Oak Ages, MS
10, 2006 11:44 PDT
Hello all. I
have some exciting news from south Mississippi. I
located a 4' 2" diameter Live Oak that had been blow or cut down
Hurricane Katrina. I counted 196 rings on this tree.
A 4' 2" diameter Live Oak with about 196 rings
trees that I'm photographing must be at least 400 years old!
12, 2006 18:09 PDT
Good to see you post about Mississippi. The blown-down Live Oak
(Quercus virginiana?) count is something of interest to all of
of the larger Live Oaks are hollow and accurate ages can not be
measured by ring counts. It is difficult to extrapolate ages in
tree based upon the age of another tree. There is a large
growth rates from site to site and extrapolations may be off
Neil Pederson's Eastern Old List
does not even list an age
for Live Oak. The Angel Oak on John's Island, South Carolina is
by the locals as being an estimated 1,500 years old. There is no
tell its actual age. Certainly the estimate of 400 years for a
diameter Live Oak is not unreasonable.
12, 2006 19:22 PDT
As you say,
site is everything in making estimations on age by size. While
many areas do not have records of plantings, the live oaks
shading Savannah's Downtown streets were planted in 1896 making
them a respectable 110 years old. Also consider the fact that
other than a few old Spanish missions on the islands, the
mainland of GA was not settled until about 1730, about 275 years
ago. The old original roads and alleys are lined with massive
large live oaks which would lead me to believe they were less
than 275 years old.
12, 2006 19:50 PDT
I visited a nice large live oak on the Camp Lejun Marine base a
few years ago in NC. A friend of mine is a Major in the Marine
Corps, and he had me on base for a visit. It is touted at being
around 400 also. I also visited the Middletown SC live oak in
1993 on my honeymoon. What a great tree. It is great that you
can get some real numbers from the blown over trees. I have two
here in my nursery in SE Pa that have made it through the
winters with little protection. I hope to plant them out in a
couple of years. Come on global warming! just kidding.
That'd be great. Better yet, if you could get two
narrow samples that go across the cross-section, that would be
I read your earlier post about potential ages. When
you don't have the inside of a tree, if it is rotten, you
really can't produce an accurate estimate as to how old the tree
is. Rings are often narrower when a tree is smaller, for
geometric reasons. So, a straight extrapolation will
overestimate age. Yet, sometimes a small tree is suppressed.
Therefore, an extrapolation would be underestimated. Do a google
search on tree age estimation and 'charlie cogbill.' You'll find
a nice discussion of this on the ENTS site.
Lawrence Tucei wrote:
Mon, 16 Oct 2006 07:17:00 -0500
Neil, Here is the photo. I may be able to get a partial
I wet the cut so I could see better. Larry
Oak Growth Rates
07, 2006 13:36 PST
I was able to get a piece of 4'6" dia., Live
Oak cut for me and
the ENTS. I will be shipping a slab to Neil Pederson for
purposes! A friend of mine knew a Logger with a 4' saw,
we set a time,
all met at the tree and he cut us a 3" slab. I
can't wait to see the
results from Neil. We should be able to age the largest
of Live Oaks
using this cut as some kind of benchmark. The tree grew
within 300' of
the Gulf Of Mexico. In sandy alkaline soil in an open
with other Live Oaks, as they blanket the Ms. Gulf Coast
the Live Oaks here are regenerating growth as they have
from Hurricanes. The Deep Southern ENTS,
BTW, Happy Holidays to All.
11, 2006 05:52 PST
I will be
sending a piece of a Live Oak 4'6" dia., to Neil in
Kentucky soon. But first, let me say it wasn't easy. A friend of
knew of some loggers that would make the cut for me, so we set a
and all met at the downed Oak. The sample cut we took was
above ground when the tree was standing. The piece of Oak is
and 24" long, a radius cut. It took a chainsaw with a 4'
bar to make the
cut. I will take it to work, cut it smaller and rough sand it
shipping it to Neil. I wanted to be able to age these
Oaks and be accurate at it. When I first joined ENTS you guys
that you were very interested in this. So when we get the
should prove the growth rates of this speices given its
tree grew approx. 200 yards from the Gulf, in sandy acidic soil
with other Oaks and a few Pines. This tree has withstood
Hurricanes over the years, but was brought down due to Hurricane
Kartina. The Ms. Gulf Coast has thousands of these trees, some
great age and quite large.
