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Re: 7th FOREST SUMMIT, October 13-15, 2011

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:23 pm
by dbhguru

We'll meet at the picnic area at Zoar Gap on River Road at 10:00AM. We can reach the Elders Grove with no problem. We'll go to the Charlemont Inn in the center of Charlemont around 4:00PM for a presentation on big rainforest trees by Bart Bouricius. We'll then have a cocktail period, followed by dinner at 6:00PM. Monica's concert starts at 7:30PM.

We'll meet at the head of the Rivulet Trail on the William Cullen Bryant homstead in Cummington, MA on Oct 16th at 10:30AM.

It will be great to see you again.


Re: 7th FOREST SUMMIT, October 13-15, 2011

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:50 pm
by tomhoward

Could you give us directions to Zoar Gap picnic area on River Rd.? My brother and I have never been to MTSF before, and I haven't been able to find River Rd. or the Zoar Gap picnic area on the map I downloaded. We'll be coming from the east on Rt. 2, which hopefully will be open. I deeply appreciate your help on this.

Looking forward to seeing all of you this coming Sat.!

Tom Howard

Re: 7th FOREST SUMMIT, October 13-15, 2011

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:32 am
by dbhguru

From the center of Charlemont on route #2, go approximately 2 miles west to the Zoar-Rowe Road on the right. You reach the road just before crossing the Deerfield River. Go another 2.6 miles (or close to that) to a T where you turn left (right fork goes to Rowe). Shortly after turning left you go under a railroad pass. There will be a pool of water you have to drive through. Don't worry, just go slow. They deepened the bottom so large trucks carrying fill could get under the RR. Drive for about a mile to the north end of the picnic area on the left, just before the bridge crossing the Deerfield. You are at Zoar Gap. Find a parking spot near the Port-a-potties. We'll all assemble there.

BTW, the Zoar Road is also called River Road. It shows up on topo maps. Here are three Google Earth images. The first shows the start of Zoar Road off Route #2.
The second shows Zoar road out to where the picnic area is. Note the two blue pushpins. They mark the Elders Grove. To reach the grove, leave the picnic area and walk across the bridge crossing the Deerfield River. Stat on the same side of the road as the picnic area. On the far side of the bridge on the left, the DCR trail starts. It follows the river downstream. It has no branches - just the one trail. Near the destination, it goes uphill into the Elders Grove. The walk to the grove from the picnic area is about 15 minutes. If you get to the rendezvous point late, this is where you can find us.
The last image is from Google Maps and is a topo of the area.
I had been meaning to post this information for everyone on the BBS. You gave a reason to quit being lazy and get it done. If you need more info, just let me know. Looking forward to seeing you and catching up on the big tree news from NY.


The 7th Annual Forest Summit Poster

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm
by edfrank
The 7th Annual Forest Summit Poster

Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:19 am
by dbhguru

The 7th conference in the Forest Summit Lecture Series and associated ENTS rendezvous enters the annals of ENTS history. The event was a notable success by any reasonable criterion. The lectures were stellar because the lecturers were stellar. The visit to MTSF was good as always, and the evening of music, prose, and poetry outstanding, simply outstanding. It was a group effort by people committed to science, the arts, and aesthetics as expressed in and through the trees. My heart felt thanks to all. And now to the details. I’ll present them in a series of posts with each submission covering one day’s events. This first will cover Oct 11th.

Events of October 11th

I picked Will Blozan up at the Hartford-Springfield airport on Oct 11th. The day was sunny and warm, ideal for tree hunting. At around 9:40AM, we left the airport and headed west to see how the Granby Oak was doing. On arriving at that wonderful tree, we found it beautiful as ever - except for a nasty wound on a limb overhanging the road, which Will noticed later. The top of a truck had run into it. As a consequence, the limb is cracked and there is a gaping wound. I’ll leave it to Will to describe what we saw. But on the brighter side, here are four images of the oak as we saw it that morning. Please remember to click on each image to expand it. Full screen images of the Granby Oak have much more impact.
Notice Will in image #4 looking fit as a fiddle even after having gotten up at 4:00AM to catch his flight.

After leaving the Granby Oak, we headed west toward Great Barrington on State Route 57. It is a woodsy route, but we saw nothing overpowering, so I kept the pedal to the metal. After a lunch at Friendly’s with questionable service, we meandered around the countryside, eventually ending up at South Mountain State Forest south of Pittsfield. I was going to drive us to the Audubon sanctuary at Lenox, but South Mountain was calling out to be visited. I had been to the property several times before, but always on business with DCR and hadn’t had time to do much serious tree measuring on any of those visits. I knew there were some fairly tall ash trees and large diameter N. red oaks within easy walking distance. I had gotten 126 feet out of one ash tree close to a woods road. But there had to be something taller farther into the forest.

