Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportunities

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#21)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby Joe » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:28 am

gnmcmartin wrote:

(snipped)
--all white pine trees, whether they are growing on excellent sites, or merely "good" sites, grow at the same rate after age 55.


So, the height growth may be very similar after that age- but, on better sites, I'd bet that diameter growth is better- just a guess- but I'd wager a nickel on it.
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#22)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby AccipiterGentilis » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:02 pm

Hi Gaines:

What do you know about tulip tree growth curves?  I know that you had a great in-depth answer to eastern white pine growth rates, so I thought I would check.  I have read that tulip trees are rapid growing and are one of our faster growing trees here in Michigan.

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#23)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby gnmcmartin » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:24 pm

Dan:

  As you know, tuliptrees grow very fast, and heights of 140 feet or a more  in 50 years are achieved in the Southern Appalachians on the most fertile sites, with eventual heights possibly approaching 200 feet. I have not seen any specific study of the "curve" as such, but I do know that generally their growth peaks relatively early like white pine and most other eastern hardwood trees, and declines as the trees reach 35 to 50 years old, and continues to decline as the tree ages.  I have never seen any estimate of the 'residual" height growth of very old trees.  But, contrary to what you might see in some sources, tuliptree reaches fairly advanced ages of up to 400 years and possibly more. It doesn't have the straight line on a graph past the age of 50 as does Norway spruce.

  --Gaines

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#24)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby wisconsitom » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:26 pm

Hi again Gaines.  On the chance you get back into this thread, just a couple comments:  I think the "European man" you reference above, and who is the person who posited a believable theory on the present-day genetic makeup of Norway spruce was Mr. Pine Resin from the GardenWeb-now Houzz-trees forum.  I remember him giving that exact explanation.  Interesting too, within that context, that the NS from areas far, far to the south, not just in Germany and Poland, but down into the Balkans are among the world's finest.

As to white pine, I'm not going to be much help, in that I'm not one to measure trees-ever really.  But very generally, there are too many accounts for them all to have been lies, that at least in the Wisconsin pinery there existed white pines of 200 ft. height.  Again, I would cast doubt on a single claim of this, but there have been too many over the years to cast them aside.

The other thing is-and I mentioned this in the thread with the Wausua Insurance Co. sign...Menominee County, AKA the Menominee Indian Reservation, is the place to see large pines today.  I'm not saying here that it would lend itself to the idea of research you have, but the resource is there, standing in the woods.    And finally, the photo which was the subject of that other thread is indeed one of very large white pine...in Wisconsin-at the very same Menominee County.  I've seen that photo a number of times and as far as I'm concerned, it is properly identified as coming from that magnificent forest.
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#25)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby gnmcmartin » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:16 pm

Tom: and NTS
  Yep, "resin."  He has provided us all with a wealth of information.  I had never thought of the issue of repopulation after the most recent ice age, but this issue with Norway spruce is very clear, and I think there is an issue also with white pine.  Why?

  It is interesting that members of NTS have observed extremely fast growing white pines in areas in the southern Appalachians.  One could speculate that is because of the very favorable climate and rainfall.  But I can assure NTS members that this is not the only factor, and I believe, not the primary factor. My evidence is just one stand of trees, but this evidence is rather compelling.  Planted along Clover Run, just north west of parsons WV, is a stand of white pine that is quite famous among foresters in the area.  It is growing very, very much faster, and with very straight trees, than any other local stand.  The seed source?  North Carolina--clearly documented.

  It has been almost a "mantra" that when planting trees in a specific area, one should use seed from that same local area.  But there are a number of cases where this is flat wrong, including the Norway spruce in Finland, and the white pine in WV.

  I talked to the person in charge of the MD forest nursery a few years ago, and he told me that they would start working with that strain and work it into their seed orchard eventually.

  I have a hypothesis that may be verifiable by careful genetic and morphological studies.  That is that in the US during the most recent glaciation, the white pine population was split in two, and remained split for a considerable period.  And, that the more northerly white pines repopulated the area from a residual stand, possibly to the southwest.  And that the white pines in the southern Appalachians moved back into that area from a population further south and to the east.

