Jim Erdman is hoping to lead a spring nature walk on forest ecology and fire history, if he can enlist his U.S. Forest Service colleague, Laurie Huckaby to visit GVM. Her most recent analysis is of a tree Jim showed Wynne and the rest of us on our Nov 1, 2008 nature walk, see photo. Laurie agreed with Jim that this tree may be at least 400-500 years old (click “more…”for details).
Jim put this in perspective: “Here’s a tree that began its life about the time Columbus discovered America, 1492! Rather humbling for us Homo sapiens who rarely live a century.”
From an email to Jim Erdman from Laurie Huckaby, US Forest Service 4/13/09: “With cross-dating, I got an inside date for your core of 1689, so your estimate of 400-500 years for the tree is reasonable. The mid-1500s was a period when many ponderosa pines established in this area, and my fire history suggests that was a time of less frequent, less intense fires, which gave the seedlings time to get established before the big fires during the late 1500s megadrought. 1730 and 1851 are micro rings, which suggests that the tree was damaged in those years, or the years immediately before, but I didn’t see anything in the core that suggested fire damage (resin ducts, etc.).