Arkansas - 2006   Robert Leverett
  Mar 30, 2006 10:56 PST 

   The Seventh Old-growth Forest Conference held in Little Rock, AR on
Mar 23rd was a smashing success. ENTS was well represented. Don Bragg,
Dave Stahle, and lastly and definitely least, myself, organized and
administered the conference. All are Ents. Of course, there are multiple
affiliations. Don is a PhD forest ecologist with the U.S.D.A. Forest
Service. Dave Stahle is a distinguished professor at the University of
Arkansas and the head of the Tree-ring Laboratory. Also attending were
Ents and ENTS president Will Blozan and his faithful sidekick Jess
Riddle. Neil Pederson and Bruce Allen attended. New Ent Josh Kelly also
attended. Professor Monica Jakuc attended on behalf of the women Ents,
and as a conservationist and prominent birder, information of the
Ivory-bill and Red-cocaded woodpeckers fell on mightily receptive ears.
There may have been other Ents there. If I've missed anyone, please come

   We were all mightily impressed with the presentations. Of course the
phenomenal news is that the ecological complexity and extent of the
southern swamps has protected a tiny surviving population of
Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. We saw the film of the fleeting bird. Way

   One important fact emerged for me from several of the presentations
and that is that studying the old-growth processes and structures of
northeastern forests doesn't illuminate the very different processes
that sculpt the southern swamps. What would be especially interesting
would be an examination of the processes that shape the northern bogs as
opposed to the southern swamp forests.     


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society
Arkansas Conference
  Mar 28, 2006 04:48 PST 

     I'm back from Arkansas and catching up on e-mails. Whew!

     At Dagmar WMA and later at Bayou DeView, I saw and measured several 1000+ year old bald cypresses. One that Will modeled at Dagmar was 10 feet in diameter at the water line. A quick modeling indicated 1700+ cubes for the big tree. While we didn't see an Ivory-billed woodpecker, we got all the low down on it and met the researcher who made the film.

Big Oak Tree and Arkansas   Robert Leverett
  Mar 28, 2006 08:06 PST 

Mike and Jess,

  The Seventh OG Forest Conference in Arkansas was a big success and
I'll report on it in due course. But one quick comment. Don Bragg and
Dave Stahle did one heck of a job putting it together. I was honored to
be the M.C. On the down side, I didn't have much time to measure trees -
about 30 altogether, but I did measure some dandies. Big Oak Tree SP in
the boot heel of Missouri is a gem. The 132.7-foot tall, 17.6-foot
circumference bur oak, the 140.3-foot tall, 10.8-ffot circumference
eastern cottonwood, and the 111.9-foot tall, 25.7-foot circumference
bald cypresses, and the 117.1-foot tall hackberry (I think) were the
individual standouts. However, one needs a full day to do justice to Big
Oak Tree.

   As usual, the champion trees (with plaques) were significantly
mismeasured. The pumpkin ash was listed as 133 feet tall. It was 110.7
feet. No small error there. The bur oak champ was listed at 142 feet
tall. At 133.7, it wasn't off so much. The leaning champion persimmon
tree was listed at 142 feet in height, but it was 114.8 feet tall. That
is a 27.2-foot error.

Combining my measurements with those of Don Bragg from his earlier
trip, Big Oak Tree gets a Rucker index of 123.27.