Giant Buttonwood at Batsto Historic Site NJ Barry Caselli
July 28, 2009

Okay folks. Back in the winter I posted "Phenomenal day of measuring", about me and my dad going to Egg Harbor City and to Batsto to measure big trees. I took photos of Dad in front of most of them.
Now one of them has been cut because it was a "hazard tree". That's nonsense. The tree was not hollow and was not leaning. It also was not dying. There was no twig drop at all, except for normal stuff in high winds. But that's not for this discussion. The point is, on Sunday I wanted to count the rings on the stump, but I didn't think I could do it because it had been too long since the tree was cut (several weeks I guess), and the exposed wood has started to fade and so on.
Anyway, in this post I want to just send you the pictures of the tree from the day Dad and I did our measuring. With the vines it came up at 12 1/2 feet CBH. I estimate without the vines it was about a foot less.
So the attachments show the tree with the mansion at a distance, and then up close with my father in front of the trunk. The tree and others nearby, can be seen in old photos from the 1870s and 1880s when Joseph Wharton and his family lived there. It was big even then.
And FYI, the mansion was built in the 1770s and was modernized or "Victorianized" 100 years later by Joseph Wharton. As I say, all the trees were already mature and big then.
While I was there on Sunday I thought of an idea, which may not work. I knew I had a terrible time attempting to count the rings. So I decided to put my camera on the 7.2 megapixel setting and take a picture of part of the stump. In the next message I'll attach that high-rez photo, and MAYBE someone might want to attempt to count the rings. I don't know. It was pretty tough, and maybe it can't be done. But it might be worth a try.
Anyway, enjoy these photos, and watch for the next message with the stump photo.
I might go back and ask if it's possible that someone could cut the stump down a tiny bit and expose some new wood.

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Okay folks. Here's the high-rez photo of part of the stump. It goes from the edge to the center. If anyone feels like attempting to count rings, be my guest. It may or may not be possible. I realize the wood is degraded in the center, and rings can't be counted there at all.  See part the post immediately before this for what the tree looked like.


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Randy Brown wrote (July 29, 2009):

I loaded it into an image editor so I could zoom into it and made a  
dodgy effort.  I got ~117 clear rings I marked with red dots.  But  
like lee said the rotted area is a real head scratcher.  The wood is  
clearly separating along annual rings.  The question is wether it's  
separated along -every- annual ring or just some of them.

We had a similar sized sycamore tree in the town where I grew up that  
they said was planted in the 1880s.  I measured it last year ~ 15' cbh  
x 108' tall. So it's not impossible
the tree grew up since the historic picture was taken.  Anyway I  
attached the picture so you all can see how far out to lunch I am:

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