Tree records and Dedications Robert Leverett
July 13, 2009


     Well, Monica and I are back home in Florence,MA. It feels good to be home in some ways, but a let down in others. We experienced a true Rocky Mountain high, known to true mountain aficionados. But alas, all good things must eventually end, and besides, we have wonderful friends and great trees here in Western Mass to reconnect with. Besides, Monica and I consider ourselves as residents of both Florence, MA  and Durango, CO.  

     According to our neighbors, it rained all through June. Consequently, the forest around our house is unusually lush for the time of year. Monica's pine has put on an impressive flush of new growth - at least a foot, I judge  Other trees in Monica's Woods show excellent growth as well. There will be much for me to measure and report on in the coming weeks and months.

      While our western adventure is still fresh in my mind, I thought this would be a good opportunity to summarize my Colorado big/tall tree findings before the details fade. I'll have more pictures and narratives later, but for now, it will be only words and numbers, with emphasis on the numbers. 

       I am including 41 measurements in an Excel spreadsheet attachment. The list of trees is limited to the superlatives by some categorization of mine. Don't look for any logic.

       While in Colorado, I measured several hundred trees and will include many of them (or summaries of them) in future lists that discuss more than just raw dimensions. For now, I will report on the top ones, again by a inscrutable criteria .

      The average height for the 41 trees in the list is an impresive 131.1 feet. The average girth is 8.7 feet. Had I concentrated just on girth, the average would have been higher; certainly above 9.5 feet and possibly over 10 .

       Several trees stand out in my mind as exceptional in an other than purely dimensional way. For example, the Schrater Pine exhibits its unsurpassed stature in the most convincing way. It is the lord of its grove and intends all to acknowledge its position. It is the high priest or priestess of the Ponderosas. The Blozan Colorado Blue S pruce stands apart, aloof and tall. It holds one's attention. One can never fully know it unless one climbs to its top. Don Bertolette's, Kip and Laura's, and Barry's pines all have great presence. They show their sizes and ages in a commanding, but graceful way. They are the pipe carriers of the forest, the keepers of the sacred knowledge. Rocky's Ponderosa struts its stuff - just like its little, adorable namesake. Monica and I miss that wonderful little dog. T he Jenny-fir tree is the essence of symmetry, beauty,  and el egance in a Rocky Mountain conifer. The WNTS Spruce speaks proudly of its we athering of 300 or more winters. The Don Bragg Spruce recognizes the lofty role that Don has assumed in ENTS. Its crown stands fully 118 feet above its base and that crown continues to grow in the rarified air of over 11,200 feet altitude. It is the guardian of the pass. Farther down the canyon, the Olga Little tree honors a woman who made her mark in that demanding country. I named the 137-foot Englemann at the request of Faye Schrater. She and her husband Dick spotted the tree for me on our trip up La Plata Canyon. Well, I could go on with more impressions, but enough for now. BTW, some might wonder why I didn't name a tree for my dear wife. Well, she has lots of trees named for her including: (1) an old growth white pine named the Monica Pine in Mohawk Trail State Forest, (2) a younger white pine named the Sweetie Pie Pine also in Mohawk, (3) an ancient hemlock in Cook Forest named Monica's Hemlock, and a huge white pine in Ander's Run, PA named Baby's Tree. She wanted trees named in honor of others on this trip, but maybe I've got a surprise in store for her.

A note t o Dr. Nancy Weiss,

       Nancy, look at row 32 of the attachement. For all your outstanding conservation work, as Monica's and my dear friend, and just for being the great person you are, the grand old Ponderosa on the Piedra River whispered into my ear. It said: 'Bob, I want to become known as the Dr. Nancy Weiss Tree to honor her for all her conservation work . We trees appreciate that, you know.' O f course, I could hardly refuse and dutifully whispered back to  the great pine, assuring it  that I would carry out its wishes. No fanfare, just a humble naming process. Laura Stransky knows where your tree is if you should ever visit the Durango-Pagosa Springs area. S hould you be there with Monica and I, of course, we'll take you to your tree. I'd rather Laura would drive us there though. Sheesh, it's al long way down to the bottom of that canyon.

A note to Amy Kaiser,

      Amy, look at row 35 of the spreadsheet. Yep, you have a tree and it is a fine one, the tallest of the Colorado blues I measured along the Piedra. I decided to pick out a tree in the same area as Jenny's tree, since the two of you are such good friends. Of course, when Monica and I visit you next summer in St. Louis, I will expect some of that excellent chocolate dessert you offered us in June.


    Durango Trip Records.xls

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