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Re: Winterthur Gardens ENTS foray 9-10-2010


Here are some more photos of Winterthur to add to Will's excellent post.


by George Fieo
Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:23 pm
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Prohpecy Creek Park Sycamore


On 9/17/10 I had the opportunity to visit Prophecy Creek Park, Blue Bell. It's an old farm that is owned and maintained by Whitpain Twp. The sycamore measures 22'10" x 101.3' x 111' and is the largest tree in the township. The sycamore is said to be approximately 300 years old. I'm not certain of the trees age but I believe the farmhouse dates back to the early to mid 1800's and the township was founded in 1701.



The 100 acre Briar Hill Preserve adjoins Prophecy Creek Park and is owned by the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association. The preserve is a mix of fields, young scrub succession, and some wetland and upland woods. There are several old boundry trees that line through the much younger wood. The largst being a sycamore with a girth of 19'. I didn't measure their heights but I would estimate them to be 70-90' tall.


by George Fieo
Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:02 pm
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Five-Mile Woods Preserve


On 11/11/10 I visited Five Mile Woods Preserve in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County. The preserve is a 285 acre woodland and is unique to Pennsylvannia in that it straddles the Fall Line which is the geological divide between the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Plateau regions. It is home to the only remaining cranberry bog in Bucks County and several endangered species of plants and animals. Sweetgum is the most common tree species and is found throughout the entire site.

Five Mile Woods Preserve Site Index
Species CBH Height
A Beech 8'2" 105.9
A Elm 9' 100.3
Black Birch 5'7" 103.1
Black Cherry 4'3" 86.9
Blackgum 5'10" 95.3
Black Oak 9'2" 105.7
E Cottonwood 3'7" 83.9
Mockernut Hickory 5'2" 103.8
N Red Oak 7'8" 113.8
Pignut Hickory 5'5" 116.7
Pin Oak 6'11" 108.2
Red Maple 6'3" 107.3
Sassafras 2'3" 78.7
Shagbark Hickory 6'3" 109.9
Swamp White Oak 8'5" 114.6
Sweetgum 7' 112.8
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 113.8 12 x 100
Tulip Poplar 7'10" 126.1
White Oak 9' 108.6

Rucker 10 Index
Tulip Poplar 7'10" 126.1
Pignut Hickory 5'5" 116.7
Swamp White Oak 8'5" 114.6
N Red Oak 7'8" 113.8
Sweetgum 7' 112.8
Shagbark Hickory 6'3" 109.9
White Oak 9' 108.6
Pin Oak 6'11" 108.2
Red Maple 6'3" 107.3
A Beech 8'2" 105.9
RI 112.39



P1020417 Stitch.jpg

P1020420 Stitch.jpg

I was there just in time to see the last of the fading fall colors.

by George Fieo
Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:48 pm
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Andruss Island


On 11/15/10 I was able to canoe out to Andruss Island. It's a 24 acre island in the Schuylkill River along the Chester and Montgomery County line.

The upper half of the island has very little understory and large canopy gaps likely due to repeated flooding.

P1020436 Stitch.jpg

The lower half recieves little if any flooding and the understory is thick with spicebush, some of the largest I've seen, and several large colonies of pawpaw.


Silver maple is the dominant tree species in both size and abundance. Girths between 8-11' are not uncommon. Their trunks and heavy limbs are a tangled maze on the forest floor.

P1020433 Stitch.jpg

P1020430 Stitch.jpg

P1020440 Stitch.jpg

As I was exploring the island I kept finding these peculiar pits that were roughly 3-4' in diameter and 2' deep. Then I came across a fallen tree that had the same pit I had been seeing. The roots had completely rotted so there was no mound. The soil on the island and river banks is black and mostly coal silt. Could the coal be causing the roots to rot?

Andruss Island Site Index
Species CBH Height Comment
A Beech 4'11" 76.8'
American Elm 9'1" 89.4'
American Elm 6'11" 96.8'
American Elm 7'11" 114.3'
Bitternut Hickory ~7' 106.6'
Black Walnut 7'11" 89.3'
Black Walnut 5'4" 94.7'
Boxelder 7'4" 68.4'
Butternut 4'9" 71.9'
Common Hackberry 3'11" 88.2'
Common Hackberry 8'8" 91.7'
Pawpaw 1'6" 40.7'
Pawpaw 1'3.5" 41.2'
Pawpaw 1'3.5" 41.3'
River Birch 5'9" 67.7'
River Birch 3'9" 69.0'
Silver Maple 9'5" 118.5'
Silver Maple 11' 119.5'
Silver Maple 11'9" 120.0'
Slippery Elm 7'2" 98.1'
Slippery Elm 6'2" 109.8'
Spicebush 10.5" 21.1'
Sugar Maple 2'10" 75.3'
Sycamore 12'2" 119.1' 12 x 100
Sycamore ~10' 133.9'
Tulip Poplar 9'8" 110.7'
Tulip Poplar 7'6" 114.8'
White Ash 9'8" 105.8'

Rucker 10 Height Index
Species CBH Height
Sycamore ~10' 133.9'
Silver Maple 11'9" 120.0'
Tulip Poplar 7'6" 114.8'
American Elm 7'11" 114.3'
Slippery Elm 6'2" 109.8'
Bitternut Hickory ~7' 106.6'
White Ash 9'8" 105.8'
Black Walnut 5'4" 94.7'
Common Hackberry 8'8" 91.7'
A Beech 4'11" 76.8'
RI 106.84'

by George Fieo
Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:32 am
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Ridley Creek State Park Update 2010


My initial report on Ridley Creek State Park was focused on a single ravine which yielded a RI of 128.3'. I spent nearly a week in November 2010 exploring the slopes and ridges of Ridley Creek and it's tributary Big Run which make up most of the 2,606 acre park.

American beech with 9' girths are frequent and the largest measured 11'6" x 120.3'. A total of ten beech were documented with heights over 120'. The tallest is 6'11" x 130', a new PA height record.

P1020527 Stitch.jpg

Blackgum heights are exceptional with six specimens over 110', five of which surpass Pa.'s previous height record. One individual I located on an early scouting trip has excellent form with a straight bole well into it's canopy and measures 8' x 111.4'. The largest and tallest is 9'3" x 118.5' and is a new NE height record.

