20, 2006 02:40 PST
just thought I'd let you know about a couple of places
in Indiana with big trees. I happened upon these
sites while looking for champion swamp white oak
In 2003 the Indiana champ was listed as being in Jay
County, but I had to go to Earlham College to get
directions to the tree. Bill gave
me directions to a small forest with plenty of nice
sized trees. Go north of Portland via US 27 and go
right on CR 100 N. Go left at next road just beyond
railroad tracks. Small patch of woods on right. I
was told to go to the center of the woods and the
largest tree would be the swamp white oak. The
largest tree I saw was a white oak and I saw a couple
nice bur oaks, but no really big swamp white oak.
Nice trees though.
Earlier this year I went to find the biggest Indiana
swamp white oak again. It turns out they have a new
one and it's even bigger. I contacted Philip Meltzer
and he said he'd meet me at the old farm in Shelby
County. This site is east of Shelbyville. Take 44
east out of Shelbyville to 421 south to 244 east and
then take a left on CR 600 E towards Meltzer. The
small forest is on the left about a quarter mile up or
so. Please call Philp first if you go.
His daughter and son-in-law now own the place, but he
would love to take anyone who loves trees on a tour of
his little 58 acre (I think?) forest. Philip is now
well into his eighties but he is very enthusiastic
about the forest and the place where he was born and
raised. The swamp white oak is listed as being 155'
tall, 169.6" in girth and a crown spread of 88.5'.
I'm sure the height is well off, but the trees really
are incredibly tall. The largest tree in the forest
is a shumard oak and it was once the largest in
Indiana until a larger one was found farther south.
There are also nice white oaks, bur oaks, chinkapin
oaks, northern red oaks, white ash, walnut,
tuliptrees, shagbark hickories and plenty of other
good stuff. The largest black ash in Indiana is at
this site. Kinda neat, because the place also has
sweetgums. Tons of pawpaws in the understory too.
Unfortunately, the largest white ash is now gone and I
think Philip said that the largest white oak also went
down. Luckily for me the swamp white oak was
Good news for Christmas! I am also getting a Nikon
Prostaff 440 laser rangefinder under the tree. I can
hardly wait! I'll be in Michigan for Christmas, so
I'll calibrate it and test it on some trees on my
parents property before turning it loose. I hope to
visit Warren Woods and measure some beeches, maples
and other nice trees. I also hope to measure the
largest black walnut in Michigan on the way out
there...I've already met the owners on a previous seed
collecting trip. So many trees to measure, so little