4th of the Forest Summit Lecture Series   Robert Leverett
  Oct 30, 2006 10:02 PST 


Well, the 4th combined event in the Forest Summit Lecture Series -
Western Massachusetts ENTS Rendezvous enters the history books as an
unqualified success. Gary, Monica, and I are ready to relax. We're
thoroughly pooped. However, we can't rest on our laurels too long. The
April event in Cook Forest is not that far away.

This year's events began on Wednesday evening with Monica and Lee
teaming up to play classical music in Monica's music room. Lee brought
his violin and Monica has her two pianos. The event was impromptu. I was
the audience. Boy, was it tough work. I had to play the part of all
types of listeners to make the audience seem authentic. Next year I
think they plan to do it again, but we'll organize the event into a more
formal one, but keep it in Monica's beautiful music room.

   Thursday began with a survey of Robinson State Park. The walk in
Robinson was attended by Lee Frelich, Gary Beluzo, Will Blozan, myself,
botanist Pam Weatherbee, Friends activist Ray Weber, and 3 state
officials. I think we fairly conclusively settled the issue. No black
maple. After looking at various areas marked for harvesting, we then
went after Robinson's Rucker index.

   Will Blozan did his usual eagle-eyed spotting of new height
candidates. He quickly focuses in on tall tree candidates of all
species. By the time we had left Robinson, the Rucker Index had gone
from 112.2 up to 117.8! Robinson is now #1 in the Connecticut River
Valley region, jumping well past Mount Tom's 115.8. Robinson is home to
the State's tall tree champion tuliptree at 139.1 feet.

   On Friday we had he usual stellar performers at the HCC Forum.
Presentations by Michael Kudish, Lee Frelich, Tom Diggins, Tony D'Amato,
Will Blozan, and Dale Luthringer represented the ecology-based lectures.
After that Robinson SP became the focus of attention. EOEA
representative Bob O'Connor, Ray Weber representing Friends of Robinson
SP, and myself made presentations. We ran over on time, so Ed Frank's
presentation of ENTS accomplishments had to be rescheduled.

   On Saturday, we assembled in MTSF to the sound and feel of raindrops
and they never stopped. So, Will's scheduled climb of the Calibration
Pine was canceled. After slogging around for a time, we eventually cried
uncle (except for Lee, who didn't notice the mild weather) and decided
to go to the Charlemont Inn and dry out. Lee Frelich and Ed Frank then
made excellent presentations before dinner. Lee gave us more grim news
about the earthworm invasion. Lee has so many presentations that he can
give off the top of his head that the entire lecture series could be
successfully done letting Lee give a presentation, take a break, call
Lee back, take a break, etc. Ed followed with a presentation of some of
the history of ENTS and the major accomplishments of ENTS in the most
convincing manner ever done. Ed came through again.     

    After dinner Dr. Don Bragg gave an excellent presentation on big
trees in the southwestern corner of the ENTS domain. We saw the huge
water tupelos that were discovered in the field trips associated with
the Ecological Society of America's recent gathering.

    After Don's presentation, it was off to the Federated Church of
Charlemont to her Roman Dial's riveting look at life in the canopy of
the tropical giants. Roman brought his mother and son up from Virginia.
So, in terms of travel distance for an ENTS gathering, Roman holds the
record. Seeing inspiring images of the tropical giants followed by
pictures of the devastation of the tropical rainforests was sobering. It
is abundantly clear that the human forces of planetary destruction are
outpacing the forces of conservation. I couldn't help thinking that our
species is proving to be by far the worst parasite that planet Earth has
ever seen.

   On a more positive note, Roman's lecture was followed by our
celebration of trees through music, poetry, and prose, which was
absolutely outstanding. There will be more to come on the celebration,
but suffice it to say that ENTS amply demonstrated itself to be far more
than an organization that measures trees. Professor and concert pianist
Monica Jakuc Leverett and tenor Peter Shea were their customary
outstanding selves. Again, more about the ENTS celebration in future

   On Sunday, we went to Ice Glen where we quickly raised the Rucker
Index to 127.0, courtesy of John Eichholz's keen eye. I have little
doubt that the index will go slightly higher, perhaps to 127.5 or 127.6.

   The main event at Ice Glen was Will's climb of the old Ice Glen white
pine. Because of the curvature of the upper trunk and the tangle of
gnarly limbs, Will could not drop the tape vertically, but snaked it
down the trunk. The length of the path was 155.8 feet. Consequently, we
didn't change the pine's lasered height of 154.3 feet, which I suspect
is with 0.2 or 0.3 feet of the tree's conventional height.
DSCN0537a.JPG (130398 bytes)
Will Blozan in the Ice Glen Pine - photo by Holly Post
DSCN0539a.JPG (121895 bytes)
Will Blozan in the Ice Glen Pine - photo by Holly Post

   The big deal was the volume modeling. Dale Luthringer stayed on the
ground and recorded Will's girth measurements via walkie-talkie. From
repeated girth measurements and subsequent calculations, Will calculated
the volume of the Ice Glen Pine at 920 cubic feet of trunk volume. Were
limbs added, the volume would likely be just at 1000 cubes.

DSCN0539b.JPG (123246 bytes)
Will Blozan in the Ice Glen Pine - photo by Holly Post

   Well, that is in rendezvous in a nutshell.


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society

2006 ENTS Rendezvous--call for pix   Don Bragg
  Nov 10, 2006 10:45 PST 


Sorry I haven't been posting recently, but I just got back from several
different adventures (including the ENTS Rendezvous), and haven't had
time to give my impressions. What an event!! I really enjoyed the day
on the Mohawk Trail State Forest that I was able to spend, and the
presentations were great! I only wish that my travel schedule would
have permitted me more time for the meeting...

Speaking of the meeting, I would like to once again make an appeal for
people to send me pictures from the Rendezvous and the Forest Summit. I
would like to work some into the next issue of the Bulletin, which I
will soon be working on. Also, for those of you that spoke to me about
submissions, please send them to me ASAP!!

I would also like to thank Dale Luthringer for taking me out one morning
to laser-up some of those magnificent pines on the Cook Forest. I now
have a greater appreciation for 180-foot white pine than ever, and the
amount of effort it takes to get as many records as Dale has in such
dense, steep woodlands.

Don Bragg

Don Bragg, Ph.D.
Research forester