Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Project

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dbhguru
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Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Project

Post by dbhguru » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:10 pm

NTS

Tomorrow we start measuring and documenting the legacy trees of the Park. We just finished dinner with the head ranger and his assistant. We settled on a plan. It is going to be a long, productive association. I'll report on the results tomorrow evening or on Thursday. This is the second National Historic Park that NTS has supported. The list of partnerships for us has grown impressively. Here are the ones that come to mind.

Great Smoky Mountains NP
Blue Ridge Parkway
Congaree National Park
Morristown National Historic Park
Marsh-Billings National Historic Park
Nantahala National Forest
San Juan National Forest
Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation
Cook Forest State Park, PA
Mass Audubon
Trustees of Reservation
Laurel Hill Association
Biltmore Estate
Holyoke Community College
City of Northampton, Look Park
Harvard Forest
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
American Forests

There are other organizations that Will Blozan could add and Michael Taylor no doubt has some groups as well. But the role that NTS is playing in support of other organizations is growing. Not a bad record.

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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Larry Tucei
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:47 am

Bob, A very impressive listing and it says tons of how NTS has grown over the years. The Forestry and Science community are really taking notice thanks to all your hard work and others in NTS. The sky is the limit! I was lucky enough to be a team member on the Congaree Project, Biltmore Project and Great Smoky Mountains NP. It was a real pleasure working with everyone and I hope to be more involved in the future. What a super group of people we have and I'm proud to be a member of such a great organization. Thanks to everyone!!!! I hope to get up to New England in the near future but for now Colorado next summer!!! Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by dbhguru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:45 pm

Larry,

Your project to measure and document the great live oaks of the Southeast is one of the reasons we're riding high as an organization. We thank you and I look forward to your participation in Colorado next summer and hopefully New England in the fall.

NTS,

Today, Monica and I spent the day in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park with the ranger staff. Last night we stayed at a nearby B&B so we would be positioned to get right to work. Here are some images from the front of the B&B. Gorgeous place.
AppleHill-1.jpg
AppleHill-2.jpg
AppleHill-3.jpg
And now to the catch of the day.

Species Girth-ft Height-ft

Norway Spruce 9.5 95.0
E. hemlock 99.5
White Pine 11.2 114.5
White Pine 11.8 120.5
Norway Spruce 11.1 120.5
Norway Spruce 124.5
Norway Spruce 7.9 127.5
Norway Spruce 12.5 128.0
European Larch 130.5
White Pine 12.2 132.5
Norway Spruce 10.2 140.0
Norway Spruce 9.7 140.5
White Pine 11.5 142.0
White Pine 10.0 142.0
White Pine 10.1 145.9
White Pine 10.8 146.9
White Pine 13.0 150.5

I measured about twice as many trees as shown above. Most were Norway spruces between 110 and 120 feet. Folks, I haven't even begun to exhaust the resource. Here are some images.
MBRNHP-NS-1.jpg
MBRNHP-NS-2.jpg
MBRNHP-NS-3.jpg
MBRNHS-NS-5.jpg
MBRNHP-NS-4.jpg
MBRNHP-WP-1.jpg
This is the behemoth, the 13 x 150.5 footer
MBRNHP-WP-2.jpg
To say that the trip was a success would be something of an understatement. NTS now holds the records for the tallest European Larch, Norway Spruce, and White Pine in Vermont. We also know when these trees were planted. The huge white pines is 138 years old. It has a big crown. Lots of growing left to do. It's a honker.

We are laying the groundwork for a long term partnership between the NHP and NTS. The huge pine will be modeled and tracked. All the legacy trees will be measured and mapped.

Folks, this is one class-act Park. It has been a long time since I've gotten so excited about a New England property.

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

Joe

Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Joe » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:30 am

I just adore Norway Spruce. I'm preparing a timber harvest in the Berkshires where there are quite a few Norway Spruces in the stand- which were planted in the '30s and are now getting fairly large. I didn't mark any for harvest because I like them so much. I told the owner that they are far more valuable as specimen trees than as timber. I just hope none fall down from the exposure of the harvest.
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by dbhguru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:08 am

Joe,

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is drop dead gorgeous. It has lots of research going on, lots of visitors looking at the management that has been the hall mark of property since the mid-1870s. What a difference when things are done right! The Norway spruce are incredible. Here are three more images, two of Norways and one of white pines.
MBRNHP-NS-a.jpg
MBRNHP-NS-b.jpg
MBRNHP-WP-a.jpg
I saw some horse logging going on while there yesterday. It fit in well. Monica got an fine tour of the mansion and a real education on the history of the property and the role of the Billings women.

Interestingly, the huge 13 x 150.5 x 55-foot white pine is almost dead center on a study plot maintained by researchers to monitor what is going on with the forest. What do you want to bet that they don't have a clue as to what kind of growth that white pine is enjoying? Well, we're going to change that. The behemoth is packing on the wood and has a big broad crown with lots of growth candles. I've approached them about a possible climb and trunk modeling project. Some of them are definitely interested. Iy will all work out in time. But in the interim I have a veritable playpen filled with gorgeous Norway spruces and great whites. I'm happy as a pig wallowing in mud.

Joe, ya gotta see this place.

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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Larry Tucei
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:16 am

Bob, I went to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHPP website to read about this fantastic place. The images you posted are very beautiful and after learning more about MBRNHPP it is on my places to visit in the future. The Forests are awesome and what really talked to me was the size a White Pine can become in just 138 years. Huuuuge!! http://www.nps.gov/mabi/index.htm Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by dbhguru » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:40 am

Larry,

MBRNHP is pure class - vintage New England. And the Norway spruce there are off the charts. Two at 140 feet! The big pine falls into a very, very exclusive club, pines in the 13 x 150 club. Here is another image from MBRNHP. More gorgeous Norways.
MBRNHP-Norways.jpg
Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Joe

Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Joe » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:14 pm

and to think- the state of Mass. has tried hard to wipe out Norway Spruce on its lands as a "furin" species

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adam.rosen
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by adam.rosen » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:28 pm

Wow--I am so glad to hear about this project. I am also just, like, pleasantly shocked to see my intuition about the trees at Marsh Billings verified with data.

Accounts of the park indicate that there were wonderful woods in the late 1800's and carriage rides through the woods were a treat. I've seen other accounts indicating that hemlocks and maples in the park were "old growth". given the size of the maples and hemlocks, and the local history of settlement, it seems that a towering and picturesque forest in the 1880's would likely be old growth-especially given the growth patterns of the hemlocks. The hemlocks are present in an older post of mine about this park. They do line the carriage roads.

Here is a photo of my brother, who is girthy, with one of the maples which may, or may not, be old growth. Comments (on the tree, not my brother)? Are those old skid scars, or sleigh scars, on the left side maple?
Attachments
dan OG maple billings.JPG

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dbhguru
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:40 pm

Adam

A return to MBR NHP is on my radar scope for the fall. I'm anxious to continue the documentation. Maybe we can meet up there. I would like to model the big pine.

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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