Black walnut is commonly found along the creek beds, sometimes forming nearly pure stands and infrequently occurring on higher, drier sites. Girths between 4-5' are common and the largest recorded girth was 7'. The lack of mature trees may suggest that they may have been selectively logged. Three specimens were documented with heights over 123'. The tallest is a new NE height record measuring 6'5" x 127.7'.

Hickories are impressive as well. Bitternut, mockernut, pignut and shagbark all had specimens with girths over 9'. Two of the largest were recent blowdowns, a bitternut with a girth ~11' and a pignut ~10' in girth. Both of these hickories were over 120' in height and likely came down in the same storm. The bitternut showed no signs of weakness and splintered above it's root collar. The largest girthed pignut measures 11'8" x 93.4' and has an open grown form. The tree is hollow and stands beside an old cart path that leads to a small family cemetery with burial dates between 1820 and 1861. Pignut registered three trees over 137'. Shagbark produced a new PA height record with a 6'2" x 131' specimen. A 7' x 140.7' bitternut and a 6'5" x 134.6' mockernut are new NE height records. Shellbark hickory may also be present at the site as I found the husk from a nut but could not identify the tree from which it came from. Shellbark hickory has been documented in the Tyler Arboretum which adjoins Ridley Creek State Park at it's southern border.

P1020503 Stitch.jpg

P1020513 Stitch.jpg

Five species of oak were observed within the park. Several mature swamp white oak were spied along Ridley Creek's east bank in the northern most section of the park having estimated girths between 9-12' and heights of 60-80'. They have open grown forms and are amongst early to mid successional forest. Black oaks with 8' girths and heights between 115-120' are numerous. The tallest black oak measures 9'6" x 129.4'. The park also supports the state champion black oak which is a commanding 20'4" x 127.8'. Chestnut oak is abundant on the ridges and drier slopes with two specimens registering heights over 125', an 8'2" x 126.5' in the southern section and a 5'9" x 127.8' in the northern section which is a new NE height record. Northern red oaks are the tallest of it's genus with three specimens surpassing 140'. The tallest is a multistem with three boles that is 18'4"(@ 2.5') x 144.8' and is a NE height record. Northern red and white oaks with 10' girths are common in mature stands. White oak also has impressive heights for the species with thirteen documented specimens over 120'. The tallest is 10'10" x 131.9' and is a new NE height record.

P1020520 Stitch.jpg

P1020548 Stitch.jpg

Sassafras is abundant on drier early to mid successional forest types but can be found in mature forests where canopy gaps occur, typically in clusters with tall slender forms. The tallest specimen is 5'2" x 110.7' and is a new NE height record.

Tulip poplar dominates where soils are richer and heights of 140' are typical. Four tulip poplars registered heights of 150', the tallest being a 10'3" x 153.6' specimen. The largest girthed individual is 16'1" x 129.1'.

Sycamores line the creek banks and heights between 110-120' are common. A lone sycamore growing midway up a drainage in a nearly pure stand of tulip poplar mixed with white ash measured 8'1" x 137', the tallest documented for the park and a personal best for me.

White ash achieves exceptional heights in sheltered groves commonly reaching heights over 130' with numerous specimens free of limbs for the first 70-80'. Four specimens were documented with heights over 140' with the tallest measuring 8'3" x 143.9'. White ash commonly reaches girths of 9' or more.


There are more than a dozen white pine plantations within the park. The largest plantation covers more than twelve acres and groves average 125' in height. The oldest grove is located on an east facing slope above Ridley Creek and supports the tallest documented white pine that measures 9'5" x 138.6'. Girths in this stand are between 7-9'. Tulip poplar and white ash are codominant componets in several of the pine groves and spicebush dominates the shrub layer. White pine is regenerating outside of the plantations when conditions allow ranging in size from seedlings to individuals up to 70'.

P1020501 Stitch.jpg

Ridley Creek State Park Site Index

Species CBH Height Comment
A Basswood 8' 95.7'
A Beech 7'10" 125.4'
A Beech 8'9" 128.8'
A Beech 6'11" 130.0' new PA height record
A Hornbeam 1'8" 44.8' 2/16/09 measurement
Big Tooth Aspen 4'7" 100.7'
Bitternut Hickory 8'6" 124.3'
Bitternut Hickory 5'9" 133.6'
Bitternut Hickory 7' 140.7' new NE height record
Black Cherry 3'10" 103.2'
Black Cherry 8'3" 107.8'
Blackgum 8' 111.4'
Blackgum 6'2" 114.7'
Blackgum 7'1" 115.1'
Blackgum 6'4" 115.6'
Blackgum 5'7" 117.2'
Blackgum 9'3" 118.5' new NE height record
Black Locust 6'3" 116.8'
Black Locust 4'10" 117.9'
Black Oak 20'4" 127.8' PA State Champ
Black Oak 9'6" 129.4
Black Walnut 6'2" 123.5
Black Walnut 7' 123.6'
Black Walnut 6'5" 127.7' new NE height record
Chestnut Oak 10'5" 119.8'
Chestnut Oak 8'2" 126.5'
Chestnut Oak 5'9" 127.8' new NE height record
E Hophornbeam 3' 67.2'
Flowering Dogwood 2'2" 44.8' 2/16/09 measurement
European Larch 4'10" 121.1'
European Larch 5'11" 122.6'
European Larch 4'8" 124.0' new PA height record
Mockernut Hickory 9'8" 120.9'
Mockernut Hickory 6'2" 133.7' 2/16/09 measurement
Mockernut Hickory 6'5" 134.6' new NE height record
N Red Oak 9'2" 143.0'
N Red Oak 6'9" 143.4'
N Red Oak (3x) 18'4" 144.8' new NE height record
Pignut Hickory 9' 134.0'
Pignut Hickory 7' 137.1'
Pignut Hickory 8'5" 137.1'
Pignut Hickory 5'7" 137.4'
Red Maple 5'9" 114.8'
Red Maple 7'7" 118.5'
Sassafras 5'4" 107.5'
Sassafras 4'7" 110.4'
Sassafras 5'2" 110.7' new PA height record
Shagbark Hickory 7'6" 124.9'
Shagbark Hickory 5'5" 127.5'
Shagbark Hickory 6'2" 131.0' new PA height record
Silver Maple 10'4" 110.9'
Silver Maple (3x) 14'7" 116.3'
Slippery Elm 7' 104.9'
Slippery Elm 6'5" 108.0'
Sycamore 8'1" 137.0'
Tulip Poplar 10'4" 148.9'
Tulip Poplar 11'1" 150.0'
Tulip Poplar ~11' 150.5'
Tulip Poplar 11' 150.8'
Tulip Poplar 10'3" 153.6'
White Ash 11'2" 139.6'
White Ash 11'4" 141.2'
White Ash 6'5" 141.4'
White Ash 8'10" 141.4'
White Ash 8'3" 143.9' new PA height record
White Oak 11'6" 125.3'
White Oak 8'5" 125.6'
White Oak 9'2" 127.1'
White Oak 10'9" 127.3'
White Oak 10'10" 131.9' new NE height record
White Pine 7'9" 134.0'
White Pine 7'5" 134.9'
White Pine 6'3" 135.9'
White Pine 7' 136.1'
White Pine 9'5" 138.6'
Witch Hazel 9.5" 27.6'

