Michigan area users?

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dham81793
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Michigan area users?

Post by dham81793 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:06 pm

I am new to the Native Tree Society, and am just wondering if anyone is residing in the lower peninsula of Michigan? I have been looking for someone to collaborate with on hikes, and tree measuring expeditions. I am eager to begin researching, mapping, and finding the ratios of "big" to "small" trees in a region. Next year, I will begin studying biology at the University of Michigan and I will begin research there as well. After that I plan to move to the north coast of Cali where I can study the redwoods more intensely. Any help on measuring trees with accuracy would be much appreciated! I am looking into buying a Nikon ProStaff 440 and a Suunto clinometer, any suggestions other than that?

If anyone would like to help out I would be very greatful!

Doug Ham III
Doug Ham III

RyanLeClair
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by RyanLeClair » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:02 pm

Welcome to NTS! NTS member Doug Bidlack grew up in the lower peninsula of Michigan...but he lives in Massachusetts now...anyways, maybe he can tell you of some good locations.

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PAwildernessadvocate
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Have any NTS members ever gone up and measured the old-growth white pine trees at Hartwick Pines State Park (northern lower peninsula)?
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

dham81793
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Re: pawildernessadvocate

Post by dham81793 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:03 pm

That will actually be my first stop once I get my rangefinder! I will be sure to post measurements and pictures ASAP!
Doug Ham III

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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:19 pm

Cool! If my memory serves, Hartwick Pines is the only known place in the entire lower peninsula that has its original old-growth forest. Everywhere else was cut at least once. Am I remembering that right?
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

dham81793
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by dham81793 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:29 pm

yes, that's quite correct; Keeweenaw Peninsula (at the very tippy-top of the UP) is really the only other place in Michigan to see old growth white pines, and that is a HIKE. I plan to make a trip to the UP this summer though. its so under rated in beauty throughout the country. I recommend more people to go there, you wont be disappointed.
Doug Ham III

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dbhguru
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by dbhguru » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:36 am

Doug,

I've measured trees in the Hartwick Pines State Park on several occasions. Will Blozan and I once did a program for the Park interpreters. We got heights up to 158 feet for the pines, but since then an ice storm treated our pines pretty ugly. I think there may be only one 150-footer left, possibly two. We also measured red pines to around 144 feet, my personal best.

Will and I have traveled widely across Michigan measuring trees. Some of Will's early efforts were in pursuit of dubious national champions. Will blew the cover on the badly mis-measured national champion red maple. The National Register had it listed at the unbelievable 179 feet. Will confirmed the red maple at 119 feet. That's a 60-foot error! And the measurement was made by a person with credentials. There's a lot more to tree measuring than the simplified approach commonly employed in the timber industry, where real tree geometry is largely ignored for the sake of expediency.

On a different theme, a friend of mine who took a trip with me and my former wife in 2000 introduced us to Frankenmuth. Heck of a town. Best German food I've had outside Germany. I've also reported extensively from the U.P. I love Michigan, especially the U.P. I consider myself an honorary Yooper.

Let's first get you up to snuff on the measuring mission so you can move with confidence within the group. One other person, you'll want to get to know is Dr. Lee Frelich. Lee is the VP of ENTS, and THE expert on Michigan old growth. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park was his home for several years when he was getting his PhD from the University of Wiscionsin. He's the man. Another scientist of great importance in NTS is Dr. Neil Pederson. Neil is a Dendrochronologist. If you have questions about species longevity, Neil's your man.

Doug, as an organization, we run pretty loosely, encouraging each member to make his/her unique contribution. As I expect you've gathered, our membership ranges far and wide. But we're always especially pleased when a younger person discovers and joins us. Ryan LeClair in Connecticut is only a little older than you are, and he is going great guns.

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

dham81793
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by dham81793 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:00 am

Bob,

That's great to hear that you have taken such a liking to the state of Michigan. Sadly, it sounds like I am alone in the Michigan. :(
But I guess that gives me more stomping grounds, so to speak.

That is sad to here that the white pines have been so damaged by the storms in the area. Scary, because just last night there was a ice/snow storm covering the whole of Michigan. If the red pines you measured were in the L.P, then they were apart of the University of Michigan Biological Station near Roscommon. That grove has a former national champion there around that same height. That'd be pretty cool if you measured it.

As for Frankenmuth, the trees aren't spectacular here, but they are in integral part of our park system, and our city is part of Tree Town, USA I believe. Ever heard of that?
Maybe if you or Will are ever in the area again I could take you on a tour of the town, and we could take a trip to Hartwick Pines. I'm sure there has to be some giants in that unexplored old-growth! I'll be going there soon, hopefully I will have my rangefinder and clinometer by then.

Doug
Doug Ham III

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DougBidlack
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by DougBidlack » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:21 pm

Doug,

welcome to NTS! Sorry for the late welcome but I was in California visiting my brother and his family. My wife and I have been recovering from the visit, the flu (both of us) and my wife is also recovering from shingles (luckily not a severe case). As Ryan mentioned I originally grew up in the lower peninsula. I grew up in Milford which is about 20-25 minutes northeast of Ann Arbor by car. Since my parents still live there and I have several ongoing tree projects in the area, I visit quite often. In fact I'll be going back on the 8th of March on Thursday after leaving work a couple of hours early and I'll come back to Massachusetts on the 11th of March on Sunday. I'll be doing tree stuff on Friday and Saturday. One day I'm probably going to go the Lower Huron, Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks with David Gruenwald. We'll be looking at trees all day...probably from sunup to sundown and hopefully a bit longer. You're very welcome to join us. I can show you how to measure trees and you can see some mighty fine looking trees! So far, tuliptree, sycamore and cottonwood all top 130' in this area. I think Will Blozan, who has visited this area twice, estimated the trees to be 80-100 years old if I remember correctly.

The lower peninsula actually does have several other little old growth forests besides Hartwick Pines. These include Warren Woods State Park, Newton Woods, Interlochen State Park, South Manitou Island (part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) and Colonial Point Forest Preserve among others. You even mentioned the Roscommon Red Pines which I understand are also a bit of old growth. However, I believe the red pines that Bob was referring to were located in Hartwick Pines State Park. They have a number of nice red pines there.

David mentioned that he wanted to visit the Waterloo-Pinckney State Recreation Areas so we may go there for the other day that I'll be in Michigan. So, again, if you'd like to join us for either day you'd be quite welcome. David lives in Michigan and I introduced him to NTS but he doesn't seem to have the measuring bug. I recall a guy up in Marquette county who made a few posts but he seems to be gone now. You may very well be the only eNT in Michigan at this point. Hopefully that will change. Michigan needs serious help.

Doug (easy name to remember, eh!)

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edfrank
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Re: Michigan area users?

Post by edfrank » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:39 pm

So when are all of you Dougs going to have a Doug convention where you get together with other Dougs and talk about Doug related things?
"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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