Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

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#1)  Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun May 01, 2016 10:01 pm

Today’s cool find is within walking distance from where I live, so I will definitely be returning to see what other spectacular specimens this bit of woods holds. My original destination was the Sochalaski Conservation Land, and after following marked trails around the woods I found myself looking through the trees at a nice, forest-grown sycamore perched next to a tributary of Great Brook. Since it was this tree and its unique bark that attracted me to this area in the first place, I’ll share a picture of it first.

               
                       
10 x 95.9 sycamore - crown.jpg
                       
Height: 95.9' CBH: 119.5"
               
               

It’s a nice tree, with many more years in it, I hope.

The really cool find came once I had measured the sycamore and was searching for another species to measure. The understory is thick with hophornbeam of the size that I’m used to, but standing out like a sore thumb with a tall, curving stem is a large Ostrya virginiana that I measured with a straight-up laser shot at minimally 69 feet. Thinking there might be a yet taller individual I scanned the area and found exactly what I was looking for. Behold, an understory tree with a CBH of 37 inches and standing 82.8 feet tall!

               
                       
3 x 82.8 Hophornbeam - whole tree.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
3 x 82.8 Hophornbeam - trunk.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
3 x 82.8 Hophornbeam - lower portion of trunk.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
3 x 82.8 Hophornbeam - top.jpg
                                       
               

The tallest Ostrya virginiana that I find in the Trees database is one in Pennsylvania measured at 78.8’. I wonder… has anyone out there measured a taller one?

Jared

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#2)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby bbeduhn » Mon May 02, 2016 12:54 pm

Nice find! There is one in the Smokies that was measured to 89.7', in January of 2007. 80' is a rare find in hophornbeams so it could be the tallest in the Northeast.

Jess and Will measured the hophornbeam. Jess used to keep a Maxlist of the top trees of all dimensions. This is not up to date so there are taller individuals for many species but it still provides a good measuring stick for superlative heights, girths and spreads.
               
                       
Max list 2.1.xls
                                               
(197.5 KiB) Downloaded 64 times
               
               

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#3)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby Will Blozan » Mon May 02, 2016 4:36 pm

Jared,

Could be a huge find but I think that is a Tilia...

Maybe it's the photo quality but the bark and crown form does not look like Ostrya. However, I could be wrong here!

-Will

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#4)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Mon May 02, 2016 5:33 pm

Brian,

Thanks for that species maximum list! Even if it doesn't include the most current measurements it is a great resource to have access to. ¡Muchas gracias!

Will,

Although I dislike being wrong, I'll try to remain open to the possibility of having misidentified this small tree. :) It was getting dark, and I am not familiar enough with Tilia bark to say yay or nay, so I'll include this close-up shot of the bark on the lower portion of the trunk of this tree.

               
                       
bark - Tilia or Ostrya.jpg
                                       
               

I will return tomorrow when there's good daylight and get a close look at the crown and emerging foliage, and also look for Tilia in the area. I'm quite confident in my identification of the understory hophornbeam. I wouldn't want for this to be a false alarm, though, so I must remain impartial.

Jared

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#5)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby Will Blozan » Mon May 02, 2016 7:09 pm

Jared,

Look for basal sprouts around the tree. Also, last years' fruits should be evident underneath. Ostrya has super-fine twigs; Tilia much thicker.

Close -up looks like Tilia- thanks for the additional shot!

Will

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#6)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Tue May 03, 2016 6:53 pm

Thank you for your skepticism, Will. I no longer think that 82.8-foot tree is a hophornbeam. I searched the ground for old Tilia leaves and fruits with that characteristic bract that they have, but I couldn’t find any! I have attached the best photo I was able to take of the crown, which I think supports your determination as Tilia americana.

               
                       
Tilia - crown.jpg
                                       
               

Not all is lost, though. I returned to the first tall hophornbeam that I spotted yesterday evening and took better measurements of it (and made darn sure that it is indeed Ostrya virginiana). This individual, seen in the two photos below, is what I believe to be the tallest of its species in these woods. It stands 69.7 feet tall with a CBH of 40.25 inches, which ain’t too shabby.

               
                       
Longbow - top.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Longbow - bottom.jpg
                                       
               

Though this next one isn’t a hophornbeam, it is in the same family (Betulaceae), so I’ll show you all this nice, tall paper birch that I encountered and measured this afternoon. This tree is 78.1 feet tall and the only paper birch standing in the immediate area. There was an unfortunate incident in which a giant oak tree tackled and destroyed all the others.

               
                       
78.1 foot paper birch - full.jpg
                                       
               

Thanks for bearing with me, folks. I’ll be having some humble pie for dessert tonight. Would anyone else like a piece?

Jared
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#7)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby RayA » Tue May 03, 2016 8:14 pm

I'll take a piece of that pie Jared... I didn't get any last time I deserved it (which wasn't long ago).

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#8)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby dbhguru » Wed May 04, 2016 8:14 am

Jared,

  Count me in too. Pie is my alternative to ice cream treats.

  BTW, that 69-foot hophornbeam is no slouch.

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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#9)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby Joe » Wed May 04, 2016 9:21 am

dbhguru wrote:Jared,

  Count me in too. Pie is my alternative to ice cream treats.

  BTW, that 69-foot hophornbeam is no slouch.

Bob


Bob, your a "pie man"? I though you were a donut dude. That one time we drove from your house to MTSF- I recall you running into a Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast of their donuts. I think that load of sugar is important for bushwhacking up steep hills to find those ancient trees.
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#10)  Re: Tall hophornbeam in Bolton

Postby Erik Danielsen » Wed May 04, 2016 1:16 pm

The best tree-hunting expeditions, as far as I've experienced, begin with a (humble) slice of donut pie, with a dollop of rocky road on top to take the edge off.

I think the very-exciting-misidentified-tree is a sort of self-hazing ritual many of us greenhorn ents put ourselves through. I'm doing the same thing to myself with ferns lately!

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