Claremont, NH    Robert Leverett
   Nov 24, 2002 04:44 PST 

    Today, John Knuerr and I meet Erhard Frost in New Hampshire to survey a
beautiful white pine stand on private property. in Claremont. I've visited
this stand once before and 150-footers are abundant. The stand has had two
growing seasons since my last visit and we're hoping to match the pines at
MTSF. My last visit hardly scratched the surface of possibilities when I
documented 7 trees over 150, one of which was over 160. There may be others
on the vicinity of the 160-footer that reach that height. We'll have 4
lasers and 3 clinometers working for us.

    This is the best white pines stand that Erhard has seen in either New
Hampshire or Vermont in his 27 years as a forester. That says something.
We'll have a full report at 8:00PM.

Claremont, NH    Robert Leverett
   Nov 24, 2002 16:35 PST 

    Today John Knuerr and I spent several hours in the private Claremont, NH
white pine stand. Unlike the whirlwind tour of the first visit, this time we
concentrated in the area of tallest trees and our efforts paid off. Our
catch of the day is as follows.

Species        Height        Girth        Comments

WP            166.1'        8.2'            New New England champion
WP            161.4'        8.0'            John Knuerr measurement
WP            160.7'        9.1'            Previous NH champ measured last
time at 160.3'
WP            160.7'        8.4'            NH becomes only New England
state with 4 trees over 160 feet
WP            159.3'        7.4'
WP            158.8'        9.8'
WP            156.9'        8.8'
WP            154.3'        8.5'
WP            153.7'        8.1'
WP            146.4'       11.6'
WA            122.1'        7.4'            NH champ
WO            115.2'        8.1'            NH champ
NRO          102.6'        5.7'

    Although thrilled, I wasn't that surprised at the 166.1' champion white
pine, but the 115.2' white oak blew my mind. The growing conditions have to
be superb to support such a height for white oak so far north.

    John's 161.4-foot pine gives John the following distinctions. He has
measured the 2nd tallest tree in New Hampshire and the 3rd tallest tree in
New England.

    Based on what we see, my guess is that we'll eventually get the Rucker
Site Index for the Claremont site to around 120. That would be extraordinary
for a location at almost 43.4 degrees latitude north.

    Claremont is not old growth, but mature second growth, but what second

A heck of a four days
  Oct 27, 2003 13:13 PST 


     The 1st forest summit lecture series enters the pages of forest history. The two-day series was very successful by the goals we had established. More will be said about the two-day series in the future, but for now, we are off to a good start and look forward to the next event.


     Well, I was feeling more chipper on Sunday morning Oct 26th, when Lee, Will, Ed, and I headed north to Claremont, NH. Will's objective was to climb a splendid white pine that John Knuerr and I had measured the year before. The pine grows at an altitude of 400 feet and a latitude of a little less than 43.4 degrees. It had been given the status of New England's tallest accurately measured tree per John's and my measurements. However, we needed to get a good fix on it. We had bagged four 160-footers the year before at the private Claremont site and 150-footers had proven to be more common than I had originally thought. On this trip, a number of laser-clinometer measurements taken by Lee Frelich and myself averaged out to be about 164.5 feet. However, the taped height of the tree turned out to be 164.1 feet. Not too shabby. The key to accuracy is the laser-clinometer combination and statistics, statistics, statistics. - which is what we've been saying all along to bring the measured height to with +/- 1.0 feet of taped height.

   Will and his climbing partners can now claim to have climbed higher into trees in North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire than any other person. Tennessee can probably be added to the list.

   While Will and Ed swayed to and fro in the top of that extraordinarily skinny Claremont white pine, Lee Frelick and I measured other trees. I was trying to nab all the 160-footers and thought there were six. To cut to the chase, I discovered this morning, to my surprise, that we had confirmed a total of seven 160-footers. I had thought the number to be six, but no, we actually have seven. Two are in a shallow ravine just north of the ravine with the tree that Will and Ed climbed. One of the two new trees was measured by Lee to a height of 166.1 feet. I got 165.5 feet. It is probably the tallest. So Lee now holds the record for Wisconsin and New Hampshire. Well, Will will just have to return in 2004 and confirm Lee's measurement. Its girth is a respectable 10.3 feet. By contrast, the girth of the tree that Will climbed is a slender 8.2 feet. When the wind blew, and it did, the tree swayed mightily. Will has plenty of images and hopefully he'll share some with other Ents.

    One observation Will made that I'm now hesitant to dispute is the density of 150-footers in the private Claremont Stand. Will believes that it is the highest in the Northeast, including the indominatable Cook Forest. I'll bet Dale's mouth just went agape. After spending about 4.5 hours in a fairly confined area measuring, counting, and observing. I think Will may be correct. Let's see why. There are about 20 acres of the tall pines, maybe more. The stand averages between 160 and 190 years of age with a few trees near the Connecticut River over 200 years. Within the concentration of seven 160-footers, it stood to reason that there would be a lot of 150-footers. Well there are. They are all over the place. I would guess that a 10 acre area averages at least ten 150-footers per acre and we can probably get another 2 or 3 per acre out of the remaining 10 acres for a total of about 125. However, there is a chance that there could be double that number. At this point, I'm from Missouri. We will just have to do a lot more measuring to settle the question. The problem in quick passes through the area is that many of the pines have re-grown from broken crowns. Long side branches make seeing the full length of a tree quite difficult. Also a scattering of deciduous species, especially black and yellow birch, when leafed out, creates a sub-canopy that makes seeing the tops of tall pines virtually impossible. The bottom line is that gathering data on the Claremont forest's vertical structure can only occur when the deciduous trees have lost their leaves and even then is extremely time consuming. We'll be at it likely for several years. Nonetheless, Will's observations about the density of 150-footers is not to be taken lightly. He's probably right. Plus, Will has a distinct advantage. He's seen the forest from the top of the canopy and he reported to us tall pines jutting up everywhere.

    The hardwoods growing among the white pines at Clarremont are not exceptional, but neither are they whimps. Lee measured a white ash to over 115 feet in height. Many hemlocks grow among the pines, but appear to reach heights of 110 to 115 feet with a few topping 120. The Rucker Index of the Claremont site is likely between 117 and 120. However, it would take a lot of time to nudge it past 120.


Claremont Oh Claremont
  Oct 30, 2003 04:06 PST 


   This past Sunday's trip to Claremont was by any measure a tremendous success. The abundance of 150-footers will make mapping them a multi-year, multi-person task. The driving time to Claremont is between 1.5 and 1.75 hours. But as with Mohawk, it will be a labor of love. So, at this point where do we stand with the 11 top super pine groves in the Northeast?

   1. Cook Forest State Park, PA
   2. Claremont, NH
   3. Mohawk Trail State Forest, MA
   4. Hearts Content Natural Area, PA
   5. Paul Smith College Elders Grove, NY
   6. William Cullen Bryant Homestead, MA
   7. Anders Run, PA
   8. Ice Glen, MA
   9. Tamworth Pines, NH
   10. Ordway Pines, ME
   11. Fisher Scott Memorial Pines, VT