Ridley Creek State Park 12 x 100 Club

Species CBH Height Comment
Black Oak 12'3" 119.7'
Black Oak 20'4" 127.8' State Champ
N Red Oak 13'9" 107.4'
N Red Oak 13'11" 110.1'
N Red Oak 13'2" 114.9'
N Red Oak 12'2" 116.5'
N Red Oak 15'2" 117.0'
N Red Oak 16'11" 119.3'
N Red Oak 14'5" 120.3'
N Red Oak 13'7" 121.9'
N Red Oak 12'5" 122.5'
N Red Oak 12'1" 123.5'
N Red Oak 12'7" 126.1'
N Red Oak 15'8" 127.5'
N Red Oak 12' 130.2'
N Red Oak 12' 133.5'
N Red Oak 13'2" 135.0'
Sycamore 12'3" 132.6'
Tulip Poplar 14'4" 108.4'
Tulip Poplar 13'9" 112.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 121.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'8" 122.2'
Tulip Poplar 13'1" 123.0'
Tulip Poplar 12'1" 123.2'
Tulip Poplar 12' 123.7'
Tulip Poplar 15' 124.7'
Tulip Poplar 15'5" 127.0'
Tulip Poplar 16'1" 129.1'
Tulip Poplar 14'3" 131.4'
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 137.3'
Tulip Poplar 13'2" 138.6'
Tulip Poplar 13' 145.8'
White Ash 12'1" 117.0'
White Ash 16' 119.3' 2/16/09 measurement
White Ash 14' 128.5'
White Oak 13'5" 105.3' 2/16/09 measurement
White Oak 14'2" 105.9' 2/16/09 measurement
White Oak 13'3" 117.7'
White Oak 15'2" 120.6'
White Oak 12'8" 122.6'

Ridley Creek State Park Rucker 10 Index

Species CBH Height
Tulip Poplar 10'3" 153.6'
N Red Oak (3x) 18'4" 144.8'
White Ash 8'3" 143.9'
Bitternut Hickory 7' 140.7'
White Pine 9'5" 138.6'
Pignut Hickory 5'7" 137.4'
Sycamore 8'1" 137.0'
Mockernut Hickory 6'5" 134.6'
White Oak 10'10" 131.9'
Shagbark Hickory 6'2" 131.0'

Rucker Index 139.35'
by George Fieo
Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:02 am
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Brandywine Creek State Park


I made several outings to Delaware's 933 acre Brandywine Creek State Park in December of 2010. The park is located in New Castle County and three miles north of Wilmington and just over a mile east of Winterthur. The Brandywine Creek, also referred to as the Brandywine River, flows south through the park creating two sections, west and east. The site was a former dairy farm in the late 1800's and was owned by the Du Pont family. The state's first two nature preserves are also within the park: Tulip Tree Woods and Freshwater Marsh.

Nearly half of the western portion of the park consists of passive fields and native meadows. Three to four foot high grey stone walls from the dairy farm era line the park's west border, meadows, and encompass Tulip Tree Woods. The other half is in several stages of succession with mature stands in Tulip Tree Woods, on the ridges, and in several small ravines along Brandywine Creek's west bank. Multiflora rose and other invasives choke the understory of woodlands that are in early succession. Several white oak wolf trees were found in this forest type. The largest measured 16'6" x 100.3'.

P1020588 Stitch.jpg

Tulip Tree Woods is a 24 acre preserve dominated by large 190-220 year old tulip poplars. Twelve specimens were documented with girths of 12' or more with heights over 120' with four surpassing 150'. The tallest of these measured 12'11" x 156.8'. The largest and likely oldest poplar in Tulip Tree Woods is 15'11" x 122.3'. The tallest measured is a slender 6'10" x 157.5' specimen. Common canopy species include black, northern red, and white oak, pignut hickory, and american beech. The largest and tallest white oak in the preserve is an impressive 11'4" x 130'. Two pignut hickories measured 7'2" x 141.2' and 7'4" x 141.7' and are the tallest documented for the park. The crotch of a blowdown has severely damaged the base scarring both sides of the taller specimen. A third or more of it's crown is dead and may not recover. Another park record within the preserve is an 8'5" x 135' american beech. A few white ash frequent the preserve's northwest corner with the largest and tallest specimen measuring 11'2" x 129.5'. Blackhaw viburnum and flowering dogwood were impressive as well with measurements of 1'2' x 30.3' and 2' x 52.4' respectively.

P1020590 Stitch.jpg

A small ravine west of Tulip Tree Woods along the creek's west bank also supports a few 150' tulip poplars and a very impressive black oak. The black oak is a personal best for me and may well be a state height record at 11'7" x 137.2'. Another small ravine to the south and north of Freshwater Marsh supports 9 species of mature trees with an average girth of more than 9' and an average height of 117'. An impressive 10'4" x 104.2' red maple, with crown damage, grows along a small spring at the base of the ravine and a 16' x 127' tulip poplar grows on the nothern ridge above the ravine.

