150-ft white pine in eastern MA

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#1)  150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:52 pm

Good news, everyone! Eastern Massachusetts now has a member of the 150’ white pine club!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Doug Bidlack to measure some of the tall pines in Lincoln that he had reported on back in 2014. As these trees are growing on private property, we first stopped at the owner’s house to request permission to walk in their woods. Three years ago they gave Doug an enthusiastic “yes”, and when we eventually made contact today the response wasn’t much different. They were happy to let us do our big tree thing.

Now, for the trees. We expected to measure heights in the upper 130s to mid 140s. With great attention to detail we measured six white pines that appeared to be among the tallest of the group. Here is what we found:

8.09’ x 138’7”
9.04’ x 139’3”
8.55’ x 141’1”
8.75’ x 143’10”
9.3’ x 146’
7.99’ x 151’

That’s right, folks. We found a legit 150-footer, and it wasn’t even the one that we first thought was the tallest. These trees are deceptively tall.

Here are some pictures of the 151’ white pine:

               
                       
Lincoln 151 white pine - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Lincoln 151 white pine - looking up near base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Lincoln 151 white pine -  looking up from hillside.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
Lincoln 151 white pine - full tree.jpg
                                       
               

Jared

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#2)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby AndrewJoslin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Pure insanity! Love it. I think this particular grove of pines has to cause white pine fans to reconsider what is possible for white pine height max in general and to contemplate even more deeply the pre-colonial prevalence and distribution of big whites.
-AJ

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#3)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby ElijahW » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:09 pm

Jared,

Congratulations to you and Doug.  This is a significant find.  Are these trees in a plantation?  Any guess as to the age?  

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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#4)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby dbhguru » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:58 pm

Jared and Doug,

  Congratulations! Eastern MA can finally hold its head high and feel proud. It no long has to bow its head and feel inferior.

  How large is the property? Any other species growing among the pines? Did you report the results to the owners?

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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#5)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby DougBidlack » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:01 pm

Jared, Andrew, Elijah, all,
just wanted to say how wonderful it was to meet Jared for the first time and to measure such impressive trees on a spectacular day all around!  Also, the 'old' record for this site was 8.56' x 144' 3" and the remeasure today was 8.75' x 143' 10".  It was last (and first) measured on the 15th of November in 2014.  It seems likely that we measured it lower on the trunk this time around and yet we still ended up a bit short in height (by 5").  Still, the story of the day is that we found two taller trees.

Andrew,
I'm very sorry about not having contacted you for this trip as I know you would have enjoyed it.  Entirely my fault.  Jared and I were talking about possibly measuring some Atlantic white-cedars next weekend in southeastern Mass.  I have a couple sites picked out and we should be able to find height, girth and AF champs for the state.  I know you love this species so if next weekend is no good for you we can go another time.

Doug

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#6)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby AndrewJoslin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:46 pm

DougBidlack wrote:Andrew,
I'm very sorry about not having contacted you for this trip as I know you would have enjoyed it.  Entirely my fault.  Jared and I were talking about possibly measuring some Atlantic white-cedars next weekend in southeastern Mass.  I have a couple sites picked out and we should be able to find height, girth and AF champs for the state.  I know you love this species so if next weekend is no good for you we can go another time.

Doug


Not a problem at all Doug, I've been super busy with recent book events and a presentation on tall trees and measuring. Had a rest and recovery weekend. I'm just happy with what you found. Atlantic White Cedar measuring sounds good, not that it's possible to have a favorite species, Atlantic White Cedar is up there. And Nyssa sylvatica which seems to hang around the edges of cedar swamps ;-)
-AJ
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#7)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:35 pm

ElijahW wrote:Jared,

Congratulations to you and Doug.  This is a significant find.  Are these trees in a plantation?  Any guess as to the age?  

Elijah


Thanks! I see no evidence that would suggest that these trees are plantation trees. Harvard Forest published a map of Massachusetts showing, based on land cover survey data from 1830, which areas were considered "woodland." This particular stand of white pines is within an area that was forested in 1830. The question then becomes, how plausible is it that this bit of land has been wooded without interruption since 1830? If it has not been cut in the interim, one could expect to find trees on the order of 190 years old. Given the extraordinary dimensions of these pines, such an age doesn't seem so unreasonable. I welcome the opinion of others on this matter.

dbhguru wrote:Jared and Doug,

  Congratulations! Eastern MA can finally hold its head high and feel proud. It no long has to bow its head and feel inferior.

  How large is the property? Any other species growing among the pines? Did you report the results to the owners?

Bob


Thank you, Bob! This stand of pines is approximately 5 acres, I would say. There are other species making an appearance, such as eastern hemlock, white oak, and red oak, but the white pines steal the show. I made a quick-and-dirty measurement of a ~100 hemlock as we were leaving the property. I don't imagine they're much taller than that in these woods.

We did share our results with the owner. She was very excited and even did a little dance! ☺

Jared
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#8)  Re: 150-ft white pine in eastern MA

Postby DougBidlack » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:15 pm

Elijah,
I very much agree with Jared that this is not likely a plantation.  As for age I honestly don't feel qualified to answer that and Jared's evidence is better than anything that I can offer.

Bob,
you could easily fit the 6 trees that we measured within 1 acre.  On the way out Jared made a couple quick measurements of white pines in the low 130's that would likely have extended the area to 2 acres.  It is possible that all the 130's, measured and unmeasured, could fit within 3 acres but it might be a bit more.  In another close but separate area (separated by somewhat shorter trees within the same forest) are some more pines just over 130'.  We are aware of three of these little islands of taller pines (130'+) within a sea of shorter trees.  There may be more.  Other species present were red maple and black birch but I'd like to emphasize what Jared said about the tall tree area being completely dominated by white pine.  I think you can see this in the pictures that Jared provided.  The other species were mainly confined to the outskirts of the tall white pine area.  Those within the tall white pine area, except the hemlocks, were dead, dying or really struggling.

Doug

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