Nurse Logs   John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Nov 22, 2005 11:16 PST 

If the cuc is not less than 450 increments then just think for a minute.
Now the tree fell and we have a cuc nurse log. Unique!!!!! Imagine this.
It took (just time along) over 450 years to manufacture this nurse log.
What would the cost of a product be if it took over 450 years to
manufacture? I believe this nurse log is unique as well as priceless.


John A. Keslick, Jr.

Dale Luthringer wrote Nov 21, 2005:  That cuke' cross section is 
impressive. Because the base was hollow the "cookie" was 
taken at 22'2" up the trunk from its mid-slope base. I counted 
425, 427, and 433 rings, but I need to sand it down better. 

Re: Nurse Logs   Neil Pederson
  Nov 22, 2005 12:25 PST 

I was off list for a few days changing my subscription over to my
EKU address and missed the old cucumber discussion.

It'd be awesome if the cucumbertree at Cook forest was more than 400
years. I'm sure they can probably live this long. I will, as usual,
add a cautionary note. Crossdating cucumbertrees [as well as
tulip-poplar and sweet birch] to obtain an exact age at coring height
is tough. The ones I've worked with along the eastern US are prone
to forming false rings. Locally absent rings are an occasional
problem, too. Myvonwynn Hopton and I had a heck of a time crossdating
a few cucumber and tulip sites. In fact, we stopped trying to
crossdate a few cucumbertrees because of false/missing rings. For
example, one tree had ~18 extra bands on one side of the tree versus
the other. We were not able to determine if missing rings or false
rings caused this difference. It actual age is unknown.

Speaking of cukes, I stumbled on a large one 2'+ dbh [I had no
measuring equipment. I was just out on a pleasure hike], in southern
Kentucky the other day. It is growing in a narrow canyon of supposed
OG. There are some large trees in there that look old. I did find,
however, a small road running halfway up the canyon. Hopefully we'll
get some ages out of this place in the next year.


PS - Bob - Ed Cook did beat me to the oldest chestnut oak stand in
the patch of OG I located by one measly year. That dude is amazing. I
got my revenge, however, a year later when I tied his age for
chestnut oak in a stand he first sampled 20 yrs ago.
Re: Nurse Logs
  Nov 23, 2005 09:52 PST 


I think the "true" nurse logs like you describe are far more rare outside of
protected circumstances than most people can imagine. There are exceedingly
rare in parts of the Appalachians with a history of fire.

I think that the perched root systems of old black birch trees that still
retain the shape of the stump they germinated on and grew around is a testimony
to the decomposition process.

Part of what I do for a living involves manufacturing tree stumps but I
enjoy watching the progress of the decomposition process. On my parents farm in
Massachusetts there are massive while pine logs still lying across the brook
as they were when I was a little kid almost 50 years ago and the skeleton of
an old dead chestnut I sat beneath many times as I pondered my future as a
forester has turned into a nearly unrecognizable pile of reddish brown mush.   

Russ Richardson
Re: Nurse Logs   John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Nov 23, 2005 14:35 PST 

That reddish brown mush is the formation of humic acids and the true healthy horizons of the soil. Are we on the same page?


John A. Keslick, Jr.
Re: Questions to John Keslick
  Nov 27, 2005 09:02 PST 

I think so. Truly undisturbed forest soils, especially in a moist temperate
climate like we have here in the Appalachians have a life to them that
appears as complex (or more) than the old forest above.   Sometimes this aspect of
forest productivity can best be appreciated by visiting a lightgap created
by a fallen tree on a midsummer day.