Magazine article American Forests

Letters

Magazine article American Forests

Letters

Article excerpt

'MONSTER' TREE DOWN TO SIZE

editor: In the 2008 edition of the National Register of Big Trees (American Forests, Spring 2008), page 22, there is a monster tree listed for California white fir (Abies concolor var lowiana) with a crown spread of 391 feet. I believe that the spread of the tree is way overstated by one decimal point (39.1 feet?).

D.M. Burns

Sacramento, California

Good catch! The national champ California white fir has an impressive spread, but not that impressive-the figure should be 39 feet. We've found a few other errors in the list; see below

BEWARE SUDDEN OAK DEATH

editor: I am on your email listserve. I live in Vermont and have been a conservationist for more than 40 years. About three years ago, the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, of which I am a member and an annuitant, planned a fundraiser to be held at a fancy yuppie garden center.

I am an experienced gardener. I know this garden center sells invasive non-native species for outdoor planting, and some cacti I purchased there as houseplants turned out to be infested with some virulent mealybugs that were very hard to exterminate.

At about this time, I began seeing articles on Sudden Oak Death on various conservation listserves. After doing some research into how it seems to be transmitted (http://www. woodland-trust.org.uk/oakdeath.htm) and what other plants it infests, I argued to have VT TNC move its fundraiser to a less environmentally lethal venue. I didn't succeed in my immediate objective, but I think the evidence I turned up is persuasive enough that in the future no more TNC events will be planned for commercial nurseries or garden centers.

Carol Wagner

Williston, VT

BALSAM FIR?

editor: The picture on page 27 of the Winter 2008 edition of American Forests sure doesn't look like a balsam fir. Notice the sharp needles as contrasted with the real balsam fir on page 28. I believe this seedling is a red spruce or possibly a black spruce. The trees on page 26 look more like spruce than balsam fir but I have never seen a forest site like this outside of Maine. These trees would probably be black spruce in Maine. However, I believe in the adage that "An expert isn't an expert very far from home," so possibly these trees are balsam fir after all.

Fred A. Huntress Jr.

Poland Spring, Maine

Editor's response: We checked with Amy Cimarolli of The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia. While the photos on pp 28 and 29 do show balsam fir, the stand on p26, pan of the conifer -hardwood seepage swamp forest, appears to be primarily red spruce (there are fir adjacent to them). …

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