Potential National Champ Cottonwood

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Jimmy McDonald
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:52 pm

Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by Jimmy McDonald » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:16 am

I was looking through the Kansas big tree registry the other day and saw their largest eastern cottonwood was enormous. 35'5" cbh 97' tall ave crown spread of 127' total of 553 pts. I emailed the Kansas big tree coordinator and he forwarded me some pictures, here they are.
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Beth
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Re: Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by Beth » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:10 am

This is a mutistemed tree and in my book it shouldn't even compete with the single stem trees.

Beth
Trees are the Answer

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edfrank
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Re: Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by edfrank » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:00 am

Beth, Jimmy,

I would agree that for comparison purposes that this multitrunk tree should not be directly compared to single trunk trees. However for species like cotonwood, balck willow, silver maple and similar trees which are often subject to stem damage, a multitrunk form is a normal habit for these trees. Along rivers fro example, flooding will push debris into the tree trunks growing in the floodplains, damaging and break ing them off. This commonly leads to the sprouting of secondary stems.These giants should not be ignored because a common or normal growth habit for these trees does not comform to the typical single stem pattern of other trees grwoing in other conditions.

I am trying to develop a listin of some of these exceptional mutitrunk trees separate from those of singel trunk trees and have a start posted to the website. Because of the varied forms a measurement protocol is difficult to standardize for every tree. On the multitrunk page: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/multi/index_multi.htm I proposed this set of measurements be taken:

"The different stems of these multi-trunked trees often flair outward. The fused base should be measured at a height of 4.5 feet, if it extends that high, or measured at the narrowest point below 4.5 feet when it does not extend that high. The number of individual stems making up the measured girth should be noted, in addition any stems not included in the girth measurement should also be noted. Where possible the girth of the largest single stem should be measured at 4.5 feet or at whatever height it becomes separate from the multi-trunk mass for comparison with single trunk trees. Optionally the girth and height of each individual stem making up the multitrunk tree can be measured. The height of the tallest stem, and the crown spread of the multi-trunk mass should also be measured. "

I found it interesting that when looking at the tree shapes of the various live oaks on Larry' Tucies Live Oak list, in which I plotted the ratio of girth, height, and crown spread on a terniary diagram, that the shape of the mutlitrunk trees on the list plotted within the same tight group as the trees with only a single stem.

Ed Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

Jimmy McDonald
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:52 pm

Re: Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by Jimmy McDonald » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:54 pm

I like that idea Ed I'll have to start using it, though I'm still using the stick to eye method for height.

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by Larry Tucei » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:53 am

Jimmy, Huge Cottonwoods! They remind me of the Live Oaks down here in the South. Way cool tree! Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Potential National Champ Cottonwood

Post by dbhguru » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:17 am

ENTS,

I have mixed feelings about these multi-stemmed clumps. Some of them may spring from a single root system. Others may be fusions of two or more trees. Still, the third possibility is a combination of the two situations.

I am in agreement with Ed that they shouldn't be ignored, but definitely should not be included with single-stemmed trees for comparison purposes. They should be their own category.

Bob
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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