Cashiers, NC (development) Michael Davie
Jul 04, 2003 18:39 PDT 
Hello all-

On another note, I was working in Cashiers, NC the other day, at a new home site in one of those ubiquitous (around here, at least) golf course developments called Wade Hampton. It's painful to see the fantastic trees being killed by construction. One white oak, about 20 inches in diameter at the base, leaning over the creek, had broken at about ten feet from severe brown rot. It wouldn't have survived the construction, anyway, it had conduit trenches about one foot from the trunk, no topsoil remaining, etc. I think the exposure from removal of surrounding trees had finally been the last straw. I was there to remove an 8 inch dbh white pine rubbing against a much larger one, leaning over a deck. The white pine at the base was 12 inches diameter, and 142 years old. Ouch. I cut a cookie from it, and from the white oak. The white oak I just did a count on, my preliminary count is 380 years. I'm pretty sure that's at least in the ball park. The brown rot was not as bad at the base, but still, some of the rings are so incredibly tight, it makes it tough. I cut a cookie from another white oak stump by the house, also 20 inches diameter, but decay is more advanced, the sapwood is crumbling and it looks like it could have about 20 rings per centimeter in it, but I just can't tell. I got 270 or so, but it's older. There are too many spots where the rings are too tight and the wood decayed. I'm going to try to sand them both and see if it helps, but that might just clog the vessels. I'll report back with the best count I can get, if anyone is interested. There's one other fallen oak there I'll cut a piece of if I go back.