Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

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John Harvey
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Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by John Harvey » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:54 am

I've set out to make a waypoint map of 160'+ trees in the northeast, beginning with Tulip Poplar. This past week I spend a couple days in Brandywine Creek SP in Delaware, an area George Feio had measured about three years ago. I believe I was able to find additional tall trees. I also re-measured some of the trees he had found (based on photos) and they have grown an average of 2-4 feet each. This seems on par with the area. I re-measured Scott Wades record Tulip in Longwood Gardens a couple months ago and found it is over 167' now, up a couple feet as well. These trees are in the same general area. Regardless, I've been able to locate six 160'+ trees so far with about a quarter of the park explored.

160' trees as of 12/31/2013

163' x 10'8" cbh
162' x 12' cbh
162' x 13'8" cbh
161.5' x 10'8" cbh
161' x 12'6" cbh
160.5' x 13'6" cbh

Other notables for total size

157.5' x 15'7" cbh
130.5' x 16'2" cbh
138' x 16'0" cbh
157.5' x 14'2" cbh
150.5' x 13'11" cbh
Upshot of 163'
Upshot of 163'
163' x 10'8"
163' x 10'8"
162' x 13'8"
162' x 13'8"
160.5' x 13'2"
160.5' x 13'2"
162' x 12' cbh
162' x 12' cbh
157.5' x 14'2" cbh Look at that canopy!
157.5' x 14'2" cbh Look at that canopy!
130.5' x 16'2" cbh
130.5' x 16'2" cbh
157.5' x 15'7" cbh
157.5' x 15'7" cbh
161' x 12'6"
161' x 12'6"
162' x 13'8" 2
162' x 13'8" 2
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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dbhguru
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:44 am

John,

Great project! Thanks for taking it on. I'll give you all the 160-foot trees for New England. So far, we haven't found a 160-foot tulip. All the 160s are white pines, but I have them all. Just let me know when you want them.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
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Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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John Harvey
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by John Harvey » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:15 am

Bob,
That would be great. Whenever you have the time. I think my email is on file here but if not its JohnnyDJersey@aol.com
I have less experience with the 160' + pines as in I'm not sure how abundant they are in the Northeast. ( I assume there are more of these than Tulips) I know there are several in north west PA. Once I feel I've exhausted the hardwoods Ill move on to those as there found more in Laurentian mixed forest rather than Eastern Deciduous forest although there may be areas where they overlap.

Thanks,

John
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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bbeduhn
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:07 pm

Awesome work! What are the heights of other species growing with the tulips? The canopies look spectacular. Associated species should excel with the tulips.

I was at Longwood in 1996. What a magical place! Do you plan on tackling the estate?

Keep up the excellent work!

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John Harvey
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by John Harvey » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:13 am

Thank you. I haven't measured many other species except American Beech which I have found a couple at 130'. The one forest in particular was 90% tulip with Beech in the 125' range. On my next visit Ill do more measuring of other species, especially the oak.
As for the canopy, its the most Impressive I've seen outside of the Smoky Mountains and the California coast of course. The forest in Longwood is closed for the winter due to renovations. I discovered this recently as I was measuring the champion tree mentioned above so I didn't get too many other measurements. It seemed very similar to the Brandywine forest though. I was measuring in the mid 150's mostly although the trees were much smaller in circumference.
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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dbhguru
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by dbhguru » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:46 am

John,

I sent you a list of 160-foot white pines in Massachusetts by separate email, but I've also attached the list to this BBS post so others can see it. Just to give you an idea of what is out there, here is a list of knowns and suspected 160s in the white pine category for New England.

