13, 2005 19:54 PST
What is the oldest Cucumber tree that anyone has cored or dated?
A. Keslick, Jr.
14, 2005 03:37 PST
counted the increments that I could see of the CUCUMBER which
fell in Cook State Park Forest and it was 300 or over. Some
increments were hard to see at the time. It, in its life time,
had a steady supply of natural mulch. Leaves, twigs, trunks etc.
Plus much more such as insects decomposing, scat and much more.
That is an example as to what I want to bring to urban trees
such as composted wood chips and leaves. That's why I believe in
bringing more eco-art nurse logs into the urban trees.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Cucumbertree & Kentucky old-growth
14, 2005 04:53 PST
Dear Ed et al.,
The oldest cucumbertree to date that I am familiar with is one I
central Virginia. Myvonwynn Hopton and I dated it to 348 years.
This was cored
back in 2003. So, it will be 350 years old today if it is still
haven't been back to see it since 2003.
Dave Orwig, Tony D'Amato and I have a paper in review on the new
of four species. Specifically, this paper is about the new
maximum ages of
less-well studies species [dendrochronologically speaking] such
as red maple,
cucumbertree, shagbark hickory and sweet [black] birch. These
new max ages were
in a small, initial sampling of each species. We compare these
new maximum ages
to those reported in the literature. Compared to the silvics
North America, two of these species are 100 to nearly 200 yrs
older than the
commonly-expected maximum age. Dave [forever master of
the literature] has dug up a couple old papers that have max
ages closer to
what we've found. The age of 348 yrs for cucumbertree, however,
is still nearly
older than the maximum known age in the literature. This all
shows how much we
have to learn about life history traits of many [most?] trees
species in the
Speaking of how much we have to learn: there is some initial
momentum in the
formation of the Kentucky Old-Growth Forest Society. I presented
a paper to the
Kentucky Academy of Sciences last Friday proposing such a group.
Mary Bird Davis contacted me out of the blue on Saturday. She is
and expanding it to include old, somewhat 'damaged' forests:
Mary and her husband now live in Lexington, about 20 miles from
where I now
live. I am now a professor at Eastern Kentucky University. I've
with members of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, Kentucky State
Preserves Commission and the Kentucky Native Plant Society about
of an old-growth society modeled after work in the northeast;
Bob's work and
the short-lived NY old growth society, primarily. The responses
have been very
positive. We plan on having an initial meeting of interested
winter and then a larger meeting associated with a fieldtrip and
sometime in the spring.
If anyone is interested in participating, please contact me.
I'll keep ENTS
updated as we move forward. My new email is ---. I
have to change my ENTS subscription over soon...
The idea for this group sprung from a hike at Blanton Forest
last month. For
living near SE KY and havae not been to Blanton, plan on making
a trip. I agree
with Miles, it is a very impressive preserve, geologically and
Hope this helps,
Cucumbertree & Kentucky old-growth
15, 2005 18:54 PST
Congratulations on your new job at EKU!
We have a 100 year old cucumber tree in Minneapolis that
survived a direct
hit by an F2 tornado in 1982. It never did recover to its
height, so its a funny looking tree. Its probably the oldest
this far north.
Incidentally, welcome to the derecho triangle. The Weather
showed a derecho moving through Kentucky this evening, which is
south side of the same storm that is producing the first snow in
Minneapolis and the first ground blizzard in western MN, and
to produce the first 2-foot snowfall in the Porcupine Mountains
and 25 foot
waves on the great lakes tomorrow.