  If genetic studies could show some consistent differences in the two populations I am speaking of, and maybe determine a line where they seem to be mixed, that would be important evidence.

  Another interesting thing to throw in the mix, is that there are "outliers" of white pine in the mountains of Mexico.  These are Pinus strobus, not simply a related species.  I think it would be very important to study these also, and see if they are closer to the southern Appalachian strain, or the more northerly one. My guess? --the more northerly one for reasons I won't go into here. Of course, the "more northerly" strain could be more than one.

  In my undergraduate days at MSU, I majored in botany--specifically, plant taxonomy.  One summer I was a field assistant to a Professor John Beamon on a specimen collecting trip to the mountains of Mexico. We climbed and collected on all the high mountains of Mexico. One special focus was on the study of plants of the same species as they appeared on each of the mountains, which due to their volcanic origin, are not in any regular connected range, but are generally rather widely separated, resulting in local, isolated, "endemic" populations.  In conjunction with the collection of specimens, chromosome samples were taken, when that was possible. We travelled with a plant geneticist at times, and when he was available, we got the samples.

  Afterwards, I got a small undergraduate research grant to work with some of the material.  What I did was the most tedious, careful work, generally with a microscope, searching for morphological differences that appeared, possibly, due to the isolation of the populations for rather long periods of time.  Most of my time was working with chickweed. To the naked eye, things looked alike, but under the microscope, very minute differences could be found.  These may or may not have indicated anything important genetically--each of the mountains did have slightly different climates and soils, etc., but the kinds of differences seemed to suggest genetic origin.

  Not long after, I changed my major to English--I had started in forestry--and I lost track of Dr. Beamon and his study.  I don't know if the morphological differences I and others found were reflected in genetic differences. I never thought to try to find and purchase the book he ultimately published.

  I mention this only to make the point that isolated populations do tend to diverge, even if reflected in very small elements.  Perhaps such a careful study of white pine morphology, combined with chromosome studies, could reveal something about the movement of white pine populations after the Ice Age. Of course, some of the genetic differences could well have been present before the populations were isolated.

  There should be a PhD dissertation or two in this somewhere.

  By the way, that summer I spent in Mexico, mostly going up and down the mountains, was an astonishing experience.  One trip was especially wonderful.  The Pico de Orizaba is the highest mountain in Mexico.  It is described in the Wikipedia as a "strato volcano," and is the second highest mountain, at 18,541 feet, of that kind in the world, only topped by Mt. Kilimanjaro. Because the mountain is so huge, the professor wanted to climb up the mountain from both sides, the East, and the West.  The trip up the east side was especially amazing and exciting.  There were no roads approaching the mountain from that side, that even a jeep could navigate, so we rented horses and packed in for three days.  The landscape approaching the mountain was simply spectacular.  And the people living on the mountain were very isolated.  I saw a couple of men cutting down pine trees and hewing them into large beams with axes, including broad axes.  This was not a "cultural museum" with re-enactments, but was part of how these people lived. We found people who had never heard of the United States, and on one mountain, we couldn't find anyone who spoke Spanish--only some native "Indian" language.

  We did not attempt to climb to the summit of this mountain--of course, our mission was plant collecting, not mountaineering. But we did climb to somewhere above the 16,500 foot level, well up into the snow. We did reach the summit of Ixta, short for Iztccihuatl, at about 17,150 feet.  When doing so we passed some climbers from a Mexican climbing school, all roped together. This mountain, being a very, very old and long extinct volcano, was much eroded and had some of the most beautiful landforms with little valleys and wonderful plant life, imaginable.

  Well, I digress--forgive me.  --so many stories to tell from that summer.

  --Gaines
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#26)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby Joe » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:25 am

gnmcmartin wrote:   I mention this only to make the point that isolated populations do tend to diverge, even if reflected in very small elements.   --Gaines


That's the very essence of the evolutionary process.
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#27)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby wisconsitom » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:35 am

Wonderful stuff!  Glad to have reconnected with you here.  BTW, an Eric-I forget his whole handle-has disabused me of my erroneous statements regarding that picture of the giant pines in another thread you started.  turns out, I was half right, in that while the true identity of that photo has been shown to not be from Wisconsin, there is another very similar one-from the Menominee Reservation, just like I thought-but it's not this one.  No biggie either way-just don't want to begin my time on this board by being inflexible to learning new things.