P1020659 Stitch.jpg

The portion of the park east of the Brandywine Creek is even more impressive. Human disturbance has been limited over the past 200 years or more due to it's steep and rocky terrain. Huge boulders of Wilmington Complex blue rocks, which were formally a volcanic island more than 500 million years ago, are strewn along much of it's slope.

P1020669 Stitch.jpg

Invasives are nearly nonexistant except along the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, which follows most of the east bank of the creek, and the park's west boarder with a development. Tulip poplars are larger and taller with a few specimen possiblly over 250 years old. The largest poplar measures 19' x 149.1'. This poplar may not be as old as it's size suggest. It recieves a constant suppy of water from an old spring house less than 20 yards away. Although the tree has balding bark it lacks other old growth characteristics such as large limbs and a gnarly form. Sixty six poplars were documented with dimensions in the 12' x 100' range with fourteen of those at or exceeding 150'.

P1020673 Stitch.jpg

The tallest tulip poplars grow in a swale on a west facing slope in the southeastern corner of the park. Two poplars recorded heights over 160'. One at 13'7" x 160.1' and the other at 9'9" x 164.9'. White ash had four specimens with recorded heights over 140', two of which had girths of 11' or more in the same swale as the 160' tulips. The tallest ash measured 11' x 148.7'.

P1020666 Stitch.jpg

Bitternut hickory recorded several specimen over 130'. The tallest measured 6'5" x 147.4'. Chestnut oak and Mountain laurel are common on the steep slopes and ridges along the creeks east bank. The tallest documented chestnut oak is a 6'8" x 127' specimen.

P1020653 Stitch.jpg

On 12/22/10 I was hiking along the east bank of the Brandywine Creek and heard the flap of a large wing. A Bald eagle was flying low to the water and heading upstream. The creek was frozen solid the week before but in the sun's rays and clear skies had nearly thawed. Mallards and Canadian geese where common on the creek that day and were likely on the eagles menu. Cruising 15' above the water and with a single up-stroke from it's powerful wings it perched 40' high on a sycamore limb situated on the west bank. I quickly grabbed my camera from my backpack and slowly headed back upstream 150 yards towards the eagle, taking several photos along the way. As I paralleled the eagle I took a perfect zoomed 40 yard photo of it jumping from the limb into flight. It was a beautiful site and a memory I'll never forget. The cameras batteries were shot and the last two of the three photos I took were not saved to the memory card. So here is an out of focus photo of a Bald eagle in a sycamore tree.


I did manage to take a photo of a Witch-hazel in flower on the same day. It must have been a late bloomer.


Brandywine Creek State Park Site Index

Species CBH Height Comment
A Basswood 7'11" 105.8'
A Beech 6'6" 125.7'
A Beech 8'5" 135' N 39*48.522' x W 75*34.641'
Bitternut Hickory 7'11" 133.9'
Bitternuy Hickory 6'9" 140'
Bitternut Hickory 6'5" 147.4' N 39*48.255' x W 75*34.097'
Black Cherry 5'7" 115.6'
Blackgum 9'9" 81.4'
Blackgum 5'9" 111.8'
Blackhaw 1'2" 30.3'
Black Oak 11'8" 130.5'
Black Oak 9' 133'
Black Oak 11'7" 137.2'
Black Walnut 7'1" 116.5'
Chestnut Oak 9'10" 119.3'
Chestnut Oak 6'7" 125.7'
Chestnut Oak 8'6" 126.9'
Chestnut Oak 6'8" 127'
Common Persimmon 3'8" 75.5'
E Hophornbeam 2'1" 56.6'
Flowering Dogwood 2' 52.4'
Mockernut Hickory 6'5" 114'
N Red Oak 7'8" 139.5'
N Red Oak 7'7" 140.5'
N Red Oak 7'3" 140.8'
Pignut Hickory 9'7" 138.8'
Pignut Hickory 7'5" 140.5'
Pignut Hickory 7'2" 141.2'
Pignut Hickory 7'4" 141.7'
Red Maple 10'4" 104.2'
Sassafras 3'10" 90.5'
Shagbark Hickory 4'1" 102.5'
Shagbark Hickory 5'3" 113.4'
Silver Maple 10'9' 99.3'
Slippery Elm 5'7" 102'
Sugar Maple 5'4" 97.6'
Sycamore 18' 96.6'
Sycamore 5'2" 125.6'
Tulip Poplar 6'10" 157.5'
Tulip Poplar 12'2' 158'
Tulip Poplar 10'2" 159.4'
Tulip Poplar 13'7" 160.1'
Tulip Poplar 9'9" 164.9'
White Ash 6'4" 140.1'
White Ash 11'4" 142.9'
White Ash 8'10" 147.4'
White Ash 9'7" 147.5'
White Ash 11' 148.7'
White Oak 11'4" 130'
White Oak 8'7" 132.2'
White Oak 8'6" 137.9'
Witch Hazel 1'7" 34'

There may be several new state height records but we have very little data from Delaware.

Brandywine Creek State Park 12 x 100 Club

Species CBH Height Comment
Black Oak 12'5" 103.2'
Black Oak 13'7" 107.6'
Black Oak 12'3" 115.2'
Black Oak 12'1" 118.9'
N Red Oak 12' 105.2'
N Red Oak 12' 121.7'
N Red Oak 15'11" 131' N 39*48.432' x W 75*33.727'

Note: Tulip Poplar is excluded from this list and will be included in a seperate report.

Brandtwine Creek State Park Rucker Index

Species CBH Height
Tulip Poplar 9'9" 164.9'
White Ash 11' 148.7'
Bitternut Hickory 6'5" 147.4'
Pignut Hickory 7'4" 141.7'
N Red Oak 7'3" 140.8'
White Oak 8'6" 137.9'
Black Oak 11'7" 137.2'
A Beech 8'5" 135'
Chestnut Oak 6'8" 127'
Sycamore 5'2" 125.6'

RI 140.62'

Brandywine Creek State Park may very well be Delaware's superlative site to see large and tall Tulip poplars.

by George Fieo
Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:45 am
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Brandywine Creek State Park's Tulip Poplars


Here is the list of 12' x 100' Tulip poplars for Brandywine Creek State Park along with some photos.

