Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

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#1)  Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:15 pm

Today while walking through the Rattlesnake Hill conservation land in Bolton I found myself standing among some tall, mature bigtooth aspens. What I have read about this species leads me to believe that these particular ones fall on the tall end of the spectrum. In scanning the aspen grove for a good candidate to measure my eyes landed on the biggest, baddest aspen tree I have ever seen. A straight-up shot from the base with my rangefinder gave me a maximum reading of 31.5 yards, plus 2 yards to my eye makes for a minimum height of 100.5 ft. What makes the tree stand out from all the other 100-foot aspens is its whopping 73 inches of girth!

               
                       
6 x 100 bigtooth - in grove.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
6 x 100 bigtooth - trunk.jpg
                       
My walking stick can be used to get a sense of scale. The lowest foot is marked in inches, then every subsequent foot marked with a dot and 4.5 feet is marked with an "X."
               
               

               
                       
6 x 100 bigtooth - top.jpg
                                       
               

As a relatively short-lived, disturbance-colonizing species, Populus grandidentata probably isn’t on the radar of most big tree hunters. It’s one of my personal favorite species, though.

Jared

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#2)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby dbhguru » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:21 pm

Jared,

  Good find! Actually, you'll find that big bigtooth aspens are fairly common in parts of the Berkshires. I've measured them to girths of 90 inches and heights to 115 feet with a small number around 120 and one to 126 - best we've done in the Northeast. Nonetheless, that aspen of yours is a beauty.

   On April 30th, Kouta's brother Toumas from Finland will be at Mohawk Trail State Forest. I'll be showing him around a bit. Please join us if you can. We'll meet at the HQ at 10:00AM.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

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#3)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:25 pm

Bob,

Wow - a 126-foot aspen tree must be a sight to behold! It's helpful to have those few data points of yours to know how these eastern trees stack up to your western ones.

I've marked it on my calendar, and I'll leave my house a little earlier than last time and try real hard not to get distracted by any trees along the way. :)

Jared
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#4)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby KoutaR » Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:41 am

Bob,

My brother's name is Tuomas, not Toumas. :)

Pronunciation:
http://forvo.com/search/Tuomas/

Kouta
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#5)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby tsharp » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:45 am

Jared:
Check out the information available at the Trees Database site: http://treesdb.azurewebsites.net/Browse/Species and more precisely for Big Tooth Aspen at: http://treesdb.azurewebsites.net/Browse/Species/Populus%20grandidentata%20%28Bigtooth%20Aspen%29/Details
This is a site developed by NTS members(Galehouses) for use by NTS members and is an easy reference for maximum dimensions measured in various states.

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#6)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby wisconsitom » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:41 am

Hah!  One of my favorite species, even if not too terribly long-lived.  It just gives the woods a little something-the color of the trunks when younger than the trees shown in this post, the interesting gray-green look of newly emerging foliage in the spring, and so on.  We're planting a few up at our land this weekend.  We've covered most all the bare field with trees but I've got a few higher humps I purposely left open for this tree of upland sites.

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#7)  Re: Hefty bigtooth aspen in Bolton

Postby dbhguru » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:31 pm

Jared,

  The 126-footer grew in a small grove on Clark Ridge, very steep. That tree no longer stands. The aspens were all small in circumference (3 to 6 feet) and not noticeable to anyone looking for big trees. You could see them from Zoar Gap mainly differentiable through their lighter leaf color, but they clearly stood taller than the surrounding oaks. However, from the distance, there was nothing to use for scale - just a patch of lighter green. So, the group that included aspens with heights from 110 to 120 feet, and with one at 122 and the 126-footer stood for decades unnoticed.

  This story applies equally to other species within Mohawk. The white ash were, and to a lesser degree, still are absolute standouts. At one point, we confirmed around 20 to heights of 140 feet or more with one at 152.5. That tree is down now. John Eichholz tagged another right on 150, but I think that tree is also down. The Rucker Index of MTSF once stood at 136.1 feet. I think it now is not more than 135. We need to update Mohawk's RHI. Here is the historical RHI for Mohawk.

               
                       
Screen shot 2016-04-26 at 12.27.57 PM.png
                                               
Screen shot 2016-04-26 at 12.27.57 PM.png (25.34 KiB) Viewed 876 times
               
               


  The big challenge for years has been to get others, state and public, to recognize (and value) Mohawk's forest as exceptional and worthy of special recognition and protection. This has turned into a life's work.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

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