Lee's New Tree, CO (17) Bob Leverett
June 22, 2009


Well today I was successful in selecting a tree for Dr. Lee Frelich, the ENTS VP. It is a tree that I measured before and reported on, but I shortchanged the tree. I was in a bit of a hurry and missed the highest point in its crown. But today, I spent considerable time with the great pine and finally am satisfied that I have its height measured to a level of accuracy of +/- 0.5 feet. BTW, Lee has a 160-foot white pine named in his honor in Mohawk Trail State Forest, Massachusetts. But when you're the Veep, you have special perks. So, now Lee has a ponderosa in the La Plata subrange of the mighty San Juan range of the Colorado Rockies. Before the photos, first the numeric information.

Species: Pinus ponderosa
Height: 154.5 feet
Girth:     9.1 feet
Lat: 37.466501 N
Long:       107.856517 W
Alt:      7,831 feet

Oops a couple more digressions. I remeasured the champion Colorado blue spruce and got 156.5 feet again. I'm satisfied. O n Wednesday more tree naming events will take place. I have two trees to name for our new friends Kip and Laura Stransky. Laura is the U.S. Forest Service official who will accompany me to the tall tree site in the Hermosa Creek watershed. Kip is a retired wildlife biologist. I will first get the permission of Kip and Faye, of course. Assuming they agree, their trees will be two new Colorado blue spruces, both over 150 feet in height (151.5, 6.8 and 151.3, 7.4). Yep, confirmed them today along with a ponderosa at 153.4 feet in height and 8.3 feet in girth. This pine will be dedicated to a special friend of Faye's and Dick's - a retired friend suffering with cancer. But for now, it is back to Lee's tree. The photos below show a bit of the country in which Lee's tree grows and then shows the tree from a distance and up close.

The country in which Lee's tree grows - looking down into Hermosa Gorge. It's loaded with Ponderosas and Doug firs.


Lee's pine from a distance. The pine leaning to the left a little. Can't see the base. It is a ways down the ridge.


Lee's tree up close and personal. I expect the tree is approaching 200 years in age, if not a little older. Don Bertolette may have a take on its age. Don?

Tomorrow, Monica and I are off to visit Chimney Rock, an Anasazi site that predates Mesa Verde by 200 years. There are also many ancient pinyon pines there. More pictures and data tomorrow night.


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