Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sandy Spring's Fantastic Trees

Osage Orange Tree

Osage Orange Fruits

The osage orange tree's top is actually to the right of the center of the photo as the tree is leaning. It looks like a second tree growing to the right. The height was 62.34 feet tall.

It's hard fro me to believe that this tree is Maryland's largest tulip poplar and 3rd largest tree in the state. It appears to be 2 separate trees fused at the base. Other than the fusion, it lacks the "wow" factor in my opinion.

Maryland's Champion white ash tree. Thought to be at least 300 years old. I measured the height to be 91.11 feet tall.

Champion White Ash tree (continued)

Sandy Springs Cemetery. This was the most stunning tulip poplar I have seen to date. Maryland's 22nd largest tree. I measured it's height to be 129.20 feet. It has a circumference at breast height of 22 feet, 6 inches! Due to the fact that this is a single stem tree, it left a most powerful impression.

Sandy Springs Cemetery Tulip Poplar
I took a hike this morning along the Underground Railroad Trail near Sandy Springs again today. Last time I was here was in the spring before the trees leafed out. I wanted to see the Maryland Champion white ash tree in particular, with leaves. I was happy to notice that my tree identifying skills have improved since the last time I was here.

Just like that, fall is in the air. Today felt like the first cool day since the beginning of summer, and this week temperatures will be in the 70's for the first time since late spring. Leaves are changing just a little bit. After a rain filled 3/4's of a summer, we have not had much rain around here in a while, so a lot of the leaves seem to be simply turning brown and starting to fall off.

The highlight of the day was seeing the Tulip Poplar that grows in the Sandy Springs cemetery. Tombstones again date back to the 1800's and perhaps farther. The adjacent meeting house was built in 1817 by Quakers and the first meeting on the property was held as far back as 1753! It was just by chance that I happened to visit it. I had planned to turn around and begin hiking back to my car when I decided to investigate a little further down the dirt road on the property there. Suddenly the tree appeared with an overwhelming presence. Definitely a "Wow!!" moment. I was surprised to see that it is only the 22nd largest tree in Maryland. It's definitely the largest tulip poplar I have seen to date. Getting a 20 foot or higher cbh tape wrap here in Maryland is just as exciting as getting a 60 foot tape wrap on a redwood tree. It doesn't happen very often! I wonder if the tree was just beginning to grow when the Quakers had their first meeting in 1753?

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