Thursday, January 17, 2008

Big Trees

There is a register of Really Big Connecticut Trees, which are actually called "Notable Trees" by the Connecticut Botanical Society. I've known that one of the registered trees was right here in Shelton at the French's Hill Open Space off of East Village Road, a Tulip Tree, but I hadn't been able to locate it until today, when I found the registration form while filing some old papers. According to the form, the circumferance is 14 feet 11 inches and is 123 feet tall.

I found the tree a few hundred feet off the end of Sagamore Road. To be honest, although it's a really big tree, I thought it would be larger. I've seen trees this big, althought they were always Oaks or Maples, and I have to admit I've never seen a Tulip Tree this big. The diameter was about 4 feet. It's a classic "Wolf" tree, one that grew all by itself in an open field, with a wide, spreading canopy, only to have a young forest grow up around it as the field was abandoned. I rarely see Tulip Trees with spreading crowns. Usually they are a tall, straight telephone pole with a narrow crown so high you can barely see it. (ID tip: Any unnaturally straight tree in the forest is probably a Tulip).

Back home, I Googled "big trees, Connecticut" (I kid you not) and came with the Notable Tree website. They've got the list of registered notable trees online, and I was surprised to find that there are five registered trees in Shelton: A purple European Beech (21 ft circumferance); a White Oak (I bet it's the one at the corner of East Village Road and Longfellow, 19 ft cir.); a Norway Spruce (could this be the one that took a trip to Rockefeller Center? 10 ft cir.); and a Sycamore (15 ft circ.). They won't tell you exactly where the trees are, because many are on private property.

None of the Shelton trees are the largest in the state. The Tulip Tree, when it was registered, was the 12th largest in the state. But that's nothing. Down south in the Appalachian cove forests, tulip trees can have a circumference of 20 to 30 feet (our is almost 16 ft). And they are one of the tallest trees in the forest.

Coordinates for the tree are N 41 20.649', W 73 08.237'

1 comment:

Larry said...

The Pinchot Sycamore in Simsbury was measured at 26' in circumference.
There is also a Red cedar which is supposed ly the large in the Northeast located in South Glastonbury-(my details could be off on that one).