It will be very interesting to see these results.
11, 2006 08:45 PST
Yes, live oak is not easy to work with; I should have warned you
At a former institution we contracted a crew of arborists to cut
down a few
live oaks for age analysis and restoration purposes [the trees
strongest borers]. The crew quit after 3 trees [they were
contracted to cut
6-9] because it wasn't worth it to them.
Anyhow, I look forward to that piece.
Thanks for your effort,
11, 2006 10:11 PST
Neil and Larry,
This is way cool. A live oak chronology as a
consequence of ENTS. Way
Out of curiosity, do dendro-scientists, such
as yourself, have a
hierarchy of trees that are toughest to core? We put everything
ENTS on some kind of comparative scale, why not tree resistance
12, 2006 06:17 PST
This will be cool! It will be cool to see how old a 4' diameter
will be at 10' off the ground. We will have an internally cross-dated
this tree as a result of these samples.
I will let you know when we get an age.
15, 2006 07:12 PST
Ed, The diameter of the piece was 4'6" at
one point to 4'2" at another
point. The Oak was in 4 sections, the stump cut 4'6", the
butt cut 4'2",
and the fork cuts. The sample was at the top of the butt cut
8-10' above ground.
Large Live Oak
16, 2006 18:26 PST
Thanks for the photos I will post them the next time Looks like
tree. Excellent work. I update the site next week.
For those interested there are some neat articles on Live Oak on
The American Forest website has an excellent article from Winter
Live Oaks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Live oak society:
The Live Oak Society website:
The Live Oak society is limited to one human member and
currently has 5452
member trees in 14 states. A member must have a girth of at
least 8 feet.
There are some nice photo galleries on the website. Of interest
aesthetics debate is a copy of the Louisiana road policy toward
or historic trees. There are addresses for many of the trees.
just have town and county information.)
International Oak Society: http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen/ios.html
live oak age(ish)
17, 2007 17:08 PST
We spent a day last week doing the final prep on the samples of
oak killed by Katrina Larry Tucei sent up up to Kentucky. Larry
nice job prepping the samples, so the sanding wasn't bad at all.
oak is one tough tree! The rings were a little more difficult to
than from what I recall of live oak. Given that, we crossdated
visual characteristics: ring color, 'interesting bands' of pore
vessels, and even a scar in one ring.
The age on the samples dates to what we think it 1872. We can't
for sure if that is actually 1872 as we don't have another
that species form that area [and it would take at the minimum
trees to verify]. I do not think, however, the age for these
is too far from that date. I would be surprised is there are any
missing rings; the ones in the wood are quite wide.
So, the samples from the 4' 2" diameter tree appear to be
134 yrs. We
don't see the pith, but it can't be too far off.
Louisiana live oak age(ish)
18, 2007 12:43 PST
Neil, ENTS, The Live Oak sample I sent was from
the Ms. coast, it grew
200-300 meters from the Gulf of Mexico in Long Beach. Ed, has
info about this tree on the web. Neil, what year would you say
is from? Perhaps a former Hurricane? Larry
Louisiana live oak age(ish)
20, 2007 15:32 PST
Perhaps. It is hard to say. I can't give you a 100% date as we
have 2 samples from one tree - we do not have complete dating
That would require a minimum of 8 more live oaks from the
Do you have a list of hurricane dates for the surrounding
could blindly test the date, even though that still wouldn't
much as the tree dating is uncertain.
Louisiana live oak age(ish)
22, 2007 05:58 PST
Neil, I can get a list of past Hurricane dates.
Neil, it would be
interesting to know the average growth rates of Live Oaks per
looks like around 30 years per Ft. Thanks to you I now can make
accurate estimates, and I thank you for helping me learn about
Dendrochronology. Would you like some more Live Oak samples to
accurate aging data? If you guys are not to busy. I still think
to 10' Dia., trees are around 400 years old. What to you think?
looking forward to the Kentucky meeting, I have lots of