TTW TP 12'11' x 156.8'.jpg

P1020640 Stitch.jpg

P1020651 Stitch.jpg

P1020676 Stitch.jpg

P1020735 Stitch.jpg


P1020767 Stitch.jpg


12' x 100' Club
CBH Height Coordinates
15'11" 122.3'
12'4" 125.5'
16' 127'
15'3" 127.3'
12'2" 130.2'
12'3" 130.4'
12'8" 131.4'
12'4" 131.6'
14'1" 132.2'
14'8" 134.4'
13'5" 134.6'
12'4" 135.2'
12'2" 135.3'
13' 135.3'
13'4" 135.8'
12'1" 136.9'
13'8" 137.2'
13'9" 137.5'
12'8" 138.1'
13'7" 138.2'
12'2" 138.7'
12' 138.8'
15'4" 138.8'
14'9" 138.9' N 39*47.997' x W 75*34.132'
14'1" 139.5'
14'8" 139.8'
12'3" 140'
14'7" 140.3'
12'4" 140.5'
12'5" 140.7'
13' 140.8'
17'3" 140.8' N 39*48.011' x W 75*33.980'
14' 141.3'
13'11" 142'
15'2" 142'
12'1" 143'
12' 143.2'
12'7" 143.4'
13'10" 144.4'
17'3" 144.8' N 39*47.970' x W 75*34.045'
12'5' 144.9'
12'4" 145.2'
12'2" 145.3'
12'6" 145.3'
14'11" 145.6'
13'7" 145.7'
12'1" 145.8'
13' 146.1'
12'1" 147.2'
12'8" 147.3'
13'8" 147.5'
12'5" 147.7'
14'10" 147.8'
12'1" 148.1'
14'11" 148.7'
12'5" 148.9'
19' 149.1' N 39*48.642' x W 75*33.756'
13'4" 149.3'
12'9" 149.5'
13' 149.5'

12' x 150' Club
CBH Height
12'3" 150'
13'10" 150.3'
12'11" 150.4'
12'2" 150.5'
12'2" 152.1'
13'10" 152.2'
12'11" 152.6"
12'10" 153.4'
12'5" 153.5'
13' 153.5'
13'5" 153.7'
13'9" 154.1'
15'2" 154.1' N 39*48.241' x W 75*34.107'
13'5" 156.6'
12'11" 156.8'
12'9" 157'
12'2" 158'
13'7" 160.1'


by George Fieo
Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:53 am
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Tyler State Park, Pa.


Tyler State Park is located in Bucks County just outside of Newtown. The park consists of more than 1,700 acres of woodland and actively farmed land. The woodlands are a diverse mix of floodplain and upland species in several stages of succession.

The park was surveyed in 2003 as having two possible old growth sites. A white oak blowdown within the larger site was removed to clear a trail. A fresh clean cut was made 6' above ground at which the girth measured 7.8' and revealed ~200 consistently tight growth rings. There are larger trees and I would estimate their ages to be between 200-250 years, some possibly older. Species in this age class includes green ash, pignut hickory, tulip poplar, and white oak. The smaller site consists mostly of tulip poplar and black and northern red oak. American beech is also common at both sites.

P1030744 Stitch.jpg

P1030794 Stitch.jpg

Coniferous species include eastern red cedar, eastern hemlock, norway spruce, and white pine. Hemlocks are confined to the steep slopes and ridges of the Neshaminy Creek and are most abundant in the northern half of the park. These hemlocks max out with girths around 6' and 90' in height. A lone hemlock located in a parking area measured 10'2" x 104.3'. This tree has some age on it and may have beed spared during the last harvest. White pine and norway spruce are in several plantations throughout the park. A small naturally occuring stand of white pine grow along a steep slope on the east bank of the Neshaminy Creek which is owned by the Bucks County Community College. The park borders the college on three sides and I did not measure any trees here do to lack of time. This is only the second site where I have seen native white pine in SE Pa. The other site is located along the Schuylkill River in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County. Both of these sites are nearly identical in geography.

Tyler State Park Site Index 11/22/2011
Species CBH Height Comment
A Basswood 9'2" 102.1' Beautiful single stem
A Beech 8' 115.7'
A Elm 9'6" 99.6'
Bitternut Hickory 9'10" 118.5'
Black Birch 8'8" 98.9'
Black Birch 7'1" 107'
Black Cherry 5'3" 125' With 140' tulips
Blackgum 5'3" 108.7'
Black Oak 11'10" 115.1'
Black Oak 10'4" 115.9'
Black Oak 11'2" 123.6'
Black Walnut 5'11" 118.9'
Black Walnut 5'2" 123'
Flowering Dogwood 1'3" 32.6'
Green Ash 10'3" 123.9'
Green Ash 9'10" 132.7'
Green Ash 10' 133'
Green Ash 7'11' 133.6'
Mockernut Hickory 5'2" 127.2'
N Red Oak 15'4" 102.3' Severe storm damage
N Red Oak ~9.5' 124.3' Crown of fallen AB @ base
Pignut Hickory 8'6" 124.2'
Pignut Hickory 6'7" 126.5"
Pignut Hickory 7'9" 130.2"
Pin Oak 8'1" 114.8'
Pin Oak 9'4" 117.4'
Red Maple 4'8" 107.7'
River Birch 4'3" 66.9'
River Birch 7'5' 72.7'
Sassafras 3'2" 92.9'
Shagbark Hickory 6'8" 118.9'
Slippery Elm 4'1" 102'
Sycamore 9'10" 123.9'
Sycamore 5'4" 127' Within white pine plantation
Tulip Poplar 11'7" 144.7'
White Ash 5'9" 123.8'
White Oak 11'9" 113'
White Oak 8'2" 119.4'
White Pine 6'6" 127.4' Plantation tree

12' x 100' List
Species CBH Height
N Red Oak 15'4" 102.3'
Tulip Poplar 12' 128.2'
Tulip Poplar 15'11" 129.4'
Tulip Poplar 13'11" 131.9'
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 132.2'
Tulip Poplar 13'4" 132.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'8" 141.9'

Tyler State Park Rucker Index 11/22/2011
Species CBH Height Coordinates
Tulip Poplar 11'7" 144.7' N40 13.629 x W74 58.813
Green Ash 7'11" 133.6' N40 13.825 x W74 57.666
Pignut Hickory 7'9" 130.2' N40 13.596 x W74 57.673
White Pine 6'6" 127.4' N40 13.597 x W74 58.742
Mockernut Hickory 5'2" 127.2' N40 13.216 x W74 58.524
Sycamore 5'4" 127' N40 13.616 x W74 58.738
Black Cherry 5'3" 125' N40 13.222 x W74 58.472
N Red Oak ~9.5' 124.3' N40 13.607 x W74 58.859
White Ash 5'9" 123.8' N40 13.427 x W74 58.554
Black Oak 11'2" 123.6' N40 13.624 x W74 58.816

RI 128.68'

by George Fieo
Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:29 pm
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Re: Tyler State Park, Pa.

