Besser Natural Area (MI)

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Matt Markworth
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Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by Matt Markworth » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:23 am

Hi All,

The forecast was calling for rain during the holiday weekend and the South and the East had gloomy predictions as well. I can think of no better way to celebrate the 4th of July than exercising the freedom of choosing a direction and hitting the open road. North it was and seven hours later I pulled into Ossineke campground with breezy blue skies.

Heading north from Ossineke, I crossed over the 45th parallel and was reminded that I’d be seeing species unknown to my southwestern Ohio stomping grounds. As it turned out, I also encountered a species that I thought I knew well, yet one that presented itself with very different characteristics.

The mix of species at Besser Natural Area proved to be very different than my usual haunts and the mature pines and cedars made quite an impression as I walked down the trail. Here's a brief description of Besser: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-15 ... --,00.html
Besser Natural Area
Besser Natural Area
The White Pine is clearly the monarch of this forest exhibiting approximate heights up to 107 ft (shooting the laser straight up) and a maximum girth of 9.35 ft.
Eastern White Pine, CBH: 9.35ft
Eastern White Pine, CBH: 9.35ft
Eastern White Pine, CBH: 9.35ft
Eastern White Pine, CBH: 9.35ft
Fallen Eastern White Pine showing the sandy soil
Fallen Eastern White Pine showing the sandy soil
I documented the Red Pine up to 93.5 ft shooting straight up with girths up to 6 ft. A cut Red Pine with a girth of 4.5ft at 5ft high had approximately 120 rings.
Red Pine Bark
Red Pine Bark
Northern White-Cedar had the most character by far. A cut Northern White-Cedar with a girth of 3.3ft at 8ft high had approximately 125 rings.
DSCN0937.jpg
The trail continues on and reaches the shore of Lake Huron. The stunted trees (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=5551) and the "Tree Without Roots" (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=5549) kept my attention for quite awhile.

And now to the tree exhibiting characteristics I hadn't seen before. The extremely blocky bark and the trunk without "ski tracks" threw me off the scent of Northern Red Oak. Here's the original post: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=5562
oak 3.jpg
I was able to do the Sine Method on a Striped Maple and got 44ft.
Striped Maple Bark
Striped Maple Bark
Balsam Fir, Paper Birch, and Red Maple are also prevalent at the site. Many other species were present, but to a lesser extent.

On the way home I visited Lower Huron Metropark near Detroit. (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f ... =30#p24402) As I crossed the Ohio line the rains came down and I appreciated my northerly excursion that much more.
Besser.PNG
My Master File: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=4836

- Matt

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bbeduhn
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Re: Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:33 am

Matt,
Nice burl on the whitecedar! I usually just see red oak with furrows on much larger trees. From the picture, it certainly favors chestnut oak. Bark is a good identifier but we all get fooled from time to time.
Brian

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:49 pm

bbeduhn wrote:Nice burl on the whitecedar!
Brian,

These old cedars were pretty interesting. Here's a different angle, along with two other cedars . . .
DSCN0935.jpg
DSCN0959.jpg
DSCN0957.jpg
- Matt

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:11 am

Matt- Nice trees! The photo of the bark of the Striped Maple is way cool. Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:04 pm

Matt

I am very impressed by the measuring output of you and Brian. Both of you have amassed quite a lot of measurements. Do either of you have thoughts about the treatment of single versus multi-stemmed trees in the big tree contests?

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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bbeduhn
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Re: Besser Natural Area (MI)

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:01 pm

Bob,
I am fully in support of having two listings. I much prefer single stemmed as I feel true trees are single stemmed in most circumstances. However, I have nothing against multi-stemmed trees. They are simply another kind of beast. I get very annoyed when there is a true single that has no chance of competing with a multi; case in point, the Ohio sycamore. It's up to the individual states to confirm single vs. multi and fortunately, NTS has made headway in that regard. Hopefully, in five years' time we'll see all states separating trees into categories and have all trees accompanied with a photo, and have someone who knows how to measure properly to confirm the findings.

I just found a potential National champion hickory but there's a bigger one in Florida without as much as a photo, so there's no way of telling that it's a multi, which I presume but do not know for certain.
Brian

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