Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County, KY

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#1)  Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County, KY

Postby Jim Scheff » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:47 pm

Hello all. I'd love to say more for my first post with you ENTS, but I'm short on time so am keeping it brief.

Brief bio: I'm a grad student at Eastern Kentucky University (former student of ENTS regular Neil Pederson), doing my research on the redevelopment of old growth structural characteristics in older second growth hardwood stands. My research is all in the Daniel Boone NF. I also work for a public lands advocacy organization, Kentucky Heartwood, where I spend a lot of time in the Boone and have been fortunate to find some really great spots with wonderful old trees. Incidentally, I found a shortleaf pine over 300 years old (it would make #3 on the eastern oldlist) in the middle of a timber sale we're working to stop. But that's another story.

Anyway, attached are a few photos from a really nice stand in the Daniel Boone NF in McCreary County I ended up in on Sunday. I'd add more photos but the upload is pretty slow. The area is just under cliffline and above the Cumberland River between Laurel Lake and the Rockcastle River. There were many very large trees there. The White oak pictured was 126cm dbh and I estimated 121ft tall with a clinometer. The Shagbark hickory was 77.5cm dbh. I was rushed when I took the height reading on that and so I'm not trusting my numbers. I got somewhere between 150 and 170 ft, but I really need to get back out there and try to get a better measurement. It was late. The Chestnut oak pictured was 108cm dbh.

There were a bunch of other very large trees, including a Sugar maple (103cm dbh), Black walnut (85cm dbh), several Cucumber magnolias over 70cm dbh, another large White oak (94cm dbh), White ash (83cm dbh), beech (84cm dbh, probably some larger I didn't measure), northern red oak (92cm dbh), basswood (84cm dbh), tulip tree (several very large and some not-so-large but clearly very old ones - didn't get measurements), and some very large hemlocks as well. The trees were all very tall, sheltered on slopes below the cliffline. I'm sure there's more out there, but I had other work to do.

Anyway, sweet spot I thought I'd share. We also found a nice population of Lucy Braun's white snakeroot, which lives is endemic to the area.

               
                       
White oak1.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Shagbark1.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
ChestnutOak1.jpg
                                       
               
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#2)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County

Postby James Parton » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:14 am

Jim,

Nice first post! Welcome to ENTS!!
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#3)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County

Postby Larry Tucei » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:31 am

Jim,    Those are some big trees! Kentucky sure has a lot of old Forest and such diversity. You guys are so lucky to have such places right in your backyard. How old would you estimate the trees in your photos?  I have to get up to Kentucky sometime and see all those old giants. There are so few remaining places like that. Thanks for sharing this with us. Good luck on your research.  Larry
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#4)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County

Postby edfrank » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:37 pm

Jim,

Welcome to the NTS.  That was a fantastic first post.  I believe I have heard of that Pederson guy....  Are you going to get into the height measurement game?  If so we can help you get started.

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
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#5)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County

Postby dbhguru » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:49 pm

Jim,

  I second James, Larry, and Ed's welcome. Those are some very impressive trees. Splendid first post.

Bob
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#6)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County, KY

Postby jamesrobertsmith » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:13 pm

Welcome! You have some nice photos there! I haven't been hiking in Kentucky yet.
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#7)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County, KY

Postby dbhguru » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:06 am

Jim,

   If you are able to return to that Shagbark Hickory and remeasure it without a laser rangefinder, I recommend you trying  the External Baseline Method  as explained in past posts of mine. If you can achieve an accuracy of +/-0.25 degrees with the clinometer and accuracy of +/-0.25 feet for the baseline (both achievable) with the tape and clinometer, you should be able to come within 2.5 to 5.0 feet of the actual height. If you can crank the accuracy up to +/-0.2 degrees, and if the clinometer error is in the same direction (both plus or both minus), you can get accuracies within +/- 2 feet. However, the method is temperamental. Different combinations of distance and angle error can lead to large errors in height.

   You would need to set up two measuring stations using tripods or stakes to mark the positions of the eye at each measuring location (ends of the external baseline). If you would like to discuss the method more, I'd be happy to do so.

   In terms of time, it typically requires 15 to 20 minutes to measure a tree using EBM in a closed canopy forest and on uneven ground. The length of the baseline can be as short as 20 feet for the angle errors cited above. The important advantage of EBM is that you don't have to triangulate the crown high point with respect to the base, and unless you do that with the regular tangent method, you're dead in the water. Accuracy goes out the window.

Bob
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#8)  Re: Daniel Boone NF, McCreary County, KY

Postby Ranger Dan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:39 am

Very nice photos, and thanks you for letting us know the location.  I'd like to have a look at this area myself...it looks beautiful.  Tell us about the stand where the 300-year-old pine is.  I spent some time helping stop the Forest Service from logging old growth myself, here in Virginia.  Have any shots to share?
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