RyanLeClair wrote:I found this report very informative. As someone new to tree-measuring I can only hope to one day produce something this impressive myself.

Thanks Ryan. I'm sure you'll have plenty of great reports cause there ain't no cure once you get the measuring bug. Seriously!

by George Fieo
Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:17 pm
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Smedley Park, Delaware Co., PA


Smedley Park is located in Delaware County between Media and Springfield and contains roughly 120 acres. Most of the park is wooded with the exception of a picnic area and a ballfield or two. The park is surrounded by urban development and I-476 (The Blue Route) and a transit rail line pass through the park.

The northern half is more aesthetic and has seen the least amount of disturbance. Crum Creek serpentines through much of the park and is flanked by steep slopes and large outcroppings. Oaks, hickories, and american beech dominate the upper slopes and ridges while mountain laurel is commonly found in the understory. Eastern hemlock is most abundant on the north facing slopes and support some of the best examples of hemlock I've seen in SE Pa. Five specimens recorded heights over 120' with the tallest measuring 8'11" x 128.5'. The lower slopes and creek bottoms are where the largest and tallest tulip poplars can be found. Some of these beauties are branchless for the first eighty feet. Five tulips had heights over 150'. The tallest measured 12'3" x 160.3' and the largest was 16' x 139.7'. Green ash is commonly found in the bottoms and competes well with the tall tulips. Four green ash recorded heights of 130' or more with the tallest measuring 10'1" x 140.3'.

P1030714 Stitch.jpg
P1030690 Stitch.jpg
P1030707 Stitch.jpg

The terrain in the southern half of the park is more forgiving. Tulip and ash dominate the canopy and the upper slopes. The oaks and hickories are still common on the ridge tops but their numbers soon dwindle the farther south you go. Blackgum is fairly common and typically found with the oaks and hickories. I documented two very impressive blackgums where the oaks and tulips clash. They stand like columns whose crowns grace each other in the slightest breeze. They measure 8'8" x 116.6' and 8'11" x 117.1'. Both trees are less than two feet from the current Pa. height record.

P1030726 Stitch.jpg

The southwest section is mostly a near pure stand of 140' tulip poplar with a thick understory of spicebush. The rail line borders the park here and a small stream overrun with japanese knotweed and other invasives parallels the tracks. The section between the two is more of an upland mix and contains some large tulip, hickory, and oak trees. These trees were not logged during the last harvest either because of their close proximity to the tracks or they are in the rail line right of way. The largest is a northern red oak that rivals the largest tulip. The oak separates into two leaders around 30' and measures 16'9" x 133.9'. Approximately 200 yards west of the oak is an american chestnut. It's dimensions are 3' x 100.9'. Unfortunately, the tree appears to have the blight. Although I coundn't see any cankers, the upper 1/3 of the tree seems to be dead and suckers are sprouting from it's base.

P1030728 Stitch.jpg

Smedley Park Site Index 11/21/2011
Species CBH Height Comment
A Beech 10'2" 102.4'
A Beech 6'8" 123.8'
A Beech 8'3" 130.1'
American Chestnut 3' 100.9' New PA Height
Bitternut Hickory 7'6" 133.3'
Blackgum 8'8" 116.6'
Blackgum 8'11" 117.1'
Black Oak ~14' 116.6' Ivy on trunk
Black Walnut 6'9" 109.3'
E Hemlock 8'2" 120.7'
E Hemlock 8'4" 121'
E Hemlock 9' 121.4'
E Hemlock 8'3" 124.7'
E Hemlock 8'11" 128.5'
E Hophornbeam 1'7" 40'
Green Ash 8'3" 130.1'
Green Ash 7' 133'
Green Ash 8'3" 138.9'
Green Ash 10'1" 140.3'
Mockernut Hickory 7'9" 117.3'
N Red Oak 12'8" 120.7'
N Red Oak 9'2" 126.5'
N Red Oak 10'2" 129.2'
N Red Oak 16'9" 133.9'
Pignut Hickory 6'5" 115.9'
Red Hickory? 7'2" 107.6'
Red Maple 5'11" 106.4'
Sassafras 4'3" 75.2'
Slippery Elm 5'1" 98.4'
Sugar Maple 5'10" 98.6'
Sycamore 8'2" 127.6'
Sycamore 6'4" 139'
Tulip Poplar 13'1" 151.5'
Tulip poplar 12'11" 151.6'
Tulip Poplar 10'8" 152.1'
Tulip Poplar 9'8" 154'
Tulip Poplar 12'3" 160.3'
Umbrella Magnolia 1'1" 34.7'
White Ash 6'9" 116.3'
White Ash 4'9" 119.8'
White Ash 5'7" 131.2' with 140' tulips
White Oak 11'11" 123.2'
White Oak 9' 123.8'
White Pine 7'2" 120.3' Plantation tree
White Pine 8'4" 121.6' Plantation tree
White Pine 6'10" 131.9' Plantation tree

Smedley Park 12' x 100' List
Species CBH Height
Black Oak ~14' 116.6' ivy on trunk
N Red Oak 12'8" 120.7'
N Red Oak 16'9" 133.9'
Tulip Poplar 18'5" 135.5' flared trunk
Tulip Poplar 12'1" 138'
Tulip Poplar 12'4" 139.1'
Tulip Poplar 14' 139.4'
Tulip Poplar 16' 139.7'
Tulip Poplar 12'1" 142.9'
Tulip Poplar 13'8" 143.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'7" 145.2'
Tulip Poplar 12'3" 146.6'
Tulip Poplar 12'2" 147'
Tulip Poplar 12'8" 147.5'
Tulip poplar 12'5" 148.8'
Tulip Poplar 12'7" 149.1'
Tulip Poplar 13'7" 149.6'

