TOPIC: Cook Forest update
On 10/6/07 I had the opportunity to re-measure a few past
champions on one of our interpretive programs, 'Searching for the
The first tree we re-measured was the Eastern height champ
spruce. On 9/27/06 we had it at 5ft CBH x 113.4ft high.
A little over
a year later, it grew to 5.1ft CBH x 115.7. The tree is a
There's another nearby that needs re-measuring, but will likely be
to 113ft as well. MacBeth's Cabins has a dandy or two that
need to be
remeasured. I believe they'll have at least one, if not two
that'll make it into the 110ft class.
The second was one of our 90ft class pitch pines at the
entrance to Fire
Tower Rd. Last measured on 1/25/07 to 5.6ft CBH x 90.9ft
high, it now
stands at 5.6ft CBH x 91.5ft high. I've been measuring this
4/30/04 and it has only grown 0.1ft in girth in 3 years, but 3.6ft
height in the same time frame. I also cored the tree this
time and put
it to ~65 years at breast height. I feel we'll eventually
find a pitch
pine in PA that'll break 100ft. Scott Wade's probably got
one in his
pocket down there, just waiting for me to post this note.
I also finally found the old state champ pitch pine that
sometime in the 1980's, well before the 1993 PFA PA Big Tree pub
out. I've been trying to find this elusive tree for the last
I was always looking on the ground, but was absolutely blown away
found the tree still standing. I must say, I did not find it
on my own,
repeated directions from Greg Rearick, initial nominator, and
that were along from our interpretive program spied this beauty,
with much of the bark on. Even dead, it still is the largest
pitch pine we have on record at Cook Forest at 6.3ft CBH x 93.2ft
This tree has been dead for close to 20 years and still is the 2nd
tallest known pitch pine in PA, if not the northeast. You
see the tree from the Fire Tower Road at 41 19.863N x 79 12.906W,
you must really keep your eyes peeled. The
bark on this pitch pine was
deeply furrowed, and resembled a plating character reminiscent of
year red pine that I cored in the Lebo Run N.A.
The trunk is not stable
though, and if we had the right
would probably take it down.
Exposed trunk without the bark
is very punky.
See ya'all. I'm off to CT this week for the 4th HWA
Symposium. Hope to
have some neat stuff to report, but at this rate in my backlog of
it might take me 4 months to get to it.
TOPIC: Cook Forest update
== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Mon, Feb 11 2008 6:07 am
Thanks for the update. That Colorado blue spruce is a humdinger.
BTW, I was especially interested in the news about the pitch pines
in Cook. As my health permits and as part of the tree height
measuring method comparison study, I intend to collect a lot of
data from Massachusetts on pitch pines and I won't have to travel
far to do it. The Westfield township, about 12 miles south of
Florence, has many handsome pitch pines, some quite old. A number
of week back, I measured a pitch pine behind the house Rob is
living in to 84 feet in height and he says there are many in the
area of similar height and possibly taller. The sandy soils of the
region are ideal for pitch pine. There are some in Florence, but
no major stands. Then there is the Montague Pine Plains to the
north and east of Florence. The Pine Plains a large area covered
in pitch pines that don't look very old to me. I think Harvard
Forest did a study of the region several years ago. Then eastern
Mass has plenty of pitch
I don't know where the best place to look for a new champion might
be, but Westfield is as good of a place to start as I know of.
There is also a vast area of pitch pine-dominated habitat west of
Albany, NY. I've zipped through it many times on I90. I don't know
where to get good access though to prime areas. It would be good
to get a New York-Pennsylvania-New England competition going,
though. I need to get back to Mount Tom to measure the height
champ there - if I can find it again.