Friday, October 30, 2009
A Whopping Big Oak
This newspaper clip shows my father standing inside a big oak tree that he discovered one day in Conneaut, Ohio. My dad was always on the lookout for big trees.Just a curious outgrowth of his profession, I guess.
The caption underneath the photo mentions that dad (who contacted the Erie Times News about the tree, and Ken Fromknecht, the man in charge of publishing a list of big trees in the area "peer out from inside a giant red oak tree" near Conneaut Creek, not far from the Ohio border. The tree "is big enough for ten people." The writer, Evelyn Anderson, who writes a weekly nature column, goes on quote the two men: "a group of four or five could play poker at a table inside, which looks like a big room, with a ceiling possibly ten feet high." That comment had my dad written all over it. But apparently, Ken made that remark. This must have been in dad's reformed days!
Ken predicted that this was indeed the largest oak tree in the state of Pennsylvania, as it looked at least as large as the states biggest Northern red oak, which grows along Main Street, in Wattsburg, Pa. Ken pulled out a tape measure and measured its diameter; it was two feet larger than the Wattsburg tree.
Although this record needed to be verified by Tom Erdman, a state forester in charge of verifying such information and giving it official credence) it appeared there there was a healthy, whopping oak tree which far surpassed "any oak anywhere else in the state."
This oak was found hidden behind a bunch of scrubby bushes; my dad had to have gotten out and investigated in order to find it. Not too bad for a local tree man named Don Bovaird! He had a keen eye for any tree out of the norm.