Smedley Park 12' x 150' List
Species CBH Height
Tulip Poplar 13'1" 151.5'
Tulip Poplar 12'11" 151.6"
Tulip Poplar 12'3" 160.3"

Smedley Park Rucker 10 Index
Species CBH Height Coordinates
Tulip Poplar 12'3" 160.3' N39 55.582 x W75 21.673
Green Ash 10'1" 140.3' N39 55.155 x W75 21.854
Sycamore 6'4" 139' N39 55.768 x W75 21.378
N Red Oak 16'9" 133.9' N39 54.915 x W75 21.911
Bitternut Hickory 7'6" 133.3' N39 55.108 x W75 21.658
White Pine 6'10" 131.9' N39 54.830 x W75 21.621
White Ash 5'7" 131.2' N39 54.858 x W75 22.003
A Beech 8'3" 130.1' N39 55.430 x W75 21.603
E Hemlock 8'11" 128.5' N39 55.328 x W75 21.618
White Oak 9' 123.8' N39 54.939 x W7 521.818

RI 135.23'

I hardley noticed all of the hussel and bussel that surrounds Smedley Park. It's an oasis not only for wildlife but for the nature loving suburbanite as well.

by George Fieo
Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:05 pm
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2011 Update: Wissahickon Valley Park, Pa.


Wissahickon Valley Park is one of 63 parks within the Fairmount Park System located in the Northwest section of Philadelphia. The Wissahickon Creek flows seven miles through the parks 1400 acres. The creek has carved a 160-240' deep gorge and has been a popular scenic attraction for more than 150 years. The terrain is steep and rugged with many large outcrops.


P1030624 Stitch.jpg

Will Blozan, John Eichholz, and Scott Wade have all posted reports of this park between 2003 and 2006. I made a dozen measuring trips to the park between October and December of 2011 and several in the Spring of 2012. I located many new height records and a few new state champs so I'll try to keep it short. Will's predicted heights for several species was right on the money!

Black birch is common throughout much of the park and is a new Pa. height record. John measured the previous height champ in 2005 within the park at 8' x 113.5'. The first tree I measured to surpass this height is along the bank of a severely eroded drainage. It's girth is an estimate and measures ~6' x 114.9'. The new state height champ measures 5'4" x 115.4'. The largest Black birch weighed in at 8'5" x 106'.

Black gum has some impressive individuals. I documented three specimens with girths over 8' with heights exceeding 100'. The tallest is 8'4" x 119.3' and a new NE height record.

Eastern hemlock compliments the ruggedness of the gorge. They are frequent through most of the park but are most prevailant along the creek's eastern slopes. Hemlock commonly reach a height of 100'. I documented twelve specimens that surpassed 120', there are likely more, and three of those where more than 131'. The tallest measured 8'9" x 138.1'. Two hemlocks had girths over 10' and measured 10'1" x 117.9' and 10'7" x 125.3' The majority of hemlocks appeared healthy with lush dark green crowns.


Sassafras in the Wissahickon have excellent form with slender, clean straight boles. Some of the best examples I've seen in SE Pa. Many have girths of 5' or more and heights between 80-90'. The largest forest grown specimen measured 10' x 97.6'.

P1030558 Stitch.jpg

Oaks are a major component of the park's forest. Five species of oak were observed and include black, chestnut, northern red, scarlet, and white. All species have one or more specimens with girths over 11'. The largest is a Northern red measuring 13'5" x 121.5'. The oaks have a RI5 of 129.08'. The tallest is a 10'8" x 136' Black oak growing in a nearly pure stand of Tulip poplars. The tallest Northern red oak measured 10'8" x 135.9'.

DSCF0130 Stitch.jpg

Four species of hickory occur in the park and they are noticeably sparse. Bitternut is commonly found along the Wissahickon Creek. Although it's the most abundant of the hickories, I measured only one specimen. It's a new NE height record and only the second hardwood species in Pa. to reach a height of 150'. It measures 7'8" x 150.1'. I walked past this tree several times before I realized it was a bitternut. Pignut is infrequent, usually in small stands on the upper slopes and ridges. Two specimens recorded girths over 10'. The largest is a new Pa. state champion at 10'9" x 133.8'. Shagbark and mockernut are rare. I saw three individuals combined.

Susan G Komen 022.JPG

DSCF0167 Stitch.jpg

Two species of ash inhabit the park. White ash is found primarily between mid-slope and the ridgeline. I was unable to locate a white ash taller than the 7.3' x 135.7' specimen Will located in 2003. I sampled more than three dozen ash saplings throughout the park. Of those only two were white ash and were found near the ridgeline. While green ash saplings are widely distributed, reaching the upper slopes, mature trees are found along the creek and drainage bottoms. Three green ash had heights over 139'. The tallest may be a new East Coast height record at 9'8" x 146.4'.


Naturally occuring stands of White pine are long gone but instead are found in a half dozen plantations scattered throughout the park. The majority of these plantations have pines in the 120's with the exception of one. This grove is on a north facing slope along the Cresheim Creek. Pines here average in the upper 130's with several surpassing 140'. The tallest measured 6'6" x 141.9'


Sycamore is most prevailant along the banks of the Wissahickon where it attains it's largest size. They are also commonly found along Cresheim Creek which is a tributary of the Wissahickon. About a mile upstream of it's confluence with the Wissahickon is where sycamore achieves it's greatest height. The tallest measures ~10'1" x 148.3' and rivals the Baker Island state height champion in the Allegheny River. I believe the Baker Island sycamore was last measured in 2008 at 12.1' x 147.7'.

