Quercus laurifolia - maximum known age?

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#1)  Quercus laurifolia - maximum known age?

Postby addy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:35 pm

I've been searching to no avail for any tree age data on the Swamp Laurel Oak, Quercus laurifolia.  Literature lists their typical lifespan as around 70 years, short lived as oaks go.  They are capable of reaching heights of 100', almost equal spreads, and DBHs of 7.5', and I've been wondering what age a laurifolia of these dimensions might be.  In my experience in older forests diameters of 3' to 4' are not uncommon and they are often very hollowed out making for excellent den trees.  They may be one of the most commonly available den tree throughout the southeast.  When older they also form striking flying buttresses second only to the elms that share some of their habitat.  Has anyone run across any dendrochronology data regarding this species?
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#2)  Re: Quercus laurifolia - maximum known age?

Postby Don » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:58 pm

addy-
The maximum know age is a hard one, with literature suggesting from 50-70 years as you've noted. One feature that seemed consistent in the literature I saw, were remarks as to the likelihood of older ones being hollow...this of course poses a problem for aging big trees.
What are height/girth/crown maxima? American Forests National Champion swamp laurel oak can be found at:
http://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/laurel-oak-quercus-laurifolia-4/
It's to the NTS's credit that NTS members (Riddles, Blozan) nominated it in 2006!
-Don
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#3)  Re: Quercus laurifolia - maximum known age?

Postby Tyler » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:22 am

addy,

Just before Congaree was protected in the mid 1970s conservationist counted 115 rings on a 3' 6" diameter stump in one of the cutover areas. Recently Thomas Doyle cored a swamp laurel oak in the early to mid 2000s and got 129 rings. I'm sure there are older trees there.

Don,

Hurricane Matthew blew over that tree last year. We are looking for a replacement.

Tyler
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