Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

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MarkGraham
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Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by MarkGraham » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:59 pm

This tall deciduous tree sits right at the crest of Shell Falls at 6400 foot elevation along Highway 14. The trees in the area are all pine and fir other than right along Shell Creek.

I believe this is a plains cottonwood, the state tree of Wyoming. Is my identification correct? For sure this one is not on the Plains.

The Falls were roaring with the water working working its way through receding ice.
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Shell Falls.jpg

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Don
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by Don » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:02 pm

Nice photo!
Zoomed in on base, and besides the abundance of available water, I have to say that tree is a survivor, having signs of numerous skirmishes with rocks, logs and other disturbances at high water. Definitely worth the stop to capture the image!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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KoutaR
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by KoutaR » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:53 am

Why not Populus balsamifera?

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:52 am

It would seem that black cottonwood, P. trichocarpa, would also be a candidate? Unfortunately from the photo available it's hard to say much further than that it's definitely a western Populus.

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KoutaR
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by KoutaR » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:23 am

If I understand the location correctly, P. trichocarpa is not native there.
http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/data/little/

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:29 am

You're right, I glanced too quick at the range maps... looks like it's a bit past the easternmost extent of trichocarpa.

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Don
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by Don » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:25 pm

I love seeing surviving islands of vegetation, especially in view of the forces that spring thaws can bring about...that bastion of a rock immediately upstream of the cottonwood, has been a very strong ally! Even in the relative low flow in the photo, I can imagine the noisy rush of water cascading by. And the roar of the seasonal torrents that must on occasion challenge the bouldered streambed~~~
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

wisconsitom
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Re: Tall Deciduous Tree High Up in Big Horns

Post by wisconsitom » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:57 pm

That tree does not say balsam poplar to me. I'd go more with one or the other cottonwood. And I will admit, I say this partly out of location, balsam poplar being such a characteristic denizen of low, floodplain and outright swamp forests. Anything is possible, but that's the way it looks to me. And I've got a woods full of Populus balsamea, among other things.

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