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Thread: Some unusual activity in the Ossipees

  1. #1
    Senior Member The Hikers's Avatar
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    Some unusual activity in the Ossipees

    Friday we headed out to the Ossipees to climb Bayle, Sentinel and other small mountains we hadn't visited yet. Not too far from the trailhead for Bayle we came across what I still think is the stupidest sign I have seen on a hike, but it was to gain importance before our hikes were over.



    Bayle is a beutiful open mountain with great views all around. We found a short cut up and down a ridge which made it a semi-bushwack. From there we headed over to go up Sentinel, after having lunch in the car. Sentinel is a great climb with more great views. I include one here, though this is not intended to be a trip report as such.



    Before we headed out, I noticed something just off the summit that I hadn't seen before:









    Now , when I was young, we used to call this "girdling". Anyway, the result is the intentional killing of the tree. You can see by the marks that the work was done by a hatchet or curved cutter such as used in blazing. In fact, we saw similar marks in association with colored blazes on marked trees as we decended from the summit.

    Who did this work , or why it was done I can only speculate, but given the problems here in the past ,placing the blame could have far-reaching consequences.

    At any rate we were appalled to see this done. One of the trees was quite large and well-developed, and obviously was alive as some leaves still clung to its branches.

    Now we can only wonder who wielded the illegal tools.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hikers View Post
    Now , when I was young, we used to call this "girdling". Anyway, the result is the intentional killing of the tree.
    The term is still used. Could you see any reason that those trees were chosen; did the tree tops block views or something?
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

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    Senior Member The Hikers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdRiverRun View Post
    The term is still used. Could you see any reason that those trees were chosen; did the tree tops block views or something?
    I couldn't see any particular reason for the choice of these trees, although they were very close to the summit. Views are fine even with these trees

  4. #4
    Senior Member psmart's Avatar
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    Yikes! The girdling looks pretty fresh. I certainly didn't notice it when we hiked Bayle a few months ago. Unless this was authorized by the landowner, there could be unfortunate repercussions for public access.

  5. #5
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Do these trees have any commercial value?

    Makes you wonder if Robert Garrison isn't going to blamed for just about everything from now until eternity!

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Hikers's Avatar
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    The Tree damage is within site of the summit of Sentinel. I thought it wise to post the report here so as to establish a record of when it was first noticed. I considered it might be the work of a youngster trying out his new hatchet, but the job seems too well done and methodical. It remains a mystery to me, but I hate to see trees killed in this way.

  7. #7
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hikers View Post
    ... I considered it might be the work of a youngster trying out his new hatchet, but the job seems too well done and methodical. It remains a mystery to me, but I hate to see trees killed in this way.
    As others have noted, this practice is called girdling, and is done the world over. If I remember my biology classes correctly, water and nutrients are carried in a layer of the bark (I think it's called the cambrium layer). Trees often live with a only a small strip of cambrium layer - the Bristlecone Pines are a notable example of this - intact. But, if the ring is complete, it nearly always kills the tree.

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    Makes you wonder if Robert Garrison isn't going to blamed for just about everything from now until eternity!
    I didn't hear anyone blaming Bob Garrison for this. He hasn't been to Sentinel (or Bayle) in over a year, for one thing, and even his most malicious detractors in past crap-fests here have never accusd him of this.

    I think it should be noted that, from The Hikers' account, this happened near portions of Sentinel that have been actively logged over the past couple of years. Moreover, this thread is also running on another website, and there, The Hikers added:

    The work was VERY recent. Logging cuts had been made approaching the steep part of the climb. Additionally a few trees had been blazed and marked in various colors a little further down.These trees were on the "back side" just off the summit.
    So, while my wild guess may be no better than anybody else's, it strikes me that this may be as likely to be connected with logging, as motivated by malice.

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    Senior Member stopher's Avatar
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    Looks like two oaks and a spruce. Definitely done this fall. All the chips are on top of the leaves. The oaks aren't very big and there's not much of a spruce market in the Ossipee area, except for pulp. Last I knew, timber trespass fines were 4x the commercial value. Wouldn't be worth collecting. Forest management practices rarely use girdling as a management tool, and when they do, a couple of kerfs with a chain saw are a lot easier and faster than using an axe.

    I'll pass this along to Dan Hole Pond Watershed Trust. Who knows? Maybe the landowner did some view clearing, didn't need the firewood but wanted to help the birds. Those trees will be great feeding stations for woodpeckers and nuthatches in a couple of years. I know it sounds farfetched but I'd rather believe that than think some idiot did that on someone else's property.
    stopher will become infamous soon enough.

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Moderator's Note
    Let's leave old wounds out of this thread. Feel free to carry forward the discussion about the girdling.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  11. #11
    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    I've never been to this location referred to where the girdling occurred but could the location have the potential for a nice back country campsite?

    What is the firewood situation like? If you wanted to make a nice camp, is there enough dead wood around to sustain a campfire for several nights?

    Maybe someone is making an "investment" for future camping trips.

    Not the kind I would invest in however.
    HEY!!!
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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Moderator Note
    So people will understand, some posts were removed because they are not a topic appropriate for this thread. If you have questions about this decision, feel free to ask me via PM.

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    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Girdling is a technique used in "release" programs such as apple tree release in old, overgrown orchards being restored. The smaller competing growth is removed outright, usually with loppers, but larger competing trees are girdled with a chainsaw incision around the base. This interrupts the upward flow of nutrients and starves the tree slowly over several years. Slowly is the goal because it allows the apple tree to become accustomed to increased sunlight gradually and not die of shock from the sudden exposure of simply cutting down the competition. Also provides great wildlife snags.

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    Senior Member Jason Berard's Avatar
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    I still see girdling of tree done on a small scale as part of some forest management plans, although it is usually done, as was said earlier, with a chain saw. It is one way of focusing the available resources needed for tree growth to certain trees that are selected, usually for potential future commercial value. If you think of the forest as a giant garden, its akin to weeding.

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