Punkatasset Conservation Land and Estabrook Woods, Concord

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#1)  Punkatasset Conservation Land and Estabrook Woods, Concord

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:39 pm

Yesterday and today I spent the afternoon hours exploring Punkatasset Hill and the surrounding woods in Concord. This glacial drumlin is geologically significant as one of the town’s highest points, as well as historically noteworthy for having been the rallying point of the Minutemen before they marched to the Old North Bridge to confront the British troops. Henry David Thoreau was known to saunter in these parts, too, but the human history of this place wasn’t what had originally attracted me. I suspected there might be some big trees here, and I was right.

As luck would have it, the first white pine that seemed ripe for measurement was an immediate inductee into the 130’ club. With so many tall, leafy black birches mixed in with the white pines it was hard to find a window through which to see the highest needles swaying in the wind, so I shot it from three different spots and took the average, which came out to 131.4’ (130.5', 131.6', and 132.2'). The girth is a cool 100.4”.  Here are a few pictures of it:

               
                       
131.4-foot pine - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
131.4-foot pine - looking up.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
131.4-foot pine - full.jpg
                                       
               

I continued measuring white pines that seemed to tower over everything else in their vicinity, but none of them quite reached 130. Content with having found one legitimate 130’ white pine, I called it a day and headed home.

Today I woke up hungry for more white pines, so I hopped in the car and went back to Punkatasset Hill for another few hours of tree hunting. With a better idea of where the pines reach superb heights in these woods, I made my way back to the base of the northern slope of the hill to visit yesterday’s find. As I was doing so, another magnificent white pine standing some 75 feet away whispered to me, asking to be measured. I obliged the tree, only to find that this one is a foot taller than its neighbor. With a girth of 102.6” and a height of 132.4', this one outdoes the other in both dimensions. Take a look at it:

               
                       
132.4-foot pine - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
132.4-foot pine - looking up.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
132.4-foot pine - base - nearly full.jpg
                                       
               

There may be another few undiscovered 130-foot pines in these woods, but finding them will likely have to wait until the deciduous trees drop their leaves. That would also be a good time to search these woods for a 100-foot black birch.

It seems fitting that on July 4th weekend the 130’ white pine club would accept two new members that reside in a town steeped in the history of the American Revolution. Happy Independence Day, folks!

Jared

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#2)  Re: Punkatasset Conservation Land and Estabrook Woods, Conco

Postby Larry Tucei » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:23 pm

Jared-  Congrats on the White Pine. Bob will be happy to know of some more Whites in the 130 class.  Love the History behind the area- Wow Minute men!!!  By chance did you measure any of the Black Birch?    Larry
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#3)  Re: Punkatasset Conservation Land and Estabrook Woods, Conco

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:56 pm

Larry Tucei wrote:Jared-  Congrats on the White Pine. Bob will be happy to know of some more Whites in the 130 class.  Love the History behind the area- Wow Minute men!!!  By chance did you measure any of the Black Birch?    Larry


Thanks, Larry. I didn't happen to measure any of the black birches when I was there last; I only took a few photos. In my next post for this site I'll be sure to have some numbers on those birches (yellows and blacks). Here are a couple pictures I took of some photogenic specimens:

               
                       
Estabrook Woods - yellow birch.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Estabrook Woods - black birch and black oak.jpg
                                       
               

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#4)  Re: Punkatasset Conservation Land and Estabrook Woods, Conco

Postby AndrewJoslin » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:48 pm

I've covered the north end of Estabrook pretty well over the last year, tallest white pine so far in the 115-120'+ class so I'm glad to hear you've got a couple 130+ in Punkatasset. I  have found some superb yellow and black birch, more notable for girth and old-growth characteristics than height. There is also an abundance of big red oak in the the northern Estabrook, some girthy tall ones, waiting to be measured.

Andrew Joslin
Carlisle, MA

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