Resilience of the Longfellow Pine   Dale J. Luthringer
  Jun 28, 2004 06:11 PDT 
Bob, Will,

The Longfellow Pine had a close call over the last three weeks in
response to recent high wind storms and heavy rain. The tall pine
standing about 10 yards beside it has blown over. It's lower punky
trunk and rock anchored root mass was unable to withstand recent high
winds. As it fell over, it took out another large and ancient pine
beside it. A third large pine and hemlock also blew down in front of
it. The Longfellow is now right on the edge of a rather large canopy
opening that has been growing over the last few decades. It is now
exposed on its southwest and west sides. It's resilience is amazing,
but I don't know how many more storms it can take being on the edge of
the gap with few trees to help absorb the shock of future storms.

Life on the edge can be dangerous.....


RE: Resilience of the Longfellow Pine   Robert Leverett
  Jun 28, 2004 12:30 PDT 


   Alas, the tough part of being an Ent is watching as old tree friends
tumble. But people pass on too. It is just the nature of life in the
physical plane....
   I admit that it can be disturbing to see a species lost. Yesterday,
John Knuerr and I were looking at dead hemlocks in the Delaware Water
Gap region. It was not a satisfying sight.

RE: Resilience of the Longfellow Pine   Dale J. Luthringer
  Jun 28, 2004 16:19 PDT 


Although I don't like to see the tall ancient pines come to the end of
their life, it is part of the on-going cycle. If we can get a handle on
the deer density in the Forest Cathedral area, we're likely to see some
very nice white pine regeneration here. The area is very difficult for
me to get through, let alone the deer. I'm anxious to see how the
natural fence created by this blow down will work toward the forest's

This will be the first year in over half a century that deer hunting
will be permitted in this section of the park. Actually, this will be
the first year the entire park will be open to hunting except in safety
zone areas. Deer density in our old growth areas often surpass 45
deer/mile^2. I believe the PA Bureau of Forestry suggests less than 8
deer/mile^2 would be ideal for old growth, as compared to 15-20
deer/mile^2 for younger stands.

RE: resilience of the Longfellow Pine   Edward Frank
  Jul 08, 2004 18:57 PDT 

Longfellow Pine, Cook Forest State Park, July 08, 2004

Today I took a short trip up to Cook Forest. A week or so ago Dale
reported that some trees near the Longfellow Pine had fallen leaving a
canopy opening adjacent to the Longfellow Pine itself. I planned to
photograph the fallen trees and see if it was feasible to get a good
composite photo of the big pine. I got off to a late start arriving at
the park about 1 in the afternoon.   It was a warm day, with portents of
afternoon thunderstorms in the air. It is a relatively short walk up to
the Longfellow Pine along the Longfellow trail.

The fallen trees were immediately noticeable. I took a number of photos
of the fallen trees and tried a vertical panorama of the Longfellow
Pine. I have been very impressed by the tree photos taken by Will
Blozan on his many trips. My digital camera takes nice photos, but
everything is automatic. Therefore when I try to merge photos, each
individual frame is a different brightness, different contrast, and
often a different color balance. Some times I can adjust each of the
photos so that the photo-merge is seamless. Most of the time it doesn’t
work out. Today the merge just didn’t work well. I have posted the
merge of the tree anyway and a number of other pictures showing the
downed pine and hemlocks on the ENTS website under the galleries
The opening is noticeable and surely the Longfellow will be
exposed to harsher winds in the future.

It is amazing to me how small a root-ball these trees exhibit when they
fall- A tiny mass of roots compared to the size of the tree. I realize
that the roots extend farther than what is ripped up in the root mass
when the tree tips over, but still the contrast is amazing. There are a
number of older tree falls in the immediate area. One has been sitting
for several years. The root mass is still intact, but the soil around
the roots are sprouting new growths of ferns and little yellow birch
trees. In another hole left by a ripped up root mass you see signs of
water collecting- perhaps a source of water for young plant sprouts as
they try to establish themselves in the forest floor.

The other item of note are the Rhododendrons. They are in the midst of
bloom at Cook Forest. Trees receiving more light are fully in flower,
those receiving less light are in a mixture of bud and bloom. The
plants in brighter light tend to have flowers that are the palest pink
in color, while those in the shade are a ghostly white. I have posted
some pictures of the rhododendron to the website under the section Tree
, Rhododendron page. The Rhododendron bloom here about a month
after the Mountain Laurel. The laurel peak is from early to mid-June.
The local town of Brookville, PA has an annual Laurel Festival complete
with parades, a Laurel Queen, and crafts booths every year in the second
week in June to meet the annual Laurel Bloom. There is no such festival
for the Rhododendron. Generally the flowers are much larger, but the
numbers of rhododendron are nor as great overall in the region as is the
laurel. Anyway they are worth seeing. I remember last year straggler
flowers of rhododendron persisted until late August in some areas. As
always there was a variety of mushrooms growing on the forest floor and
on all the dead wood in the forest.

I finished up with a short trip to Beartown Rocks, a “rock city” in
Clear Creek State Forest, actually a disjunct section of Clear Creek
State Park a few miles away. Here are massive sandstone blocks up to 40
feet high. Each of the blocks is like a little island in the forest
with their own population of trees and shrubs. For those of you who
like the images of trees with exposed roots wrapping around a boulder or
trailing off the side of a block of rock, this site is replete with
examples. I plan to visit again soon to do a full scale photo essay of
the site.

Ed Frank