe this tree is the largest hemlock in the state if not the NE. I certainly would enjoy climbing it to get more solid numbers.

Will Blozan

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mdvaden
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by mdvaden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:15 am

Hemlocks are pretty cool trees. Love the foliage. One of my favorites.

If you ever get out to the Coast Redwoods again, not sure if you would like to see the world's tallest out there. It's pretty plain looking from a certain point of view. Not wider than 6' DBH ... rather lean, and no massive branch structure. Still pretty cool tree.
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Will Blozan
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by Will Blozan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:48 am

Mario,

Indeed I would! I can appreciate trees of all sizes, status, or potential. One of the tallest eastern hemlocks ever discovered is just such a tree. It was a tiny girthed tree of only 9.2 feet yet soared to 171.7 feet tall! The tree was discovered as Jess Riddle and I surveyed a rich cove in NC for the Tsuga Search Project. We had stopped for a lunch break and I shot the laser up into the crown to get an idea of what we were looking at (the tuliptree rubbing against this tree was over 160 feet). The laser return suggested it would be over 170 feet which at the time had NEVER been recorded! We shot it from three directions and settled on 171.6 feet from laser based measurements. Not bad- as the tape drop was 171.7 feet! This little unassuming tree heralded in the discovery of three more over 170 feet before the project ended. We named it "Yuhgi" - which is Cherokee for needle. It is now dead from HWA.
Yuhgi Hemlock February 2007
Yuhgi Hemlock February 2007
Will

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by AndrewJoslin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:18 pm

Glad you got that measurement before HWA got it! Too sad.
-AJ

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Will Blozan
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by Will Blozan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:14 pm

Andrew,

This tree will not die from HWA. It has probably been treated already!

Will

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mdvaden
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by mdvaden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:46 pm

Will Blozan wrote:Mario,

Indeed I would! I can appreciate trees of all sizes, status, or potential. One of the tallest eastern hemlocks ever discovered is just such a tree. It was a tiny girthed tree of only 9.2 feet yet soared to 171.7 feet tall! The tree was discovered as Jess Riddle and I surveyed a rich cove in NC for the Tsuga Search Project. We had stopped for a lunch break and I shot the laser up into the crown to get an idea of what we were looking at (the tuliptree rubbing against this tree was over 160 feet). The laser return suggested it would be over 170 feet which at the time had NEVER been recorded! We shot it from three directions and settled on 171.6 feet from laser based measurements. Not bad- as the tape drop was 171.7 feet! This little unassuming tree heralded in the discovery of three more over 170 feet before the project ended. We named it "Yuhgi" - which is Cherokee for needle. It is now dead from HWA.
Will
If you ever have time near Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, you can find it in under 45 minutes without getting beat up by the woods.

Here's it's basic outline of 272 feet, next to a skinny Douglas fir of similar height. Trunk on the left is the Hemlock. About 20 feet is beneath a very tall Evergreen Huckleberry bush (tree) below.
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Will Blozan
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:40 pm

NTS,

Due to the wrath of HWA and utter destruction of the prime growing sites in the southern Appalachians, this tree is now among the largest eastern hemlocks left existing on the planet. There is one survivor (under heavy medication) in NC that is far larger (1,564 FT3) but aside from that single tree there really is not much left in the ~1,000 cube class.

Just thought I should let that sink in and perhaps give more relevance and perspective to this tree. We are down to dregs now... (no offense to ANY hemlocks- just the concept ;))

Will

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Don
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by Don » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:38 pm

Will-
Good find!
Your image of your tripod in it's working mode, and the hemlock, is a good example of what we're currently looking for as examples of the kinds of problem solving techniques we should be able to expect from our top echelon measuring folks in the AF Big Tree Program.
With your permission, I'd like to use the ones preceding, plus any other photos, videos that you may have available, particularly those that tend to find solutions in the Dendromorphommetry arena. We're about 10 days out from our monthly Measuring Guide Working Group teleconference, and it'd be great to have some of your examples that we could bring to bear.
-Don
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sradivoy
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by sradivoy » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:44 pm

I would very much like to visit this tree as well as the Tionesta giant before its too late. If there's anyone willing to share these two particular trees coordinates with me via PM I would greatly appreciate it. If not, I'll understand. Thx!

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sradivoy
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Re: Largest hemlock in PA in Cook Forest?

Post by sradivoy » Thu May 19, 2016 8:03 am

Thanks to the tree's founder I had the privilege to visit this stunning hemlock the other day. Wow! This is the most perfectly proportioned hemlock I've ever seen with a height to girth ratio of nearly 10 to 1 ( I got a 130' by 13.5'). It has a lush, robust looking crown combined with a perfectly straight cigar-shaped trunk with very little taper. Aesthetically this was the most pleasing tree in the park for me. Due to its low stature it snuck up on me, all at once, in all its full splendor! A great big tree encounter.
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