Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Bureau of State Park

Cook Forest State Park


Cook Forest Big Tree Extravaganza



Cook Forest State Park, in conjunction with the Eastern Native Tree Society (ENTS), will host a two-day series of free events open to the public focusing on the old growth forests of Cook Forest and the Eastern United States.  Join forest scientists and naturalists for this two-day event as we learn the latest and most accurate methods to measure tall and noteworthy trees.


                Watch as a team of scientists climb to the top of the Seneca Pine (172ft high) to confirm its height and trunk dimensions, which is likely the largest E. white pine in Pennsylvania.   Events during the two day period will explore the Park’s biodiversity, aesthetics, natural and human history, and importance as a National Natural Landmark.  Programs to be conducted during this 2-day event are as follows:


Saturday, April 26 at 800am - ‘Opening Remarks’ – by Bob Leverett, co-founder and Executive Director of ENTS, at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center.  (0.25hrs)


Saturday, April 26 at 815am -  ‘Advanced Tree Measuring Workshop’ – Conducted by Bob Leverett, co-founder and Executive Director of ENTS, Will Blozan, arborist, ENTS President and co-founder, Colby Rucker, Big Tree Advisory Committee of American Forests National Registry of Big Trees, Dale Luthringer, Environmental Education Specialist Cook Forest State Park, and located at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center.  Prior registration at Cook Forest State Park is required.


Lectures and hands on training in the following topics will include: definitions basic to all techniques, traditional baseline methods & problems, new innovative error reduction methods including the laser-clinometer technique, forest profiles, volume and board feet calculation via the laser-clinometer method, tangent problems, instrument calibration, and sunlight effects.  (4 hrs)


Saturday, April 26 1215-1245pm LUNCH                  (Please bring a lunch or light snack.)


Saturday, April 26 at 1245pm‘Trunk Modeling and Climb of the Seneca Pine’ – The Seneca Pine, recently measured by Eastern Native Tree Society (ENTS) forest scientists to 172ft, stands as possibly the largest E. white pine in overall dimensions that has been found in the entire state of Pennsylvania.  However, the trigonometry employed to measure trees from the ground relies on instruments, and except for the most expensive, can result in errors in the range of 3.0-5.0 feet.  The ground-based measurement methods employed by the ENTS are generally accurate to +/- 1.5 feet.  As good as this is, we want to know the precise height and trunk volume of this champion tree.


The Seneca Pine, a noble tree, deserves to be measured with the highest degree of accuracy possible.  Consequently, this remarkable pine will be measured by Will Blozan, arborist, ENTS President and co-founder, using a suspended plumb-line to get a height measurement accurate to +/- 1 inch!  Several circumferential measurements will concurrently be taken so that we can model the Seneca Pine’s volume. 

This climbing event will be an historic occasion.  It is doubtful that anyone before has ever climbed so high in a Northeastern tree to accurately document height and trunk volume.  Join us to witness this celebration and documentation of the great Seneca Pine of Cook Forest.  A meandering, vigorous, partial off-trail hike to the Seneca Pine will start from the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center.  (3 hrs)


Saturday, April 26 at 400-500pmDINNER     (Please enjoy dinner at one of our local area restaurants.)


Saturday, April 26 at 515pm‘The Ancient Cross Timbers Consortium for Research, Education, and Conservation’– Join Dr. David Stahle, Director - Tree Ring Laboratory, University of Arkansas, at the Sawmill Theater as we explore successful methods utilized to bring inter-agency cooperation to old growth forest awareness and research.  (1 hr)


Saturday, April 26 at 630pm‘Forest Disturbance Regimes’ – Join Dr. Lee Frelich, Director of Hardwood Ecology from the University of Minnesota at the Sawmill Theater as he describes how natural events perpetuate forests and the strategies utilized to recover from these events.  He will also compare how natural disturbances collate to forest harvesting, and the values of old growth forest remnants that developed under these disturbances.  (1 hr)


Saturday, April 26 at 745pm‘Big and Tall Trees of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’ – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) stands alone as the premiere representation of old growth forests in the entire Eastern United States.  Join Will Blozan, arborist, President and co-founder of the Eastern Native Tree Society, at the Sawmill Theater as he takes us through a stunning slide tour of big and tall record trees of monstrous proportions that he’s personally documented in the GSMNP.  (1 hr)


Saturday, April 26 at 900pm - Anthony Cook  - Special guest multimedia presentation scheduled at the end of evening events at the Sawmill Theater, that will give the audience a chance to relax and enjoy a special presentation of the natural world through the eyes and spirit of a very gifted internationally renown guest.  (1 hr)



Sunday, April 27 at 830am‘Opening Remarks’ - Bob Leverett, Executive Director and co-founder of ENTS at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center.  (0.25 hrs)


Sunday, April 27 at 845am‘Searching for the Giants’ – Join an ENTS expert tree mensuration team at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center as we comb the woods to document tall and exceptional trees of Cook Forest.  The Forest Cathedral holds the most remarkable white pine stand in the park, but don’t forget about the monster Eastern hemlock, black cherry, Northern red or white oak in Cook Forest’s other four old growth forest areas.  Some teams will be documenting very seldom seen areas of the park, which include the Cook Trail and Deer Meadow Trail old growth areas along with the Seneca Forest Special Management Area, and Swamp Natural Area.  Many records for height to width ratios may fall after this event, along with the potential to break many Northeastern U.S. tree height records.  Pick a team, pack a lunch, and car-pool to study areas. (4 hrs)


Sunday, April 27 at 100pm‘Cook Forest’s Trees:  Ordinary or Extraordinary?’ – ENTS data gathering teams meet to discuss discoveries of the day at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Center.  How does Cook Forest’s trees measure up to other eastern forests?  Is Cook Forest the premiere old growth forest site in Pennsylvania?  Is this really all about the numbers?  Why is documenting old growth forests so important?  (0.5 hrs)