BTW, while $$, or the lack thereof might preclude this, my sons and I are thinking abut starting up a new tree plantation-southern branch-perhaps in southern Costa Rica!  Land prices there have not yet been"gringofied" I hear.  In fact, another online friend is all but reaching through the wires of the internet, urging us to get started down there.  This is at the very formative stages of even being an idea, so we shall see.  I'd love to grow some ipe' or teak, or perhaps some other ideas we have floating around.  But this in no way is a backing off from our project in NE Wisconsin, which, BTW, continues to progress nicely.  I suppose I better start my own thread to talk about all that, but hey, good to hear from you.
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#28)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby Joe » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:48 am

Tom
When you start that plantation- have you determined which species? How about making it a very mixed plantation with many species? That might not be the most economically productive/profitable but it will be the most interesting ecologically and aesthetically.

Regarding the Menominee- I vaguely recall reading once that their forest can be clearly discerned from orbit. All around it is wasted landscapes- but the M. is a vivid green rectangle of healthy forest.
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#29)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby wisconsitom » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:34 am

Indeed Joe, we are looking at a variety of species.  In fact, the best case would be for it to mimic what we've done here in Wisconsin, where basically, I made it a priority to find partially-wooded land.  I didn't want all woods, because I wanted room to expand the forest.  So, we've got some marvelous woods up there and the fallow field area is the expansion zone for those species of trees in our woods-primarily white pine, northern white cedar, and paper birch, along with a good bit of balsam polar and a handful of others.  then, we've planted uphill from that, the plan being that in time, both parts will blend to gether.  There are some additional facets to this, but that's the overall idea.

So.......best case...if we do end up doing something in CR, would be to follow that same idea....to have at least a bit of intact forest-however one wishes to define that...and then additional room to grow other species, as well as have the existing ones expand.  So you see, just buying a chunk of woods down there would not do it for us.  We need room to grow and to add on.  And while there may well be a commercial aspect to some of what we would do, the biological is always front and center, both in this proposed project and in our existing one up here.  For example, at our WI planting, some thinning may be called for at some point.  In such a case, we would leave behind the best trees and cull the lesser ones.  Crop trees in other words, even if the actual "cropping" might be a long way off!

Thanks for taking an interest in my post.  I'm brand-spanking new on this board and already I'm liking it.
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#30)  Re: Eastern White Pine Growth Rates and Research Opportuniti

Postby tsharp » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:30 pm

Gaines, NTS:
I recently stopped at the USFS research center in Parsons, WV and got some information on the Clover Run White Pine Plantation on the Monongahela, National Forest.
Gaines - I believe this is the stand that you have referred to in several posts.
Planted: Spring 1933. Spacing 6x6, Seed source - Pisgah, Acres - 70.2, Pruning 48,58,60: Thinning 53,60,66,71: Salvage cuts - 70,76,61,91.  
1994 - Latest plot data:
Trees per acre: 96, Basal Area: 231 square feet, Average DBH-  20.8", Average height - 136', Board feet per acre - 50,000'
Fomes annosus detected 1959. stumps treated with creosote (60) and Borax (66), no treatment after 71.
40 acres planted with Yellow-poplar in alternate double rows.
7 acres planted with European Larch in alternate double rows.
10 acres planted purely White Pine
2 acres planted White Pine and Japanese Larch
About 10 acres failed and all planted species except White Pine died.
Area is located in the Cheat Ranger District in the northern end of the National Forest at an elevation of 1600-1700' on the right fork of Clover Run(trout stream) in southern part of Preston County, WV.. Good moisture availability
I briefly briefly visited the area about 5 years ago and shot the heights of about half of dozen White Pines in the high 130's low 140's. I did not know or appreciate the history  of the stand at the time and some of the information presented above deserves some more investigation.
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