History and Great  Trees - Archive of Older Posts

Middleton Oak, SC - photo by Will Blozan

There are many magnificent trees out there that are neither the largest in volume or the tallest example of their species.  Others are associated with a historical site or person.  There are a myriad of reasons why a tree could be considered special in some way.  This section of the website will focus on these individual trees.  

An excellent overview of some of the largest trees recorded in various hiostorical documents is found in an extensive article by Colby Rucker:  Great Eastern Trees, Past and Present 2004.  

One of the motivations for adding this section of the website was found on the The Virginia Big Tree Program  website.  One section is called the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Program http://www.cnr.vt.edu/4h/remarkabletree/index.cfm  It's introduction reads:  "Please join us in searching for Virginia's most remarkable trees! The overall goal of this project is to increase awareness and appreciation of Virginia's trees, especially among Virginia's youth. The culmination of the project will be a book describing Virginia's finest trees, and you could be one of the people who nominates a tree chosen to be profiled. We are looking not just for champion trees (the largest of their species) but also for trees that are noteworthy for their age, beauty, history, community significance, or for any other reason known to the nominator."

Similarly the Pennsylvania Big Tree website:  http://pabigtrees.com has a section on Penn Charter Trees.  These concepts were interesting and I opted to add a similar section to the ENTS website.  I will include pages for trips to trees on historical sites, historical photographs, and related material on the website. 

Edward Forrest Frank

Historic and Great Trees

On March 14, 2010 The Eastern Native Tree Society and Western Native Tree Society switched from discussion lists on Google Groups to a new discussion list in a Bulletin Board format at: http://www.ents-bbs.org/index.php  Posts made since the inception of the BBS on march 14, 2010 will be sorted and archived on the BBS. Click on the link above to go to the equivalent section on the new BBS. This website will continue to serve as a front end for the ENTS and WNTS groups. It will continue to serve as a repository of older posts, and will serve as the host site for special projects and features that are not well suited for a BBS format. Please visit the BBs for the latest information and trip reports.



Historical / Famous Locations


Trees In Memoriam:  Great Trees Lost to the World (Since 2000)



Historical References to Tall White Pines & Others

  • Historic Pitch Pine ENTS, After hearing of this Pitch pine measuring frenzy, I thought I'd mention its historical use in the Northeast.  It is classified as a hard pine and once sawed out, it is impossible to distinguish from other Southern hard pines.   It was a preferred material in the houses and barns (especially Dutch) of the Albany, New York area in the 18th century.  Whole timber frames and floors are often hard pine.  Several barns have been documented with anchorbeams of Pitch pine measuring 12" x 24" by thirty two feet long!  That tree would have to be at least 28 inches in diameter at 33' up.  Fifty foot 10" x 12" timbers are common.  I have a sample cut out of the middle of one such timber (10 x 12) and I counted 350 rings.  I know of a cut-off from a 12x24 that I can count also.  Obviously, these were large trees compared to what survives.  An old barn enthusiast once told me he knew a living pitch pine large enough and straight enough to get a 12" x... more »  Feb 9, 2010.Jack Sobon
  • Historical Accounts of White Pine Heights - A Compilation Recently we have had some discussions regarding reports of white pines in New England reaching heights of 250 feet, and one case of 300 feet. These have been spread out over a half dozen topics and much discussion about whether or not these heights were possible. What I want to do here is to simply compile a listing of these accounts and their sources. I do not want this Thread to be a discussion of whether they existed or not - It should simply be a compilation of these reports. If you have copies of any of these accounts please add them to the thread. I have included excerpts from GREAT EASTERN TREES, PAST AND PRESENT by Colby B. Rucker, from the Bulletin of The Eastern native Tree Society, Volume 3, Issue 4 7 Fall 2008. I also have included to start a copy of a post by Time Zelazo - I am not sure of the source or date, and some general background information from Jack Sobon - beyond this I just want to compile the historical accounts and not have an extended discussion of their validity.... more »  Jan 28, 2010.
  • White pine growth rates--something of interest about growth possibilities January 3, 2010
  • Tall Pine Trees Article December 15, 2009
  • info about pre-settlement forest in Wabash River valley(Indiana) December 15, 2009
  • Historical references to tall northeast white pine December 2, 2009
  • Historic eastern forest stature November 25, 2009
  • A Large Tree article in 1849  Nov. 2009
  • White Pine  Nov. 4, 2009

Great Trees


Historical Photos


Trees and Famous People


External Links