Multi-pith examples - cut trees

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Matt Markworth
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Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:59 pm

All,

Here are a couple examples of multiple piths at ground level. I'll keep an eye out for more cut trees along trails.

These two honeylocust stems must have separated when they hit the ground:
honeylocust1.jpg
A view of the included bark where the stems split apart:
honeylocust2.jpeg
The circularity achieved is remarkable. The stems have merged at the top of this photo, but not at the bottom:
honeylocust5.jpeg
A closeup of where the stems have merged:
honeylocust6.jpeg
The bark on the merged side shows no sign of two stems:
honeylocust3.jpeg
The unmerged side has darkened bark:
honeylocust4.jpeg
Here is the stump of some ash tree stems:
ash1.jpg
ash1.jpg (135.82 KiB) Viewed 911 times
Three stems are present:
ash2.JPG
ash2.JPG (120.29 KiB) Viewed 911 times
A closeup of the three stems:
ash3.jpg
ash3.jpg (99.98 KiB) Viewed 911 times
A closeup of the smallest stem:
ash4.jpg
ash4.jpg (132.1 KiB) Viewed 911 times
A closeup of where the two larger stems have merged:
ash5.jpg
Matt

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Don
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Re: Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by Don » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:15 am

Matt-
Fascinating, isn't it, when you really get down to the base? When those two stems meet, they are the irresistible forces meeting the immovable objects! And what a good example of "included bark"

What do you think you'd see, if you scraped away the duff, and took off another 3-4" (or whatever just above ground level is)?

Would there still be three?

Are there other stories to be told (I'm thinking of the papa bear, mama bear, baby bear array of sizes/ages), and their apparent "health"? Respective ages? Year(s) their growth rate(s) changed?

Great stuff!
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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Matt Markworth
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Re: Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:51 pm

Don wrote: What do you think you'd see, if you scraped away the duff, and took off another 3-4" (or whatever just above ground level is)?

Would there still be three?

Are there other stories to be told (I'm thinking of the papa bear, mama bear, baby bear array of sizes/ages), and their apparent "health"? Respective ages? Year(s) their growth rate(s) changed?
Don,

I think there would still be three piths at ground level. You're right, it raises a lot of avenues to explore and I rather like the detective/forensic science aspect of this.

Here's another ash tree example, starting with the stump:
IMG_3882 (1).JPG
Cross-section showing a small stem completely surrounded:
IMG_3878 (1).JPG
Closeup of the small stem:
IMG_3879 (1).JPG
Section of trunk:
IMG_3881 (1).JPG
Obvious bulge on the trunk where the small stem is inside:
IMG_3887 (1).JPG
Possible exit location for the small stem, leaving evidence in the bark:
IMG_3888 (1).JPG
Matt

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Don
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Re: Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by Don » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:56 pm

Matt-
I hadn't thought of the 'forensics' aspect, but you're right. In the case of single- versus multi-stemmed trees, we as Cadre look at process backwards, in the sense that we have to make judgments of current health/status/dimensions, based on their full life span, not just what is presented us. In the process of delineating pith lines, we start from the top (or at least substantially up the primary trunk(s), and delineate down, accounting for discernible external inputs, and arriving at our best estimate of where "it all started". " Sleuthing" comes to mind too!
You've great powers of observation! Keep it up...: ~ }
-Don
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

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by Matt Markworth » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:38 pm

Don,

I agree, sleuthing is a good term for this activity. Speaking of that, I read that a local "frisbee golf course" was removing it's ash trees, so I went to see if anything could be learned.

Here's one example from there of an obvious case of multiple stems at ground level. It would have been better, for illustrative purposes, if the cut would have been made lower, but at the very least it's another example of how stems interact with each other.

For the first two photos I put two of the cut tree trunks back onto the stumps. For the third photo I removed them again.
312.JPG
313.JPG
314.JPG
Matt

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John Harvey
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Re: Multi-pith examples - cut trees

Post by John Harvey » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:44 pm

I saw this redwood today and thought about this post. It looks like the tree to the left, actually a stem from another redwood, leaned into the tree to the right and fused long ago. That little tree is no slouch and probably over 20ft CBH. The family pic was taken some months ago but shows another angle of the tree. I think its amazing how trees can become one like that.
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John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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