White Pine On The Rebound:          Boogerman Pine Regrowth Will Blozan
March 03, 2002 5:40 PM

Subject: Fw: Longfellow Pine!!!

Way to go Longfellow!

I have extensive video of the Boogermen Pine (BP) and its "new" top filmed
two weeks ago from an adjacent tree 167' tall. After hurricane Opal in Oct
1995, BP was reduced to a flat topped remnant of its former 207' glory. BP
has two tops, the main trunk splitting into two codominants at around 140'
up. Both tops sheared off at about 177 feet, and the remaining horizontal
limbs formed the new highest point. Since 1995, the remaining limb on the
east side has tweaked itself to vertical and become the new dominant leader
(186'+). It exhibits strong annual growth whorls visible from the ground.
Video closeup indicates 6-8 new inches of growth over the last few years.
The west side of the tree, which is larger in diameter and has a larger
remaining horizontal branch, has instead turned up a small sprout near the
trunk while the limb remains essentially horizontal. (this limb was once the
highest point.) It has gained several feet in height but still has not
outgrown the height of the foliage on the remaining branch. Thus, on the
east side a height gain was made without new growth (turned vertical), and
the west side has no net height gain even with its new leader and growth. A
similar situation has occurred in white pine on my parents property in
Cashiers, NC. Hurricane Opal also ripped the top out of one of two twin
pines in their yard. Both trees were nearly identical in height and
diameter. Anyway, Opal topped one of the trees back to 8" diameter wood. The
remaining limbs were nearly horizontal and very long-in excess of 20' and
5-6 inches in diameter. I considered the tree doomed and vowed to cut it
down. Well, I didn't, and it rebounded with a surprise! A few weeks ago I
was visiting and noticed the tree's new form. It went from basically a large
"T", with the remaining two horizontal limbs (Okay, ascending a mere 10
degrees each) forming the top of the "T", to a fully twin topped tree where
the tops are less than 3 feet apart and perfectly parallel! Not only have
the limbs become codominant but they have surpassed the other tree
(undamaged) in height! This indicates a height gain of probably 30 feet in a
mere 6 growing seasons (96-01). The straighteneing of the tops allowed a
"doubling" of height growth compared to conventional means. I find this
method of regrowth very fascinating and ecologically important to a species
so dependent on maintaining height for survival.

Pinaceae rules!!!


Boogerman Pine Photo's

White Pine on the Rebound Will Blozan
May 31, 2003 15:24 PDT 

ENTS folks and tree enthusiasts,

My parents had two white pines in their yard of equal age and general size. In October 1995 hurricane Opal passed over and ripped a huge section of top out of one of the trees. The break was in wood 12-15 inches or so in diameter so I vowed to take it down for them. Well, I never got to it and on a recent visit I noticed the remarkable changes that occured in the tree since the damage, and the lessons we could learn from it with regard to non-epicormic species such as white pine. White pine is unable to resprout new limbs from dormant buds in the bark like most hardwoods can. Thus, they have a different strategy to regain lost height, as evidenced in the rapid height gain in the Boogerman pine from damages sustained from the same storm.

This strategy, one of "righting" or upturning lateral limbs for new leaders, is interesting and quite remarkably effective. I took very detailed measurements of the damaged tree in my parents yard, and recreated the height gain due to "limb rise", and separated that from height regained by new growth since 1995. My calculations are based on an average "normal" limb rise or branch angle currently on the tree (base to tip height difference of the entire limb). This average was 12.6 feet, and was used to represent a typical limb originating at the level of the break. This figure of 12.6 feet should be close to what the now upturned branch originated from.

The tree has had seven full growing seasons since the damage. The break was 46.5 feet above ground, at a major limb. Thus, with the "natural" limb rise of 12.6 feet, the height after breakage was 59.1 feet. The tree is now 90.8 feet tall. Therefore, the tree has gained 31.7 feet in seven years. I measured the lenght of stem that has grown in the last seven seasons. This lenght was 16.4 feet. Thus, the tree has "gained" 15.3 feet by limb rise alone. Fully 48% of the new height is due to limb rise! The upturned limb was 28' long when the top snapped out and is now 44.3 feet "long" and fully vertical- half the height of the tree! This damaged tree is 6 feet taller than the unbroken tree next to it (8' away) tho I do not know how close they were in height before the hurricane.

WOW!!! I would be glad to send photos of the tree if anyone would like to see them.

 The Boogerman has some serious wounds in the top. I suspect the tree will continue to break and rebound since it has a healthy, full crown with many potential new leaders. If the Boogerman had some protection from exposure it may do fine. It may do fine anyway; I'll have my son check it out after I am too old and feeble to do it myself!

The pine at my parents house will likely continue to grow 2 feet per year for many more years. Some of the pines on their property may be close to 140' now. In 1996 I measured one to 128'.

Will Blozan 

I read your tale with great interest. I have been fascinated with the process of reiteration for several years due to its importance to coast redwood crown form. We have found that over 90 percent of the biodiversity in the canopy of ancient redwoods is due to these structures present in the crowns of these giant trees. Just as in your case, storms are nearly always the initial cause of such structures. In the case of redwood, due to its extreme resistance to decay, most of the entire history of the breaks and resprouts are still present in these thousand-plus year-old trees. The resultant gnarl is the source of endless fascination on my part and the reason for complexity which leads to the presence of arboreal salamanders living in 2m deep soil mats.

In most trees, conifers in particular, the apical dominance is caused by the production of the auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) by the terminal bud. This hormone inhibits the lateral buds from developing, thus maintaining the excurrent growth form. When the bud is removed as when the top is removed from the tree, the production of IAA is stopped, which allows leader development formation to occur on other shoots, normally those nearest the removed leader. Once one or more of these develops as a leader, IAA is again produced and leader formation halts. In very large or complex trees, the leader does not produce enough IAA to 'control' the entire tree and secondary leaders may develop lower down in the crown.

We are currently proposing an experiment in second-growth coast redwoods to promote reiteration and thus allow the complexity to develop that will support the epiphytes and subsequent wildlife the needs these structures.

I assume that the undamaged root system of your white pine is at least partly responsible for the accelerated growth of the new leader. This is an idea not fully tested but is something I have noticed in other species.

- BVP 
Jun 01, 2003 17:34 PDT