The land in the surrounding region got a lot of past use. There is no old growth, but individual trees and clusters along a ridge side present a stately appearance. In fact, as seen from Route 7, the N. red oaks, white ashes, and sugar maples make quite a visual impact, contrasting with the younger trees that one typically sees on private land.

We drove to the South Mountain headquarters and parked. As we suited up, unfortunately, I left my camera in the car so I must leave it to Will to post all the images of what we saw. Will, at least, had is head screwed on. Once in the woods, we measured some fine trees. Here is the list as I recorded our catch of the day.

Species Height Girth

NRO 107.5 13.0
WA 131.6 9.0 est.
WA 130.5
SM 120.3
WA 127.6
SM 112.7
SM 121.9
WA 125.0
NRO 117.9

We shot lots of other trees, but nothing stood out. As you can see by the numbers, the forest is impressive, but not overpowering. Nevertheless, it represents one more Massachusetts site with ash trees reaching to 130 feet. I’ll return and add more measurements to the list. I admit having a fondness for ths South Mountain site. It is where we established the 9th Forest Reserve that protects Mohawk Trail and Monroe State Forests.

Leaving South Mountain, we headed north back through Pittsfield and then east across State Route 9, the route that joins Pittsfield and Northampton. We stopped briefly at the Creamery at the intersection of Route 112 South and Route 9 to measure some tall looking white pines that Will spotted near the road. Just a mile away are the fabulous Bryant pines, but as for the trees along Route 9, well, I routinely pass them. I’ve never paid much attention to the roadside pines. However, Will’s eagle eye never lets him down. After slogging across wet ground to a higher perch, we confirmed 137, 138, and 139 feet for the three tallest pines. They are still relatively young trees with plenty of growing left to do. They also illustrate the potential for the Route 9 corridor to produce many noteworthy pines in the next 10 to 15 years.

Once back in Florence, MA, we relaxed at the house. We set Will up in the basement. He usually has it pretty much to himself. Looking back, It was a propitious beginning to a wonderful six days. Later Ed Coyle rolled in preparation for the Oct 12th climb and modeling of Tecumseh. I prepared dinner for the group.

On the 12th, weather permitting, we planned be at the great tree all day. The climbing team would be Will, Ed, and Bart Bouricius. Tim Zelazo and I would provide ground support. In the late afternoon of the 12th, Fred Pialett and Joan Maloof would be arriving at the house, but Ed would have to return to NYC after the climb. He works for NYC and couldn’t take more time off. Monica would prepare dinner for the group.

In the evening, Will and Bart coordinated by telephone on the equipment each would provide the following day. Will had established a list of items to be supplied by each member of the team, and he controls the climbing protocol. It is the one established by Steve Sillett and Bob Van pelt. So, we were all set for the climb with an iffy forecast. We went to bed keeping our fingers crossed.


Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:20 am
by Larry Tucei
Bob, Sounds like you all had a good time. I never tire of photos from the Grandby Oak, that is one awesome White Oak. It looks so much like the Live Oaks of the south. I've never seen a White Oak in that form here they are always tall. The Forest around the great tree must have been clearcut and kept cleaned out over the years to allow the tree to grow in this form? I can't wait to come up and see that tree and all your beautiful places. Looking forward to the full reports from the Summit. Larry

Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:15 pm
by dbhguru

Events of Oct 12th

Will, Bart, Ed, and I got an early start on Oct 12th. A breakfast at the Charlemont Inn fueled our engines and from there we drove to Zoar Gap to meet Tim Zelazo. We made our way to the Elders Grove carrying the climbing equipment. Once at Tecumseh’s base, Will, Bart, and Ed proceeded to rig the tree for climbing. I did whatever tasks they requested, but basically it was their show. The Images of the crew getting ready to go aloft and then climbing up the stout trunk follow.
The weather cooperated and the team collected data on 47 limb structures and the trunk. Will will feed the data to the model to calculate volume. We’ll hear from him in a few weeks. BTW, this was Will's 3rd climb of Tecumseh and Bart's second.

While the team was in Tecumseh and Tim was busily photographing them, I moved around the area re-measuring several of the Elders pines and measuring a few hardwoods for the first time. I keep close tabs on the grove and what is happening to the crowns. Re-measuring also allows me to constantly gauge the difficulty of measuring tall pines in a closed canopy grove. It works to sharpen both my measuring and teaching skills.

