photo by Time Zelazo, Eastern Summit MTSF, MA
The Eastern Native Tree Society was originally established to accurately measure and record the tallest trees, historical trees, and ancient forests of Eastern North America. Eastern North America has been graced with forests of fantastic beauty and diversity. These forests have been heavily impacted by development, disease and human utilization. This unfortunate history has diverted our attention from the remarkably huge and ancient forests which have survived this catastrophe. Even today we are finding the largest and oldest trees ever recorded for some native species. The tallest white pine ever accurately recorded was recently documented in the Cataloochee district of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The oldest trees ever recorded in eastern North America have been recently discovered along the Black River, in eastern North Carolina. ENTS will store data on accurately measured trees for historical documentation purposes, scientific research, provide an archive for information on specific trees and stands of trees, and to resolve big tree disputes.
In July of 2011 the overall organization changed its' name to the Native Tree Society to reflect a broader geographic membership and was restructured to reflect this organizational change. The organization has two formal chapters: the Western Native Tree Society for those people in western North America, and the Eastern Native Tree Society covering the eastern United States and Canada. Members from elsewhere in the world are considered to be members at large to the NTS. Official membership in NTS is obtained by joining the NTS BBS at http://www.ents-bbs.org The single BBS Forum is for all all members of the Native Tree Society and any member may post in any forum regardless of their geographic location. We hope to establish ties with tree interest groups in other countries and to share our passion for trees and to promote the usage of our measurement standards and scientific goals in these areas.
Welcome New Members On August 03, 2007 Robert Leverett, Cofounder and Executive Director of ENTS wrote: "On behalf of Will, Lee, myself, and all the long time members, I'd like to welcome our newest members. We hope to hear from each of you. In ENTS, all are created equal in the eyes of the trees. Please feel completely free to ask questions, share your tree experiences, or contribute in any way you wish. We just hope you will contribute. We have a large silent majority, but that isn't be design. It does allow some of us loquacious types to ramble, but we'll pipe down when more of you joint the chorus. So, again, on behalf of all of us, welcome aboard the best all around tree list on the Internet."
ENTS HistoryOn November 20, 2003, Robert Leverett posted the following: "As a bit of history, David Stahle, Matt Therrell, Will Blozan, Mike Perlman, and yours truly sat around my kitchen table in Oct 1996, with liquid refreshments aplenty, discussing how best to give birth to ENTS and stay focused on its mission - which has never changed. We didn't want to have to acquire assets, worry over schedules, newsletters, and a fiddle with a lot of administrative details that would detract from the mission. Creating ENTS primarily as an internet based -organization seemed to be the answer. Matt agreed to put together our website. The University of Arkansas would be the host.
In terms of history, we had a rendezvous at MTSF in Nov 1998. That was followed by a major rendezvous in MTSF in Oct 2001. In April 2002 and 2003, Cook Forest State Park hosted us. We'll likely return to Cook in 2005. By then Dale will have measured just about everything that sticks up above head height. In terms of other locations, it is basically up to a local group to sponsor us. Our motto probably should be "Have laser, clinometer, and other sundry items and will travel".
Times have changed. The organization has grown over the years and now has members in a dozen countries around the world. The Western Native Tree Society was formed by Don Bertolette and serves as a partner to the original ENTS organization.
The original website was created by Matt Therrell and hosted on the University of Arkansas’s server. In 2003, Edward Frank became the webmaster and a year later the website was purchased its own domain name and moved to a commercial server at http://www.nativetreesociety.org
In terms of discussion lists the organization has evolved also. First the discussion list was hosted on a smaller server, then the discussion list was moved and hosted on Topica to reach a larger audience. In September 2007 the discussion list was moved to the Google Groups to better handle the volume of posts. In March 2010 the Eastern Native Tree Society created a new BBS to host the ongoing discussions and closed the Google List. The BBS serves to supplement and complement the ENTS website. It is hoped the BBS will serve us well for a long time.
The idea of not having a newsletter has changed as
well. In 2006, Don C. Bragg created a formal journal for the group
called the Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society. Don writes, “In
many ways, the diversity of material on the ENTS website and the
Internet discussion group will be mirrored in the nature of the
Bulletin. This open and free collection of ideas and passion for the
forest has always formed the basis of the organization. The Bulletin
will serve as a clearinghouse of information in a standardized,
distributable, and free format. We hope that our contributions to
science are matched by our contributions to art and literature and help
to advance the shared goals of the ENTS.”