Wrote (Feb 14, 2006): The Joe Norton and Jake Swamp
Pines are both white pines. Interestingly, Monica finds the Joe
tree more friendly and approachable and Joe was the first of the
that I really paid attention to. When we visit the grove, Monica
goes to the Joe Norton tree and sits down at its base. I'm not
I completely understand what she senses the difference to be
Jake and Joe. At 167.3 feet, Jake is the tallest tree in New
So, maybe that's given him an attitude. But Joe's not far behind
164.2 or there abouts. At one time Joe was the slightly taller of
two. That was back in November of 1992 when Jack Sobon and I first
measured the two trees with a transit. Before that, I'd only
Joe, using crude techniques. Yep, I think that was in 1990. Am I
or what? When Jack and I measured the two, Joe was 155.6 feet tall
Jake was 155.3. Joe has suffered more crown damage over the years.
least I think that is the case. But only Will Blozan knows for
is the only human who has seen the tops of both trees up close an
personal. Maybe Will can share his recollections of the crowns. He
climbed the Jake Swamp tree in November 1998 and the Joe Norton
Oct 2001. Michael Davie did the climb of Jake in 2001 and BVP
Joe with Will in 2001. That was BVP's first tree climb in New
Incidentally, Jake Swamp is the Akwasasne Mohawk
Treaty Chief and
keeper of the trees. Joe is something of a personal friend. He has
visited Mohawk Trail State Forest many times and planted two trees
for ceremonial purposes. He cites the short version of the history
the Iroquois Nation involving Dekanawida and Hiawatha.
Joe Norton is the grand chief of the Kahnawake
Mohawks near Montreal.
They were also called the French Mohawks. Joe has also visited the
of Peace Grove. He was there at its dedication in 1997.
Both Jake and Joe are imposing men. They do
honor to their trees and
vice versa. However, of the two chiefs, Joseph Takwiro Norton has
fiercer, warrior-like look.