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SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

recently i have been exploring the state game area in St. Clair county, MI and have made a few nice tree finds along the way. the area contains steep slopes along the river as well as slopes along smaller creeks and seasonal brooks. –– which is not common in the area. initially i found a nice maple of about 90' and a CBH of just over 10', as well as a couple white pines in the 100'-115' range and lots of thriving hemlock. however, last week I stumbled across two hemlocks around 90' with a CBH of 10' 4" and 8' 8.5". In addition i found a white pine with a CBH of 8' 8" and an approximate height of 130'. i was able to hit one of the higher lateral branches with my laser but not the top. that gave me a measurement of 120'. i feel comfortable estimating that it was at least another 10 foot to the highest point, giving it a total height of about 130'+.

it is a really nice area and would recommend anyone in the area looking for a nice hike/to enjoy the outdoors to check it out.

I am extremely curious about the age of the area in general. it's full of northern hardwoods with the addition of White Pine and Hemlock --dominating the slopes. there are some nice trees such as the ones I mentioned and would rate it as a really nice second growth stand. it is right along the black river in St. Clair county, MI which historically was used to float logs. i did some research and it seems possible that the area was logged as early as 1820, but also possibly many decades later. however, i would venture a guess that it could have the potential to have been logged pre-1820 because of its location. being so close to the river it would have been the 1st place they cut if i am thinking correctly. however, could a stand such as the predate the late 1800s with the ravaging forest fires? if anyone as an idea about the area historically i would love to know more, as well as anything about the possible age of the stand/w pine.

the ~130' w pine is the biggest I've seen in the area. I'm not sure if it is the biggest though.

more photos of the area in general:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/139087651@N04/

Luke
by InglesLuke
Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:49 pm
 
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Re: Hello from Michigan

I am studying Geoscience at school right now and have grown up camping and what not. i have always been greatly connected with the outdoors in general. i ran across the term "old growth forest" a couple years back and have been intrigued, doing research, and visiting sites ever since. i really got hooked when i visited cook forest SP and saw the magnificent pine and hemlock last summer.
by InglesLuke
Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:38 pm
 
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Northern White Cedar in the Thumb

I was out exploring some state land today where i was primarily looking for any nice sized Eastern Hemlocks and White Pines, but ran across a nice surprise–– a large grove of Northern White Cedars. they are not overly common in the area so it was a nice surprise. they were clinging along a steep slope north facing slope which led down to an old river channel, now an oxbow lake (frozen with ice this time of year).There were many nice trees, most of them not extremely large, however, i ran across a few which i measured the diameter of:
Northern White Cedar DBH's 17.6, 14.8, 15.7, and a rather large one of 24.1! (pictured)

I measured heights of the largest one as well as one of the others but after i crunched numbers later (offsite) I got numbers that seemed well to high. I am headed back out in the morning to get a good measurement and taking the calculator along this time.

thought this was a cool find, especially for this area of Michigan.

I did end up finding some nice White Pine and Hemlock too!

Luke
by InglesLuke
Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:55 pm
 
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Tall Hemlocks (thumb of MI)

Today ended up being very cold (single digits) but I wanted to remeasure the 125' Hemlock that I mentioned earlier to make sure everything checked out in addition to getting a diameter measurement. It measured 25.8 DBH (tried my best to find mid slope) and I once again got 125'! In addition, one hundred feet or so away from the 125'er was another relatively skinny hemlock that measured about 120'.

I stitched another picture of the Hemlock but with my father in this time for scale.

This area was really great to see, It really seems that the native species are thriving. Hemlocks, Beeches, Sugar Maples, Red Maples, White Pine, Basswood, White Oak, Red Oak, Yellow Birch, etc were frequent throughout. And of course, the Northern White Cedars in a different area. I'll go back in the summer months to take a look at the understory to see how native that is, I have a hunch the native species will be flourishing.

Luke
by InglesLuke
Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 pm
 
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