State # 160s Found # 160s Predicted

Maine 0 1
New Hampshire 4 10
Vermont 0 3
Massachusetts 15 15
Connecticut 0 1
Rhode Island 0 0
-------- --------
19 30

There are no 160-foot tulips in New England that we know of. If any exist, they would be in southwestern Connecticut. The high number of 160 white pines in Massachusetts and the low number elsewhere looks like the result of our concentrating on Massachusetts. However, I go to Vermont fairly often, and the pines in the Green Mountain state just don't make it. Vermont was mercilessly cut, and what is growing back is either not old enough, grow on infertile soils, or hopelessly weeviled. The prediction of 3 white pines over 160 is wishful thinking and pertains to the Connecticut River corridor where some fairly tall pines are know to grow. I have measured only one white pine in Vermont to 150 feet. I could be low on New Hampshire. The 10 is just a guess. There is a lot of white pine habitat. However, I have no reports of very tall pines beyond the ones I've measured. In time, there could be a number of sites with pines in the granite state closing in on 160 feet, but unfortunately, there are no NTS-qualified tree measurers resident in New Hampshire at this time. The state champion tree program listing has some extremely inflated measurements for several species.There is no trustworthy source up there that I have found who reliably measures tree height. Maine? Forget it. Connecticut? The nutmeg state once had the mighty Cathedral Pines at Cornwall, but no more. There was 160s on that site, but I don't know how many. Regardless, they all blew down in July 1989. I haven't found a CT site that has trees even close what grew in the Cathedral stand. Rhode Island? Nope.

The high number in Massachusetts illustrates an important principle. Complex geology often creates favorable sites. Eastern Massachusetts is virtually devoid of exceptionally tall trees. The answer seems to be the bed rock - granitic. My friend Joe Zorzin can speak more authoritatively on the geology of the bay state.

Bob
Attachments
MassachusettsOver160.xlsx
(87.54 KiB) Downloaded 86 times
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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John Harvey
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by John Harvey » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:22 am

Bob,
Thank you for all the great info there and for the emails. There are so many factors from state to state and even area to area of certain states that effect the tree heights. I've developed a theory as to why I've been unable to locate 150' and 160' trees in the southern half of NJ. I just don't think there are forest mature enough here. During the time Ive spent in the forest in Longwood gardens and Brandywine Creek SP (150-220 years old) Ive noticed that they have taken on old growth characteristics. There are huge fallen trees and open spaces in the canopy, balding bark on lower trunks ect. Of course there are varying definitions of old growth but these woods are taking on the traits. There is only 2 forest in south Jersey like this. Bear Swamp which has been exposed to too many hurricanes to have tall trees and Saddlers Woods old growth forest who's tallest tree is a 135ft tulip. This woods may even be too old for tall tulips. I know Will Blozen has noted several times in the Smokies that the taller tulips are in older second growth stands.
There is a location in north Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap called the Tillman Ravine. The area is old growth white pine and hardwood I believe. Hopefully I will have better luck there. Worthington state forest is close as well and is an area that was logged once (much like Brandywine) and left to grow over the last 150 - 200 years. In my last visit I located Chestnut Oak over 17ft CBH, Sugar Maple over 14ft, Silver Maple over 19ft, and tulips in the 13-16ft range. I'm very hopeful to get NJ on this list when I return with my equipment.

John
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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Matt Markworth
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by Matt Markworth » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:29 pm

JohnnyDJersey wrote:Worthington state forest is close as well and is an area that was logged once (much like Brandywine) and left to grow over the last 150 - 200 years. In my last visit I located Chestnut Oak over 17ft CBH, Sugar Maple over 14ft, Silver Maple over 19ft, and tulips in the 13-16ft range. I'm very hopeful to get NJ on this list when I return with my equipment.
John,

Wow, those girths are super impressive. Do you have measurement details/photos for those massive maples and Chestnut Oak? I'm always keeping an eye out for big Silver Maples, but haven't seen any lately. There's one site in Illinois that I remember had some big Silver Maples and I want to get back there some time to do some measuring.

Matt

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John Harvey
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by John Harvey » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:11 pm

Matt,
Here are a few photos from the area with measurements in the captions. The forest is HUGE! I would be surprised if I saw 10% of it.
Attachments
Sugar Maple 14ft5in Worthington
Sugar Maple 14ft5in Worthington
Chestnut Oak 17ft2in Worthington
Chestnut Oak 17ft2in Worthington
Silver Maple 19ft5in Worthington SF
Silver Maple 19ft5in Worthington SF
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

tclikesbigtrees
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Re: Six 160'+ poplars and counting. Delaware.

Post by tclikesbigtrees » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:31 pm

I don't know much about measuring trees other then circumference. How do you measure the height of a tree accurately, without climbing the tree?

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