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Large trees -from another topic.

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D_W

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I don't recall which other topic had a mention of large trees, and it's true where I am (PA, USA), most of the forests have been cut at least once, clearcut at least once and many clearcut again. What's left is trees that are different than what would be there in a mature forest.

But some of the yard trees are large, and some of the more established municipal areas have large trees.

Little did I know there would be a bunch of pages (curious to me as we have large trees in yards and neighborhoods here, but many woods areas are at least second growth and the trees are tall and clear from competing with each other, but other than oaks, there aren't a lot where a high % are more than about 30-36 inches on the stump).

Some areas in the north of the state do still have a few large trees (I don't know the story as to why), and the regrowth of the mountains now and lack of timber value means a lot of the ridges will probably never be harvested again. They're unpopulated due to steepness and the only thing you find on them is right-of-ways for power lines.


But that reminded me of something years ago that I saw on youtube (not many years, ago) - large trees in the west where redwoods grow are a huge nuisance. We think it's bad here when a 30 inch wide pinoak is planted next to a house only to be 75 feet tall with a 50 foot canopy in 50-60 years. This is from an arborist in California:


I didn't rewatch it, but when he posted it, he said the tree was 66 years old. Not sure if he gives the height, but it looks like it's 165 feet or so (just a guess), and it's got a wide trunk, too, and was planted right next to a house. Again, didn't rewatch, but remember him lamenting in this or another video that he gets verbal abuse while removing trees like this for "removing an old tree where a house is in the way" because the folks leveling the criticism have no clue that the house is older than the tree.

My parents, on the other hand, live in PA, too, on a former granite mine. Their house was built (the mine is actually a hill) with oaks planted around it on the corners. Unfortunately, they were planted about 20 feet away, and all are mature (some are gone now), some with sections about 4 feet wide at the bottom and all have a gradual long clear lean over the house to get sunlight. The arborist is on site there about once a year to the tune of $3-$5k, but perhaps less now as the trees are getting removed - they have never caused a disaster, but are not bug resistant and are usually filled with ants in the center when cut out. To go with the trees on the corner are bunches more planted a little further away, but all would lay over into the house if they fell.

When you're in a rural area, if you fall an oak or have one taken down by an arborist and it's 36 inches or more at the stump, you can usually find someone who will buck and haul away the wood at no cost, which is what my dad does to avoid paying the arborist to buck and remove the wood. Where I live in the burbs, people will only take little bits of wood and most of the large trees are ground unless they're in an area where it doesn't matter. In our park, there is an oak about 36 inches or a little more at the stump laid over at the edge of the property gray and rotting. Nobody is interested in it - there's no log value, and most people don't have a big enough saw for the tree (I do, but am not interested in sweating it out to get a bunch of red oak) that is by now cracked up, anyway.

I noticed also that these "largest tree" sites link together, and there are quite a few large trees left in britain. Perhaps not as a matter of large open stands, but still large ones nonetheless.

In the states, the difference between a 300 year old oak in an old settled area and one that's 85 years old can be really difficult to tell - sometimes the latter is bigger. Plus, our oaks are great firewood, but not very nice wood to work - not remotely similar to the English oak, which planes like someone buttered it.
 

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The UK has lost 97% of its old forest, but does like to lecture Brazil etc about their trees.

I'm a bit taken with paulownia trees, which grow to maturity in 10 years. Everyone should plant some. They are also rather pretty.

 

D_W

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When I looked up fast growing trees, paulownia was also mentioned (obviously) as a tree that can grow an enormous number of feet per year.

I may have a use for that, actually. I have a japanese flowering cherry tree that can't be good for too many more years as it's got to be double the average expected age for this region, and it gets more voids and more ants to kill each year.

Interestingly enough, when you buy a guitar body from china and it's labeled as ash with a fuzzy picture ("very light weight swamp ash", you'll get it and stick your fingernail into it (which you don't even need to do when you see that sheen of paulownia on the surface of the wood) and, yep, paulownia.

After being told all kinds of fish stories about how it's such a desirable wood in japan for decorative purposes (it is, but I think it's that because you don't have to waste money on tool cases, and you can practically just form it into shape), then to find out it's included in guitar parts kits that are literally $65 for the entire guitar including shipping and a fretted neck. Well, a bubble is burst every day!
 

D_W

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(redwood can also grow 10 feet a year - how that escaped me, I don't know. My porch here was old growth redwood from the 60s or so, not a bit of rot or bug damage except in the pine posts. All of the sill work and everything else was redwood and perfect. The second growth stuff has none of that resistance and there was nothing really big enough in terms of pieces to be worth keeping.
 

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