Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolton

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#1)  Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:58 pm

Located east of the Old Common and straddling the town line with Bolton is Eastwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Mass. In the northeast corner of the property lies a ridge that overlooks the Nashua River Valley, and on the south slope of that ridge stand 21 living red pines and one dead one. These red pines are clustered in one area, but they do not form a pure stand and they are not in arranged in rows, which leads me to believe this may be a natural occurrence of Pinus resinosa. Growing among them are white pines in the range of 110 – 120 feet, as well as mature and understory beeches and a smattering of hemlocks.

The largest of all of these red pines, in height and girth, is this 103.2-foot tree with a CBH of 64.25”.

               
                       
Big Red - in stand.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Big Red - up trunk.jpg
                                       
               

The tallest four individuals have topped 100 feet, at 100.1’, 102’, 102.5’, and the previously mentioned 103.2’, respectively. These are the tallest red pines that I have measured in this area, but I read that Bob measured a 115.5-foot red pine in Mount Tom State Reservation and suggested that intense competition with neighboring white pines pushed the tree past what one normally expects in terms of height. Sure enough, the only trees in this stand to break 100 feet are those that are the most crowded or shaded by their neighbors. And when those neighbors are their fast- and tall-growing cousins, the white pines, the pressure is on!

Jared

P.S. Say, Bob, what’s your most up-to-date information on red pine heights out in western Mass? Is that 115-footer still standing?

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#2)  Re: Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolt

Postby Lucas » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:46 pm

I heard red pine was under serious disease attack in MA.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir
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#3)  Re: Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolt

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun May 01, 2016 9:43 pm

Lucas,

I have also read that red pine plantations in MA and other surrounding states are threatened by disease. I don't know much about the situation, but I would imagine that individuals in such monocultures are at much greater risk than those in natural populations.

Jared
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#4)  Re: Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolt

Postby Joe » Mon May 02, 2016 5:24 am

a_blooming_botanist wrote:Lucas,

I have also read that red pine plantations in MA and other surrounding states are threatened by disease. I don't know much about the situation, but I would imagine that individuals in such monocultures are at much greater risk than those in natural populations.

Jared


Yuh, under attack from forestry folks wanting to clearcut them- thanks to having planted them and never managing those stands- resulting in over dense, tall, spindly, unhealthy trees susceptible to whatever. Their answer to tree disease problems is CLEARCUT, CLEARCUT, CLEARCUT. (paraphrasing Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant)
Joe

PS: by the way, I've been to Arlo's house twice- he owns about 500 acres. It was fun walking in his forest with him- but so far, he's never hired a forester, probably thanks to the bad reputation foresters and loggers have world wide.
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#5)  Re: Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolt

Postby dbhguru » Mon May 02, 2016 8:08 am

Joe,

    There is a stand of red pines in MTSF planted in the middle of the 1930s. They weren't thinned so their crowns are now constricted too much to allow recovery even if the stands were thinned. They are handsome trees, but it is clear to me that the 1930s-planted unmanaged plantations like the Mohawk reds, and all the others I have seen, inevitably lead to decisions such as are being made for both red pines and Norway spruce. I wonder how many timber specialists today in the Bay State would resist any movement toward new plantations. Do you have a sense of where opinions fall?

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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#6)  Re: Redlinin' red pines in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster/Bolt

Postby Joe » Mon May 02, 2016 8:25 am

dbhguru wrote:Joe,

    There is a stand of red pines in MTSF planted in the middle of the 1930s. They weren't thinned so their crowns are now constricted too much to allow recovery even if the stands were thinned. They are handsome trees, but it is clear to me that the 1930s-planted unmanaged plantations like the Mohawk reds, and all the others I have seen, inevitably lead to decisions such as are being made for both red pines and Norway spruce. I wonder how many timber specialists today in the Bay State would resist any movement toward new plantations. Do you have a sense of where opinions fall?

Bob


But, I was preaching to the state people decades ago that they should be thinning those stands. Instead, they always went out looking for high value timber. It looks better on their "production report". So, it probably does make sense to clearcut some of them- especially the red pine which do look like toothpicks. But, I'm not so sure that a light thinning might get them growing again- and they don't bother to even try. As for the Norway Spruce- most of the stands they clearcut in October Mt. St. Forest were NOT so bad they needed clear cutting. That was a big, fat lie on their part. There won't be any more plantations planted because of cost. They could do it in the '30s because labor was DIRT cheap and America's Ruling Elite (the rich) knew it was better to keep these tough young men busy working hard in the forests so they wouldn't be contemplating what happened in Russia in 1917. (I took a grad course in the history of the Russian Revolution)

Heck, they can't even be bothered mowing existing fields in state land "for wildlife mgt."- instead, they just do more clear cutting! I've been arguing with the DFW about an old field in Orange on land they bought recently (now part of Mt. Tully state forest)- mostly forest but with some old fields. I keep bugging them about mowing those fields but they just ignore me. At least mowing the fields really gets what they claim they'll get from clear cutting forests- better wildlife habitat since it has grass in it and other field vegetation, which you ain't gonna get in clear cutting forests- which quickly grow back to fast growing tree species. These fields are ideal wildlife habitat- near a pond the old farmer built- and near much forest land and a mountain side. But now pines are growing in due to the lack of mowing.

The subject of planting forests NEVER comes up. Private owners aren't going to do it and the state would rather give annual raises to its workers than spend THAT money to plant/grow interesting/productive forests for the future. It would be tough to do, anyway- planting after a clearcut won't work- early succession species will dominate and overcome the planted trees- so you'd need to plant in old fields but there are few of those left- what is left should be retained as fields.
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