Most of the results of the climb must await Will’s report. One result that doesn't have to wait is the height. Before Will started up the pine, I said that I expected the tape drop height to be around 165 feet or about a foot less than the number I typically report. I use a lower mid-slope position for reasons I won’t discuss here. Anyway, the tape drop height of Tecumseh turned out to be exactly 165 feet. It was an immensely satisfying result because it reinforces how well we can measure these trees from the ground even when there is clutter, nested tops, and a limited time period when visibility is optimal.

Much of my time was spent with the hardwoods in the Elders grove. Species of interest include red maple, white ash, sugar maple, N. red oak, and black birch. Nothing is overpowering. Most of the hardwoods are between 95 and 115 feet in height and 5 to 9 feet in girth. One red maple makes 125 (formerly 128). A white ash at the edge of the grove makes 129.5, but these two trees are exceptional. The average hardwood is around 110 feet if not slightly less. The area was an old sheep pasture in the mid-1800s and the forest floor has not recovered enough to support taller hardwoods. However, the pines love the site.

While the others were occupied, I re-measured Saheda from a location that affords a good view of the crown this time of year. I’ll relate the measurement when I cover Oct 15th when Will, Don Bragg, and I all three measured Saheda.

We hit the road just prior to the beginning of the rain, getting home around 5:30PM. Fred Pialett, Lee Frelich, and Joan Maloof were there waiting. Lee slept in Monica’s music room, Fred in the living room, Joan in the guest bedroom, and Will in the basement. It worked out fine. What a great group! The next report will cover day #1 of the conference.


Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:51 am
by dbhguru

Events of Oct 13th and Oct 14th

The conference covered two days from 8:30AM to 6:00PM. The first day of lectures began with Dr. Fred Pialett’s outstanding presentation on the American chestnut. The second day started with Lee’s equally outstanding lecture on climate change and its projected effects on vegetation. I will not attempt to summarize the lectures here. Future posts will cover specific information that will be of interest to NTS members. I will simply say that the presentations were all outstanding and greatly appreciated by attendees. The conference was a success and our new location of the Kittredge Center is an improvement over the larger less intimate, dark forum.

As with prior conferences, the Mass DCR was a full partner. Director of Forest Stewardship Peter Church made a presentation on DCR’s response to the tornado and hurricane damage of the past summer. We also had a presentation by Sharl Heller of the Friends Network. I’ll be addressing that network on Saturday to discuss how we can improve the DCR interpretive services program on a shoestring budget.

This seventh conference in the series reinforced how wonderfully giving the scientific and environmental community is in the realm of student education. All participants exhibit a sense of mission and are willing to share what they know to the benefit of the students and general public. They do this year after year. We are so grateful.

For this event, we were privileged to have our own Dr. Don Bragg come all the way from Arkansas to be part of the events. Don made the DCR attendees such as foresters from Fish and Wildlife feel especially welcome. I felt good about that. We ask DCR to participate with us and it is only appropriate that we not only recognize what they do well, but have some presentations of special interest to them.

Another special treat for us was to have Dr. Joan Maloof present on the Old-Growth Forest Network that she is creating. Massachusetts will be well represented in the network. Joan will be a full-fledged participant in all future conferences. We dedicated a tree to her on Oct 16th. I’ll cover that event separately under events of the 16th .

Each presentation at these conferences enriches attendees. We receive excellent reviews. I don’t know how many more years we’ll hold the conferences, but I’d like to do at least a couple more. I hope we can make next year the conference of the decade. It would be fabulous if we could get some of our West Coast members to join us and present. Also Larry Tucei, Steve Galehouse, Rand Brown, Eli Dickerson, George Fieo, and other standout Ents are needed. We need to see big Ed’s return as well as Dale Luthringer. At this point I’m thinking about dividing the lectures between Holyoke Community and Smith Colleges. But there is plenty of time to think about times, locations, and agendas. Ideas are welcome. In addition, we might want to take an overnight field trip to the Adirondacks to visit some old growth forests and big trees in one of the East’s most inspiring natural settings. I could see establishing the theme of next year's conference around Joan’s Old-Growth Forest Network.

I’ll conclude these comments around the 13th and 14th. The next description will cover the events of the 15th. It was a marvelous day in the forest followed by outstanding events at the Charlemont Inn. Please stay tuned.


Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:57 am
by Larry Tucei
Bob, What an outstanding lineup of speakers. You can count me in next year. It will be a pleasure to come up and present all the Live Oak data I've put together over these last several years. Looking forward to the adventure up that way. Maybe I'll bring up some gator for ya. Larry

Re: The 7th Annual Forest Summit

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:19 pm
by dbhguru

You're on, buddy. But you'll have to show us how to cook it.