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Witness Trees at Gettysburg

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by cw1865, May 25, 2009.

  1. rebelman

    rebelman Private

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    1885 photo showing the witness tree to the left of the monument goberg4 has pointed out.
     

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  3. fldinosaur

    fldinosaur Private

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    Haven't been here in a while and I just read how they cut down witness trees so younger ones can grow...so they can cut THEM down? I hope I'm misunderstanding something. I have read and seen where they have devoted much time and money to make the battlefield look as close as possible to wartime. I realize trees are 150 years older but they were there, not the younger saplings that are doomed to be cut anyway. That just made me shake my head with sadness.
     
  4. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    What they have done, is not a thorough checking of the trees in the woodlot, and their diameter charts are off by 5-10 inches which I found out by getting a lengthy irate message from one of the parks previous caretakers. Following the Penn state model of an even aged healthy woodlot, every segment of the woodlot is divided into sections, and room is made to allow every age of tree especially the saplings a chance at the canopy. The problem is that at Gettysburg any battlefield witness trees or possible trees should be left alone regardless of how many are in their segmented area. But the trees that are currently growing do not follow the model, and if an area is overcrowded with large old trees some must go to allow space for the saplings to grow. Since the park service does not contain any official records of witness trees or goes out to find them, if a non famous one in any woodlot gets intentionally cut down there is no repercussion. I have found over 40 blue dotted cut down witness trees in Herrs, Bushman, and Calvary field woodlots.
     
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  5. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Here is the famous culps hill Green monument with witness black oak still going strong in the background. IMG_1882paint.jpg
     
  6. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    I couldn't agree more thank you.
     
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  7. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    gettysburg 4-16-16 077.JPG gettysburg 4-16-16 075.JPG One of my favorite Spangler woods witness trees is this mammoth white oak located at the east end of the woods across and to the rear of the Lee overlook where he went out to meet the returning remnants of Pickets division after the assault on July 3rd. The tree is in good health and has a rather large bulge or deformed area on its lower trunk. It makes me speculate that this tree probably received some artillery shot damage at some point during the battle on either the 2nd or 3rd.
     
  8. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA Captain Forum Host

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    For a second I thought I saw a ground wire on that first pic, but it was just a couple of branches. There aren't many left with their wires attached.
     
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  9. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    I have found in 7 years of looking, only 8 trees with cables. Tw0 poplar trees in the cemetery, the mulberry tree in the gravel parking lot of the guinn house - park ranger station, the Fransworth tree and the Pender tree - both not grounded, the black gum on little round top, and finally the only two intact grounded ones, Pitzer woods near the Dearing battery markers, and Biesecker woods near the Phillip Snyder farm
     
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  10. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Just trying to get a feeler out there, if there was a tour book that you could purchase for guiding you to the important parts or any part of the battlefield for that matter, just like the auto tour cassette or cd and guide, would anyone be interested in one that did the same thing only with locations and pictures of witness trees to see at each stop? Let me know truthfully because I have been considering doing this especially now before the really good ones start going. Any input is welcomed. As of today, it is still possible to start at Knoxlyn ridge and go through all 3 days and at each stop visit not only the monuments and landmarks but also the trees.
     
  11. E_just_E

    E_just_E 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    This is a great idea. Also, it would be cool if somehow the Park identifies them as such, as well...
     
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  12. John Winn

    John Winn Captain

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    I think it's a great idea and remember recommending it to you some time ago. I hope you can manage to make it happen. If I were visiting Gettysburg I'd buy one.

    Here's an idea: maybe you'd like to do a little tour when we have our assembly in September ? Just a thought.
     
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  13. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    yes I remember. I would like to meet everyone. I feel also that I would like to divide the areas and have some of the narration and photos done so that everyone that wanted to could contribute. Plus I am not an internet or website guru and would love to present what we could put together to a publisher. If only 10 percent of the visitors would at least be interested each year that would be close to 100,000 tourists!
     
