Page 1 of 1

What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:29 pm
by BeeEnvironment2020
Hi Ents,
I was just wondering today, as I found a few more Black Gums at Stateline Woods Preserve, does anyone know what the tallest Black Gum is on record?
On wikipedia, it states that Nyssa Sylvatica rarely reaches heights of 115', which is interesting because I found one at Stateline that has a very high chance of reaching 120' or taller.

Anyhow, anyone know where the tallest Black Gum is? I am just learning about this species :D

Best Regards,
BeeE.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:05 am
by bbeduhn
BeeE,

The tallest Nyssa sylvatica is in West Virginia @ 131.0'. For states by you, MD 124.7' DE 121.6' PA 119.3'. The current tallest recorded native species list is on this page:

http://ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=376&t=8695&start=40

You'll find all sorts of info in this thread. All sites are summarized and many are compared. To find it in the index, go to Projects and Surveys, Database, Groups and Links, and then go to Special Lists.

Brian

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:23 am
by BeeEnvironment2020
Brian,

Thanks for bringing that list to my attention. I am amazed at how many trees are categorized! I will have to refer to it more in the future.

I just checked Pabigtrees.com for Tupelo trees registered, and on http://pabigtrees.com/tree-listings/TR20171107141257453, I found that someone found a Nyssa sylvatica measured using Sine Calculations to be 125 feet tall. It is located in the Morris Arboretum, 100 Northwestern Ave. in Philly, and is documented as 1932-2597*A

Click on image to see its original size
However, from the image above I am having trouble telling if the tree is Black Tupelo or not. I always had the impression that tupelo usually have very twisted and bent branches.

I don't know if my current tree-findings would be of any worth to your rucker lists, but I always document every tree I measure on MonumentalTrees.com. I update these listings as I discover new trees, so if you find any interesting results, feel free to use them.

I have recently started measuring, and it's been difficult finding the time with all my HS work I have been having, so I have only been able to document a few handfuls of trees.

Trees at Stateline Woods Preserve: https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/usa/pennsylvania/chestercounty/25912_statelinewoodspreserve/
As of now, the northern section forest at Stateline (the oldest forest part) has a rucker 5 of 128.05 feet

Trees at Brandywine Park, in the city of wilmington DE: https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/usa/delaware/newcastlecounty/26616_brandywinepark/

Trees at Brandywine Creek State Park: https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/usa/delaware/newcastlecounty/27318_brandywinecreekstatepark/

Anyway, thanks again,

BeeE.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:47 am
by bbeduhn
BeeE,

I used Monumental Trees when compiling all of the lists. I remember seeing your name for at least one of them last year. I haven't been keeping up with that forum in the last several months. I'll check out your listings.

Nothing about the tree at the Morris Arboretum says Nyssa sylvatica. There is a tree behind it, to the left, that resembles a Nyssa, but I cannot tell from the photo. You're developing an eye for species form. The tree may have been accurately measured but it's not a Nyssa. That looks like a tulip form. Often at arboretums, they have names on or in front of the trees. A Nyssa that big and tall likely does not exist. I haven't seen the one in WV, but the big ones I've seen are not that tall.

Brian

PS: the corkscrew tree looks like white oak.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:41 pm
by BeeEnvironment2020
Brian,

Thanks, I hope you find some of the data I put on MT helpful to your lists.

Yeah, the Morris Arboretum tree did look quite strange to me to think it was Nyssa Sylvatica. Like you said, one that big or tall probably does not exist.

Also, thanks for giving your input on the Corkscrew tree I measured on monumentaltrees. I am just wondering though, how were you able to determine it was white oak? I guess the bark of that tree represents white oak? I thought white oak had bark that was not as "flaky" I suppose.

If it is white oak, it is quite interesting, as it does not branch until quite high, and it is a very "thin" tree, with a skinny trunk and crown. I have never seen a oak tree like that, and maybe indicates it is old? It twists a lot, and that is why I called it a "corkscrew" tree.

