Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

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#1)  Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Matt Markworth » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:37 pm

All,

I love visiting open-grown oaks on sunny, summer days. There is just something about it. Mix in impressive blue ash.... well, it's pretty darn special. I hope to spend many future sunny, summer days measuring ancient trees in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. I first learned about the special trees in the region while attending a presentation by Dr. Tom Kimmerer. I won't attempt to describe the region, because Tom's website already does such a great job. Check it out at http://www.venerabletrees.org. Thanks to Tom for his work in conserving the ancient trees of the Bluegrass.

Located in Lexington, KY, this 32 acre property became a park in the 1920's. The Loudon House still stands on the property, and was completed in 1852. This history, no doubt, contributed to the survival of these ancient trees. Well, I'm very glad they survived.

I measured species today that are typical for the types of ancient trees in the Bluegrass: blue ash, bur oak and chinkapin oak. The blue ash stole the show. I don't believe we have many measurements for open-grown blue ash, so it was really nice to get to see these trees today. Regarding the heights, many of these trees have long ago lost their tops. Also, I took two measurements to arrive at an average spread, although some of these trees would be good candidates for the spoke method.

circumference at breast height x tree height x average spread (max spread)

blue ash
14'9" x 81' x 57' (69')
13'11" x 71'
13'10" x 45' x 51' (53.5')
13'4"
13' x 58.5'
11'7"

bur oak
18'1" x 83.5' x 95.5' (100')
15'5" x 79' x 92' (93')

chinkapin oak
17'11" x 36.5' x 58' (65')
14'8" x 66' x 71' (80.5')


               
                       
14ft9inCBH blue ash and me.jpg
                       
14'9" x 81' x 57' blue ash
               
               


               
                       
14ft9inCBH blue ash.jpg
                       
14'9" x 81' x 57' blue ash
               
               


               
                       
13ft10inCBH blue ash and me.jpg
                       
13'10" x 45' x 51' blue ash
               
               


               
                       
13ft10inCBH blue ash.jpg
                       
13'10" x 45' x 51' blue ash
               
               


               
                       
blue ash leaf.jpg
                       
blue ash leaves
               
               


               
                       
18ft1inCBH bur oak.jpg
                       
18'1" x 83.5' x 95.5' bur oak
               
               


               
                       
Overseer of 15ft5inCBH bur oak.JPG
                       
Overseer of 15'5" x 79' x 92' bur oak
               
               


               
                       
17ft11inCBH chinkapin oak and me.jpg
                       
17'11" x 36.5' x 58' chinkapin oak
               
               


               
                       
17ft11inCBH chinkapin oak.jpg
                       
17'11" x 36.5' x 58' chinkapin oak
               
               


Matt

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#2)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Larry Tucei » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:54 am

Matt- Wow, Big Trees. I'm not familiar with Blue Ash but that must be close to the Max? Looking at the root mass it's showing the old growth characteristics. That Burr Oak is not real tall but wow 18' 1" what a beast!!! That Chinkapin is a monster also. I would bet these trees were from that time period 1850's or perhaps older. I would love to grow some of them.  Cool post!  Larry

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#3)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Rand » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:04 am

Yowza.  Never seen a blue ash even close to that size in Ohio.
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#4)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Matt Markworth » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:46 pm

Larry,

Based on the champion tree lists from KY, TN, OH, IN, IL, and MO (which encompasses the vast majority of its range), I think the 14'9" CBH blue ash is exceptional for the species. I'll go ahead and add it to the Tree of the Week post for Fraxinus. I've attached a better photo of the root mass. I agree that the tree is old and probably predates the house. There are other former estates in the Bluegrass that retained ancient trees and fortunately some of them are now parks. There are many current horse farms in the Bluegrass that have done the same. I also attached a photo of the big bur oak, although the tree doesn't lean as the photo would suggest. I need to remember to carry my lightweight tripod for better photos.

Rand,

I haven't seen anything like these in Ohio either. There's a town near me named Blue Ash, but I don't know of any blue ash trees left in the city. The city was named for the blue ash trees that were used to build a church that no longer exists. The thing that surprised me the most was the pale bark. The photo showing the root mass shows significant furrowing, and I attached another photo showing the pale bark on one of the smaller trees.

               
                       
14ft9in blue ash 2.jpg
                       
14'9" CBH blue ash
               
               


               
                       
18ft1inCBH bur oak 2.jpg
                       
18'1" CBH bur oak
               
               


               
                       
13ft10in blue ash 2.jpg
                       
13'10" blue ash
               
               


Matt

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#5)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Matt Markworth » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:15 pm

All,

Here's a 3D rendering of the biggest blue ash trunk using the 123D Catch desktop version. I encourage other members to test out the software. After leaf fall this year I'll try it out on a full tree and use Meshlab for volume measurements.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkmoFPgxsOk

Matt

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#6)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Matt Markworth » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:42 pm

Rand wrote:Yowza.  Never seen a blue ash even close to that size in Ohio.


Rand,

I'll keep an eye out for them in SW Ohio. Here's a pretty nice one in Spring Grove Cemetery: 12'1" x 76'.

               
                       
003.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
002.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
001.jpg
                                       
               


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#7)  Re: Castlewood Park (Bluegrass region of KY)

Postby Matt Markworth » Tue May 31, 2016 8:40 pm

Matt Markworth wrote:bur oak
15'5" x 79' x 92' (93')
               
                       
Overseer of 15ft5inCBH bur oak.JPG
                                               
Overseer of 15ft5inCBH bur oak.JPG (133.33 KiB) Viewed 460 times
               
               




All,

The 15'5" x 79' x 92' bur oak at Castlewood Park has died of a lightning strike.

There are some good photos of the takedown over on Tom Kimmerer's website: http://www.venerabletrees.org/death-of-an-oak/

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