South to North
  Nov 01, 2003 05:17 PST 


    After the fast pace of last week and weekend, I'm ready to slow down for a little while and revisit some of our ENTS tree lists. One area we haven't concentrated much on is North to South comparisons. Can we predict any ceilings across the range of widely distributed species and reflect realistic South to North height differentials? Presnely, not too well, but here are some examples for standing trees that extend their range well into the north and south. Numbers are rounded to the nearest foot.

Species          South           North           Difference

Black locust     153             126              27
E. hemlock       168             145              23
R. spruce        152             129              23
White oak        147             124              23
Bitternut H.     154             134              20
White pine       186             167              19
Tuliptree        177             158              19
White ash        163             147              16
Sugar maple      151             138              13
Yellow birch     110             101               9   
N. red oak       144             135               9
Red maple        145             136               9
E. sycamore      159             153               6
Black cherry     146             140               6
American beech   136             130               6
E. cottonwood    135             133               2
Black birch      117             116               1   
Hop hornbeam      73              78              -5
Bigtooth aspen    82             128              -46

Enough for now.

RE: More musings about ENTS and back to business   Robert Leverett
  Nov 01, 2004 10:16 PST 


   Yes, I do think that is a possibility, but 140 appears the absolute
upper limit in New England unless the trees in the Deerfield River Gorge
do something really spectacular in the next 50 years - if Tsuga
survives. It is interesting to think about how such a northern tier
species reaches its zenith near the southern limit of its range. The 160
to 169-foot height trees in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and
Tennessee were not expected by Will Blozan and me when we set out to
document the great hemlocks of the Smokies. The decrease in maximum
height going north is irrefutable. In fact the decrease look to me like
it follows a more predictable pattern than that of white pine. From a
max of 170 at between 33 and 34 degrees latitude the maximum height
drops to about 125 by 43 degrees latitude north in the Northeast. I
expect that by 44 degrees that number is down to 120, if not a little
less. I wonder what Lee Frelich has to say about that. Lee?