Cook Forest PA Chestnut Update    Carl Harting
   Aug 31, 2006 19:52 PDT 

Today I revisited the American Chestnut I found last August at Cook
Forest State Park. This year I was able to take my time and measure
more carefully. When remeasured from the same point as last year (from
the south) I got a height of 75.5 feet, showing roughly 1/2 foot of
chestnut_full.jpg (99730 bytes)
Chestnut Full View - photo by Carl Harting
chestnut_underneath.jpg (103029 bytes)
Chestnut from underneath - photo by Carl Harting
bark2.jpg (87101 bytes)
Chestnut bark - photo by Carl Harting
chestnuts.jpg (96283 bytes)
Chestnuts - photo by Carl Harting

Trying to get a better view, I moved to the north side and
found a higher top in clear view. This sprig pushes the height to 82.1
feet with CBH of 3.6 feet. I'll send some pictures to Ed for the

On a sad note, I found a 25 foot chestnut on the ridge above
the Clarion River dying from what looks like a blight canker at 15 feet.
The entire tree leafed out this spring but only the lowest branches are
still green.

coak_burl.jpg (87534 bytes)
Chestnut Oak Burl - photo by Carl Harting
cestnut_oak.jpg (98211 bytes)
Chestnut Oak - photo by Carl Harting

Here are a couple photos of a neat chestnut oak with a large burl. CBH 9.2 ft 
(above burl at 6.4 feet), height 91.8 feet. Burl measured 8.2 feet around.


Re: PA Chestnut Update
  Sep 01, 2006 11:53 PDT 


Great job!

I was just in there on 8/10/06 and couldn't find the select chestnut you
measured. I did find a very small one, but mostly ran into a nice little array
of hickories (bitternut, pignut, shagbark). First place I've come across in the
park with all 3 hickories growing together.

I may have been to far down over the ridge to see your chestnuts. I walked
clear out to the park boundary to the Clarion River Lodge. I was running out
of day light, so I could've easily blown past the sight. I still don't have a
good eye for these yet. Do you happen to have GPS coordinates for this tree?

When I walked up the ridge on the gas-line entrance, I cut down over the bank on
a "bench" before I got to the old foundation. It wasn't too far after that,
that I got into the nice hickory patch.

Here was my day's tally:

Species          CBH   Height Comments

chestnut oak     9.3   N/A     very old boundary tree (Clarion River Lodge)

pignut hickory   3.8   89.9
pignut hickory   4.3   105.3   new park girth record
pignut hickory   3.4   105.4
pignut hickory   4     106.5   new park height record

white oak        8.9   93.1+   very old, ancient twisted form
white oak        10.8 90.1+   ancient burled mass, from a distance
                               thought it was an old sugar maple with
                               distinct trunk groves


RE: PA Chestnut Update   Matthew Hannum
  Sep 01, 2006 15:50 PDT 

Nice catch of trees, both of you!

Hickories are funny from my experience: then tend to be everywhere in
modest numbers, but actually figuring out which tree is which is such a
trick when they are not covered in big, almost ripe nut husks. I see the
nuts without a problem, but tend to miss the trees themselves. They are
usually not the largest of trees, nor does their bark or leaves
immediately catch one's eye.

Was that chestnut oak a low-branching tree? The ones I've seen tend to
do that, which is odd for an oak.

As for the American Chestnut, I hope that it someday returns to the
forest - the ACF is working on blight-resistant trees, and I hope they
are successful.
RE: PA Chestnut Update   Carl Harting
  Sep 01, 2006 19:30 PDT 

Check out the Updates section of the website for a picture of the
chestnut oak attached to my chestnut post. Notice how the tree seems to
be holding a smaller fallen comrade in its elbow.


I sent the GPS coordinates and pictures of the American Chestnut to your
park email account, but I really think I should guide you there myself
(hint).   Its funny that we were both drawn to the old chestnut oak. I
took a quick height measurement and got 91.8 feet. Nice burl. You
missed the chestnut and I missed the hickories - wonder what else is up

Chestnut Samples from Cook Forest   David Armstrong
  September 10, 2006 
From: David Armstrong 
To: Carl Harting 
Cc: Larry (Chip) Patchel 
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:32 AM
Subject: Chestnut Samples


Thanks for the submission of the chestnut sample from Cooks Forest and your interest in the American chestnut recovery program.

I examined the leaf and twig samples and believe your tree to be American chestnut based on the following:
The paper thin, canoe shape of the leaf, large teeth that curve inward are American traits. There are American simple and glandular hairs on the underside of the leaf when viewed at 30X. The thin dark brown twig is also an indicator of American.

We keep a record of all these trees located in the Mid-Atlantic region in our data base at PSU. 

Thanks again for your interest.

PA Chapter- The American Chestnut Foundation
Dave Armstrong

PA Chestnut Update   Carl Harting
  Sep 11, 2006  

I walked with Dale and Tony on Saturday and we found some decent trees along
the Clarion River upstream from the 4 mile canoe launch. We ran out of time
but found a 120+ red oak and a tulip at 135 +/- (Dale has the numbers) which
should be number 2 for the park. Dale confirmed my measurement of 82.1 for
the chestnut, and he found a new park record pignut hickory around 105 I


Dale Luthringer (Sept 13, 2006) wrote:  


Here's some more pics of Carl's Am. chestnut find. It'll be awhile before I add my $0.02 to his posts though... He took Tony & I up there last weekend.


h_chest01.jpg (190915 bytes) h_chest02.jpg (197918 bytes)
h_chest03.jpg (158158 bytes) h_chest04.jpg (134131 bytes)