  14. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Thanks. I don't trust the park service lol. If you want to contribute to it let me know. You take what you are good at whether photography or whatever. What I plan to do is to start off where the lead picket - 26th NC spent the night of June 30 near Marsh creek and do each stage of the battle just like the tours do.
     
  15. Podad

    Podad First Sergeant

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    This may be posted elsewhere but the link is to a bluegrass type song about a witness tree at Gettysburg.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nlknhWnnhwQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  16. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Witness hickory tree in Shultz woods, old photo from early 1900s showing Hurt's Hardaway artillery Whitworth cannon tubes and shells or bolts. There are a shrinking few left in this area that participated in the July 3rd pre charge bombardment, and saw Lane and Perrin attack Buford's dismounted cavalry on July 1st t2504.jpg DSC00117.JPG
     
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  17. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Going through some old photos especially of Herbst woods, I happened to notice that one of the witness trees I am planning to feature in a tour guide I am working on appears in this 1886 photo looking west across Wilhoughby Run from the 19th Indiana monument. How do I know that this is the same one? The tree is on top of the opposite bank ravine by the golf course, and has the same branching, and is also located at the south edge of where the Herbst farm field and woods meet. The white oak tree is over 12 ft in circumference. It is however slowly dying so if interested visit it soon. This tree was in the direct attack path of Pettigrew's 26th North Carolina regiment who crossed the deadly open fields and crossed Willhougby run and was met by two regiments of the Iron brigade on July 1st. DSC00022.JPG DSC00023.JPG MISC32a19thIndMon&WilloughbysRunc1886@100%ff.jpg
     
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  18. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    One of the important things to do when visiting Gettysburg is if you see something that is disturbing the battlefield and the objects on the field, then it should get reported to the park service so they can remedy it. This helps out if vandalism is done esp. to the monuments or if someone is dumping trash etc. But when the institution that is supposed to preserve any and everything native or original to the battlefield decides to harm, damage, or remove it, what recourse does the public have? Two actions by the park service in the past 3 months : the controlled burn in Weikert woodlot and the current Ziegler's woods gate and view restoration have both caused damage and the death of several witness trees or trees large enough to be considered as potential witness trees. This upcoming Tuesday I will take photos of 10 witness or potential witness trees that were burned during the controlled burn in late April. There are several trees in the attack path of Gen Wofford's brigade in the south east edge of the woodlot that were scorched pretty bad and two along Sedgwick Ave.
    The park service may have removed the last original tree from Ziegler's woods by the old Cyclorama parking lot which should have been spared as it was 80 inches in circumference very large for a pignut hickory, and besides the area where they cut down the trees was wooded as this 1880s photo shows during the battle. So the view the park service has made for you is not historically accurate, they should have left the hickory and the 6-10 trees on the north side of the parking lot standing to replicate the existence of the boundary of the woodlot. Ziegler's woodlot is now gone forever. Current photo provided by courtesy of Kenneth Orban from his post in Gettysburg Reflections. P1014867paint.jpg SV828aHancockAveEntrance&ZieglerGrove1880s274%.jpg 13686758_1229875160390133_4216690817989772820_n.jpg
     
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  19. reading48

    reading48 Captain

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    Informative information.....
     
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  20. goberg4

    goberg4 First Sergeant

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    Here also is what the controlled burn on Munshower Hill and Weikert woods did to some witness trees or possible witness trees. All trees shown are the appropriate sizes in accordance with the park service arborist charts to be considered battle era and thus treated as such by not allowing the fires to scorch the tree trunks and roots. At least two have died and several others are struggling as I counted 25 large trees with burn damage this past Tuesday. If you are as disgusted with this as I am feel free to drop an email to Zach Bolitho Chief of Natural Resources at GNP (zachary_bolitho@nps.gov). DSC00277.JPG DSC00303.JPG DSC00304.JPG DSC00309.JPG DSC00233.JPG
     
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  21. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA Captain Forum Host

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    "Liked" it, but don't like it. Sloppy planning on the park service's part.
     

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