tree measuring at Mill Pond

On Saturday, as part of our “big tree” project, we decided to measure a few trees while we were hiking a section of the trails at Mill Pond Conservation Area near Portland, Ontario. The following are some of the results. I should mention that the canopies of most of our large eastern Ontario trees are not so large as one might expect. That’s due to the ice storm that hit this area in January ’98. Few of the older trees escaped unscathed. A good example is the Sugar Maple (pictured below), which has several limbs broken away. In all likelihood, this was a result of the ice storm damage. Click on any of the following photos for a larger view. I’ve included estimated ages based on the Growth Factor Chart on this webpage.

Tree: Sugar maple, Acer saccharum
Location: N44.46.680, W076.11.226 (WGS84)
DBH: 37.89 inches (circumference 119 inches)
Height: 85+ feet
Canopy: 60 feet (a few very outwardly bent branches – and damaged)
Estimated age: approx. 190 years

Tree: Largetooth Aspen, Populus grandidentata
Location: N44.46.720, W076.11.298 (WGS84)
DBH: 22.91 inches (circumference 72 inches)
Height: 90-100 feet (approx. it is growing in a ravine, so difficult to measure)
Canopy: 32 feet
Estimated age: no growth factor listed – perhaps about 60 years.

Tree: American Beech, Fagus grandifolia
Location: N44.46.604, W076.11.273 (WGS84)
DBH: 23.23 inches (circumference 73 inches)
Height: 68 feet
Canopy: 42 feet
Estimated age: no growth chart – probably about 200+ years based on sources that Wayne from Niches was able to locate – see his comments accompanying the Beech tree on this page.

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7 Responses to “tree measuring at Mill Pond”

  1. pablo Says:

    Nice dog!

  2. Wayne Says:

    Nice series of catches on the trees, Bev. I’ve been wondering about the rates of growth on similar species in widely spaced climates. I’m sure they must be different – our warm season probably is at least 50% longer than yours and I’d guess we’d see that correction factor in the diameter to age conversion. Most of the growth factors seem to come from colder places than we live in, so I suppose I should ramp the estimates down. I probably need to calibrate with fallen trees, but don’t have a chainsaw quite the size needed.

  3. burning silo Says:

    pablo – I noticed that you’ve got a collie too… a Sheltie, isn’t it? I’ve always thought that, if I couldn’t have a large Collie, I’d like a Sheltie as they seem so similar in all but size — a big dog in a little body.

    Wayne – I think there are so many variables that it’s difficult to do more than rough estimates. Yesterday, while searching for info on guesstimating the age of White Pines (they aren’t on the growth rate table), I came across a research paper on differences in growth rate of pines based on soil composition – and I believe that was just in one county. I suppose one way of doing some research on tree aging without having to sacrifice trees or do core drilling, might be to visit the yard of a local sawmill, tree service, or even a firewood dealer, to view some cross-sections of local trees. In fact, I’d just about bet that most local sawmill owners have even counted tree rings and know a lot about tree ages as anyone who works with wood usually has a lot of interest in it.

  4. Wayne Says:

    Heh – our local sawmill shut down a few years ago, to the relief of everyone who had to hear it start up at 5am. Its main positive contribution was to provide our fire department with repeated emergencies for putting out sawdust pile fires. Knowing something of the folks who ran it I imagine they never counted the first tree ring (their latest effort was to try to set up a huge motocross enterprise, the biggest in northeast Georgia, which fortunately failed for community outrage.)

    But your suggestions are good – at one time I had a friend who ran a tree-cutting business but he’s no longer here. I don’t have that connection anymore, but still, just asking and investigating stumps if nothing else is quite an effortless access to that information.

    I know you’ve mentioned it before, but what kind of dog is Sabrina? She’s really a perfect companion.

  5. burning silo Says:

    Wayne – It sounds like you are better rid of the sawmill! Most of the mills in our area aren’t noted for disreputable behaviour, but I expect that’s because most of the smaller mills are operated by farming people who do some milling as a sideline to other pursuits — usually just cutting up trees for neighbours who need some boards or beams for barn construction, etc…
    Sabrina is a great companion. She’s like your cat, Gene — takes a great interest in participating in everything we do. She’s a tricolored Rough Collie (most people just call them “Lassie collies” as they are the same breed as Lassie). She’s the fourth Rough Collie that we’ve owned over the past 30 years. We’ve had two sable collies (the gold and white ones) and two tricolours. I think they are wonderful tempered, incredibly easy to train, and they are probably about the most companionable dogs I’ve owned. Their only drawback is that their coats are thick and require a bit of care, and they tend to be quite territorial (bark at anything strange that they see around the property — which is actually a good thing, but might be annoying to some).

  6. Peter Says:

    Bev, concerning Shelties, I found ours was nothing like the Collies I have been around. They are high energy, but are very focused on single tasks, probably from their sheep dog breeding past. Deffinitly a very good dog in my opinion, but I don’t think they are mini collies beyond the appearance :-)

  7. burning silo Says:

    Peter – Yes, now that you mention it, the only Sheltie I’ve known tended to be rather focused on one thing, and that was trying to catch a groundhog that lived in a hole next door to the building where I worked! It was a little like in the cartoons – he tried to catch it for a whole summer when he wasn’t out riding around in the delivery truck, but the groundhog always seemed to get away just in time! (-:
    I find the Rough Collies to be very placid in temperament. They are very devoted dogs and appear to think they exist just to be with us doing whatever we’re doing (hiking, canoeing, working in the field, etc…). What I particularly like is that ours have always stayed with us – sort of stuck to us – and never seem to wander off on their own.