BeeE.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:46 am
by bbeduhn
BeeE,

I took a second look at the corkscrew tree's bark and I'm more convinced that it's white oak. That's a common pattern for low on the trunk. It tends to get flakier as you go further up the trunk and into the branches. Some white oaks have very little flakiness and some look like the perpendicular form of shagbark hickory bark. Check out the bark higher up and I believe you'll see some flakiness. As for a narrow crown, you're right, white oak does not typically have a narrow crown. But if it grew in a tight spot, it could certainly happen. It could have lost limbs years ago and the space became inhabited by limbs from a faster growing tree. Every tree has its story and this is just guesswork on my part.

Brian

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:14 am
by BeeEnvironment2020
Hi Brian,

Thanks for explaining your train of thought. I looked over the photos again, and yeah, I do see the flakes up high on the trunk. Thanks also for bringing that to my attention. I just changed my Monumental trees post on that tree to Quercus Alba. Hopefully I can head back before the leaves come out to remeasure it.

I recently read a online report by Neil Pederson about old-growth trees (see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230777068_External_Characteristics_of_Old_Trees_in_the_Eastern_Deciduous_Forest) and their bark-patterns. In it, there are pictures depicting white oak, and how the bark changes with age, which is quite fascinating.
Examples-of-variation-bark-patterns-in-young-versus-old-trees-Here-Quercus-alba-at.jpg
Examples of variation bark patterns in young versus old trees. Here, Quercus alba at different ages: a) and b) show the ridged and flaky characteristics of trees 150 yrs old and c) and d) show the variations of low ridging and balding of old or slow growing trees 250 yrs old.
One white oak I have yet to measure at stateline clearly shows this "Flakiness" observed on younger white oaks 150-200 years old.
Another Characteristic Neil described was "Celery" tops on older trees, such as this one, where the main trunk ends in a few twisted and curved branches
Another Characteristic Neil described was "Celery" tops on older trees, such as this one, where the main trunk ends in a few twisted and curved branches
However, I guess that images C and D show the lower bark of the trunk, which sort of represents that of the corkscrew's lower trunk. Like you said, I suppose that white oaks tend to get flakier the higher up on the trunk and branches we go.

BeeE.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:18 pm
by bbeduhn
BeeE,

Most tree enthusiasts/botanists, etc., identify trees by leaves and fruit. It is important to learn leaves and fruit but by learning bark and form, you can tell what species a tree is sometimes from very far away. We measure more in the winter, when tops of trees can be distinguished and ground clutter is at a minimum. Bark features will tell you what type of tree it is much more quickly. You'll have to gather leaves when you're still learning bark and form features. Fruits aren't always available. When in doubt, leaves and fruits are invaluable. My knowledge of fruits is not where it should be. Fortunately, I don't get stumped as much as I used to but it still happens. Photos, leaves, fruits if available will help you when you consult a guide or post online. After you've mastered bark and form, you'll be able to identify 98% of the trees in your area instantaneously. When you travel, you won't have that kind of percentage, but you'll have a good head start.
Bark can vary greatly in different latitudes and altitudes.

Michael Wojtech has a good bark id book for your area. There is also a beginner tree book on Amazon, that I haven't seen yet. Look up bark and northeast.

Re: What is the tallest Nyssa Sylvatica (Black Gum) on record?

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:45 pm
by BeeEnvironment2020
Brian,

Yeah, I started out learning about trees firstly through their leaves and fruit/seeds, but as you put it, learning about the bark adds a new perspective and helps with identification from a distance.

Thankfully I was able to learn and memorize most of the species by their leaves and seeds around SE PA, DE, NJ, and in similar forests in other states in the past year, but Hickories, Ashes, and some Oaks (along with cedars/non-native pines, and Firs) have been tripping me up.
However, Tree-forms have been very beneficial so far, and I can quickly and easily distinguish (most of the time correctly) species such as Tulip, Tupelo, Pine (obviously), Oak, Maples, and Beech (Those species make up probably around 80-95 percent of the forests around SE PA). However, I have not yet seen enough hickories and ashes, and that's where online photos become very helpful.

Thanks for recommending that bark book (Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast, for those who are wondering) to me. It appears to be a good resource. I'll look into buying it soon, and I'll give an update to everyone.

Thanks again for informing me about that bark book,

BeeE.