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.
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
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
We'll have a full report at 8:00PM.
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
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
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
WO 115.2' 8.1' NH
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
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
for a location at almost 43.4 degrees latitude north.
Claremont is not old growth, but mature
second growth, but what second
heck of a four days
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.
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