Single-stem or Multi-stem?

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#21)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby Will Blozan » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:54 pm

Pith trace approximation of TX live oak...
               
                       
Texas live oak PT.jpg
                                               
Texas live oak PT.jpg (96.64 KiB) Viewed 1151 times
               
               

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#22)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:02 pm

morgan wrote:What's the consensus on this one? Single stem or two?

This is a London Plane tree (hybrid of American sycamore and European plane tree) at Vassar College
.


Reminds me of a row of Giant Sequoia I saw today, that were planted like 25 years ago as landscape specimens. some had divided trunks, but were definitely all single trees when planted, but extra stems, as they grew, became similar to what you posted here.

My thought this afternoon was possibly to abandon the idea of whether a tree is a single trunk or not, but whether it's a single TREE from a single seed ... if that's ascertainable. For some trees there is enough history to know. For other trees it is a mere guessing game.

From what I've seen of young trees becoming decades older, the tree you posted could easily be a single trunk originally near the ground level ... but seems hard to prove.
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#23)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:05 pm

Will Blozan wrote:Pith trace approximation of TX live oak...
The attachment Texas live oak PT.jpg is no longer available

Will


If that tree was not cut open, that' pith trace seems possibly equal chance of being a pith guess.

One more of those trees that could have grown in more than one way.

Think I've posted this before ... and this image is not about whether it's stem is fused or not, single or double. It just happens to be a good example of PITH-SHIFT ...

Going down the trunk the pith is proportionately closer to the center of the stem, and of the tree.

Had I not cut this flowering plum tree open, and pith-guessed by drawing lines down the middle of the stems on a photo of it from the side,  it's doubtful I'd be anywhere close to where the stem centers really are.
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#24)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby Will Blozan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:56 pm

Mario,

That is why I posted earlier about the pith not necessarily being in the center. Cut sections like your are excellent to help figure things out.

Again, I suspect more than one seed would have been planted at a nursery to get the sequoia's going but were never thinned at germination. I feel this is a common occurrence not just with seeds but with cuttings. Moss cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) does not reproduce by seed to variety as far as I know. Yet, they are almost always multistemmed and drives me crazy. I presume this is because a thrifty nursery worker put more than one cutting in the pot to be sure it would be filled.

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#25)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:36 pm

Will Blozan wrote:Mario,

That is why I posted earlier about the pith not necessarily being in the center. Cut sections like your are excellent to help figure things out.

Again, I suspect more than one seed would have been planted at a nursery to get the sequoia's going but were never thinned at germination. I feel this is a common occurrence not just with seeds but with cuttings. Moss cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) does not reproduce by seed to variety as far as I know. Yet, they are almost always multistemmed and drives me crazy. I presume this is because a thrifty nursery worker put more than one cutting in the pot to be sure it would be filled.

Will


Hey Will ...

This is one of the most entertaining subjects ... LOL

I find it productively mind-engaging.

At the moment, I now wish I had photographed dozens more trees I've removed the past years as cut open examples. Seems there can hardly ever be too many examples.

I also find myself looking at dozens of trees per week similar to ones we are talking about, looking to see which if any have lessons to learn.

Wonderful subject, and even better yet with folks like yourself who have such broad experience and a mind open for discussion.
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#26)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby Will Blozan » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:38 am

Thanks Mario!

I will be looking for more examples in my work as well. Maybe "Lowland Larry" can do some photographic analysis of live oak ring structure on heavy leans and near-horizontal branching...

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#27)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby Don » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:27 pm

Mario, WIll-
Great interchange!  I'm very interested in your discussion, and look forward to your findings...very timely in the context of the AF Measuring Guidelines Working Group!
One comment rang loud, the idea that you can't always assume that the pith goes down the 'center of the circle'.  I'd say it usually does, and when it isn't, there's often a reason for it...it's a matter of understanding what the surface (and years of cutting them and the understanding that comes from that) is 'saying'.  For example, where two trees start out as seedling one foot apart, they'll likely approach a circle until the each radius encounters the other, at which time they'll initiate a forced displacement of each additional annual increment.  Such is seen in Mario's initial ponderosa pine 'swelling out'.  Hard to know until you've cut one down though, huh?
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#28)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:54 pm

One tree I regret not photographing part of, was a good size Deodar Cedar we removed from our back yard near the power lines. You know when trees have regular branch, where like 6 feet out from the trunk, the branch curves upward and grows as a stem? Our tree had a branch like that which curved up and was like 40 feet high, with maybe a 14" diameter near eye level. When I cross cut the wood, the rings were very tiny on the side toward the main trunk, and much bigger on the side away from the main trunk.

And the pith was way off center. And I think it has plenty do do with a couple of things. One being more weight of limbs to contend with on the outward side. Our particular extra stem did not have a lean to it. But the branch weight was only toward the outside. Also seems that the iimbs drawing moisture more from one side and sending food back mostly from one side may be related, although I don't know the specifics of that, scientifically..
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#29)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:02 pm

Hey ... apparently I did photograph it, and an old posting on an arborist forum salvages at least a 600 pixel photo. One shows most of the cut up wood. The main trunk was about 30 inches diameter. The other photo is a cross-cut from the extra stem which was the limb that curved up. A stub in one photo shows where it was attached.
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#30)  Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Postby mdvaden » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:17 pm

Found one more photo in my file of that same Deodar Cedar being cut apart. For comparison, I brightened and cropped out the end of that piece of wood flying through the air. It's enlarged and grainy, but can still see enough to tell the basic rings were more circular and not so much elliptical or oval. The pith ... dark area ... was closer to the center. But evidently from the photo, the pith was off center some, just not near like the sideways limb-stem.

The main trunk had no  significant lean to it.
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