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Hello from Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:43 am
by Brigitte

My name is Brigitte and I am from north central MA - somewhat near Wachusett Mtn.  I have loved trees (esp. old gnarly ones) my entire life!  I don't know how that came to be, but one of my first memories (I was about 3.5-4 yrs old) and a tree was being cut down in front of my house.  I was soooo mad.  I was banging on the windows while calling one of them "dum-dum". The men were having a great time and I wanted to get them to look at me because I wanted them know how stupid I thought it was to cut my tree down.  I wanted them to stop.  My mom came along and told me to stop because I was being mean.  She didn't understand how horrible I felt about that tree coming down (maybe it was a sick tree.....).  

I am an artist. My work is mostly very detailed drawings of plants (some trees too) and architecture, photography and other things I dabble in.  I wished I had continued college in biology, but I didn't.  Art and history trumped it.  I have continued my own study and love of trees, nature and birding since my youth and it led me recently to pick up two books on Old Growth Forests by Joan Maloof.  I never realized how many people love old trees (not enough people, but more than I thought).  Read them on a trip to San Francisco (where I finally saw Muir time for more than that). I cannot remember if she mentions ENTS in her books or on her site, but I am pretty sure that is how I found you.  I am not sure I can be of much scientific help to you, but I can advocate or help out in other ways and I am always up for learning......or I can just draw them for you!  :D is my website.

Re: Hello from Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:55 pm
by dbhguru
Hello Brigette,

   Welcome to NTS. You definitely are among friends. There are a number of NTS members in Massachusetts. You'll see our posts from time to time. BTW, Joan Maloof is a good friend of mine.

  The NTS website is extremely deep, so I will leave it up to you to explore it. However, please feel free to ask for help. BTW, I looked at your website. Very impressive. Your drawings are superb.

  There are lots of fine woodlands and outstanding trees in Massachusetts. Not many people are aware of them. For example, we have about 1300 acres of old growth forest in the Bay State, about 200 of which are on Wachusett Mtn. We've dated trees there to between 300 and almost 400 years of age.  The largest tree in the state is the Sunderland Sycamore in Sunderland, MA. Its current dimensions are: circumference = 25.7 feet, height = 113.5 feet, average crown spread = 135.5 feet. The tallest tree in all New England is the Jake Swamp white pine in Mohawk Trail State Forest. It is 174 feet tall. One of the most charismatic forests is Bryant Woods in Cummington, MA. It features old growth hemlocks and hardwoods, towering pines, and a kind of embracing feeling. Bryant protected those woods when he acquired the property in the late 1800s. There are ancient black gums in a swamp on private property in orange, MA that exceed 500 years in age - our oldest trees. A dwarf pitch pine forest grows atop Mount Everett in southwestern MA. The list of superlatives goes on.


Re: Hello from Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:12 am
by Bart Bouricius
Welcome to NTS,

Bob laid out the basics, but aside from worthwhile contributions in your drawings, keep in mind that you don't have to be a scientist to measure trees, and there are several NTS members in the state who can teach you an affordable method to do this.  Although my wife Connie and I are living mostly in Costa Rica in our retired life, we will be back in Montague, Mass this April for 5 months, and if you are game, a field trip or two would be fun.

Re: Hello from Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:54 am
by Brigitte
Hello!  Thank you for your nice comments about my drawings Bob!  And thank you for all the (little bits of ) information.  I hadn't looked at the website in a bit and have to figure out how it really works  - communication-wise.  The information on this site is enormous! So much to read.  I hope to find some of these trees.  I was at the Mohawk state forest this summer but not long enough to find the Jake Swamp pine.  And I am often in Orange, MA so I will have to find out how to visit those ancient trees!  Wachusett is closet to me.  I am often there skiing or cycling, but find it hard to find time to hike!  I often look a the older crooked trees at the summit and wonder about them.  I need to call the state park office to find out if there is anyone who does an old tree tour.  I would have done when Joan Maloof was here, but it was cancelled due to thunderstorms.  I thought I would go rogue and go anyway to see if anyone showed up.  AND they did. Always trust your gut. Joan hiked with Joe Chinoinere (incorrect spelling) from Audubon I believe.  That miss was a disappointment.
Anyway, Bart, thanks for the invite for next spring.  That would be interesting!  I would love to learn how to measure (though numbers are not my friends!). My email is the better place to contact ( me unless I figure this site out. I have a few months!! :)  In the meantime I keep reading about trees - history, ecology, biology and sociology.  If anyone has reading suggestions about trees/tree people (New England and elsewhere) I would love to hear about them.  I am reading The Final Forest by William Dietrich presently.  Again, I will read the site and put this out there for others to suggest. Thanks.  Happy Fall!