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On 2/12/2021 at 9:27 PM, Jim Bress said:

You need to think about water and sunlight for photosynthesis. Even if a site has plenty of sunlight, rate of growth will decrease with less water availability.  

Yes I've seen much evidence of this.

One tree on a tall mound, 36" dia. tight even ring spacing from a few inches of center all the way to sapwood,, very even clean small lines,, AAA wood.

60" away down in a low drainage area,,, another tree, 35",, rings all over the place, wide ugly,,, heavy thick, almost deformed looking,,, looked like city grown wood. It looked nothing like it's brother up out of the runoff,, up on  the hill, (not far away) it was a fat glutton. Looked like city grown worthless wood.

I find that most wood in an area closely resembles each other,, but not always,, small micro climatic changes can make a big difference. And it can be difficult to tell what changes have occurred over the years.

In another instance at about 9000 ft. I found a stand of what looks like large telephone poles, all of the foliage was way at the top. Around the turn of the last century the water was all diverted for mining and the natural flow in the area was disrupted, the sap wood has grain lines that are so fine, they are hard to even see. I've cut some of it, great clear wood, very even grain till the sap wood,,,very few knots, extremely rare,,has made some great fiddles, sapwood and all. Within a hundred yards there are some typical trees with the drooping branches all the way to the ground, limbs everywhere,,,,,,,,,,found a cougar den under one,,, Yikes!  By the smell they had dibs for sure.

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10 hours ago, Televet said:

@martin swan 

Hover the cursor over the purple S.  The information window will pop up, click ignore.  

It will soon be spring. Boris will let us whiny Brits out of jail and demardification will become compulsory.

 

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On 2/13/2021 at 12:00 PM, David Burgess said:

In Kindergarten, we planted two seeds in two cups. One cup was kept on a windowsill, and the other was put in a dark cabinet. The one with light branched out quickly, and didn't get very high. The one in darkness quickly grew to about ten times the height, trying to reach the light which came in from a little vent at the top of the cabinet. It didn't waste energy on branching out or producing leaves or lower appendages near the bottom, where this would have done no good.

Is it possible that plants are smarter than most humans?:lol:

Light is primarily the factor whether branches persist, as I recall from forestry school 40+ years ago.   David's kindergarten experiment is quite illustrative of this.  If a seedling begins life shaded by a dense canopy (overstory), and conditions remain that way,  it will "reach" for light and send its energy producing foliage mostly at  top of the tree. The spruce will also be tall and spindly, so when it grows large the branches may be small and not extend far from the heart.  I have found best red spruce where intermingled in intensely dense hemlock stands.  Other factors may bare but I think light availability is the primary reason for low branches.   All the spruce in my locale are owned by US Government or Weyerhauser Corporation.  Neither entity  engage in such intensive silvicultural practices as clubbing lower branches. The latter clearcut everything  to promote hardwood regeneration.   

 

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