Tulip poplar is the true monarch of the Wissahickon Valley. No other species can match their height and girth. Tulips 148' in height are common and widespread. I typically document every species that meets the 12' x 100' criteria. I did not have the time or energy to tackle this task with the tulips so I decided to hunt a much larger quarry, 12' x 150' tulips. A sheltered cove in the northeast section of the park supports a 13' x 140', a 15' x 140', two 14' x 150', and three 17' x 140' poplars. I was able to locate and document six tulips into the elusive 12' x 150' club. Two tulips with heights of 160' were located between the Wissahickon Creek and Forbidden Drive. This is the area where Will documented the 158.6' tulip back in 2003. The tallest tulip measured 10'7" x 162.3'.


DSCF0154 Stitch.jpg

P1030687 Stitch.jpg

Large carpets of english ivy, euonymus, pachysandra, and periwinkle can cover as much as several acres. Non-native shrubs and trees are also associated with these coverings. They mark the sites of old dwellings that once existed in the park. One of these sites has two exceptionally tall London planetrees. The tallest measured 10'6" x 146.8'. It's possibly the tallest non-native hardwood along the East Coast.

Understory species are impressive as well. Devils walkingstick is everywhere and is a new state champion. It measures 1'11.5" x 37.6'. Witch hazel is also a new state champ and measures 2'.5" x 37.1' with a whopping spread of 42' x 57'. Umbrella magnolia is widespread, often in large colonies. Two specimens recorded heights over 70'. The tallest measured 2'10" x 72.1' and could be a new East Coast height record.


Wissahickon Valley Park currently has a Rucker Height Index of 142.85'.

Wissahickon Valley Park Site Index
Species CBH Height Comment
Ailanthus 6'6" 103.7' Clean, straight bole
A Beech 12'3" 107.7'
A Beech 10'7' 126.2'
A Beech 7'2" 130.1'
Big Tooth Aspen 6'4" 106.6'
Bitternut Hickory 7'8" 150.1' New NE Height
Black Birch 8'5' 106'
Black Birch ~6' 114.9'
Black Birch 5'4" 115.4' New PA Height
Black Cherry(2x) ~7' 108.8'
Blackgun 8'4" 103.8'
Blackgum 8'5" 104.3'
Blackgum 8'4" 119.3' New NE Height
Black Locust 6'5' 117.7'
Black Oak 10'6" 126.5'
Black Oak 10'8" 136' New NE Height, With 140' tulips
Black Walnut 9'6" 111.6' Great form
Black Walnut 6'3" 122.7' Tree Will first measured?
Chestnut Oak 7'3" 121.8'
Chestnut Oak 10'6" 124.3'
Cottonwood 12'5" 104.8'
Devils Walking Stick 1'11" 37.6' New State Champ
E Hemlock 10'1" 117.9'
E Hemlock 8'10" 121'
E Hemlock 8'2" 123.5'
E Hemlock 6'10" 123.6'
E Hemlock 9'2" 123.9'
E Hemlock 9'11" 125.1'
E Hemlock 10'7' 125.3'
E Hemlock 7'8" 126'
E Hemlock 7'5" 126.7'
E Hemlock NA 127.2'
E Hemlock 7'1" 131.6'
E Hemlock 9'6" 132.3'
E Hemlock 8'9" 138.1
Green Ash 9' 139.4'
Green Ash 9'10" 144'
Green Ash 9'8" 146.4' New East Coast Height?
London Planetree 10'6" 146.8' New East Coast Height?
Mockernut Hickory 5'6" 116.1'
N Red Oak 11'4" 130.5'
N Red Oak 11'2" 134.2'
N Red Oak 10'8" 135.9'
Pignut Hickory 10'7" 110.8'
Pignut Hickory 6'2" 123.6'
Pignut Hickory 10'9" 133.8' New PA State Champ
Red Maple 7'5" 97.8'
Sassafras 10'2" 91.8'
Sassafras 10' 97.6' Forest grown
Sassafras 8'3" 99.6' Forest grown
Sassafras 5'6" 100.1' Forest grown
Scarlet Oak 11'11" 112.1'
Scarlet Oak 11'8" 113.1'
Scarlet Oak 11'10" 121.3'
Scarlet Oak 9' 124.7'
Shagbark Hickory 5'7" 122.4'
Sugar Maple 9'10" 104.6' Planted
Sycamore 6'9" 131.3'
Sycamore 9'3" 132.9'
Sycamore ~10'1" 148.3' New PA Height?
Tulip Poplar 11'11" 153.7'
Tulip Poplar 9'8" 154.7'
Tulip Poplar 7'11" 156.3'
Tulip Poplar 7'9" 160.9'
Tulip Poplar 10'7' 162.3'
Umbrella Magnolia 3' 55.5'
Umbrella Magnolia 2'8" 70.4'
Umbrella Magnolia 2'10" 72.1' East Coast Height?
White Ash 11'11" 130.9'
White Oak 11'7" 118.3'
White Oak 9'4" 121.4'
White Oak 10'3" 121.6'
White Oak 9'3" 123.4'
White Oak 10'1" 124.5'
White Pine 9' 120.8'
White Pine 6'5" 140'
White Pine 7'2" 140.3'
White Pine 6'7" 141.3'
White Pine 6'6" 141.9'
Witch Hazel 2'.5" 37.1' New PA State Champ

Wissahickon Valley Park 12' x 100' Club
Species CBH Height
A Beech 12'3" 107.7'
Ash spp. 13'5" 124.3'
Black Oak ~12'2" 121.6' Ivy on trunk
Black Oak 12' 129.4'
Chestnut Oak 12'6" 103.2' Upper crown is dead
Cottonwood 12'5" 104.8'
N Red Oak 13'5" 121.5'
N Red Oak 12'8" 126.6'
N Red Oak 12'4" 130.3'
Tulip Poplar 14'1" 133.5'
Tulip Poplar 16'8" 134.6'
Tulip Poplar 16'7" 138'
Tulip Poplar 13'2" 140.9'
Tulip Poplar 14'3" 140.9'
Tulip Poplar ~17'1" 141.8' Ivy on trunk
Tulip Poplar 14'7" 143.5'
Tulip Poplar 17'1" 146.4'
Tulip Poplar 15'4" 146.5'
Tulip Poplar 12'2" 148'
Tulip Poplar 17' 148'
Tulip Poplar 12'10" 149.3'
Tulip Poplar 12'1" 149.6'

Wissahickon Valley Park 12' x 150' Club
Species CBH Height
Tulip Poplar 12'9" 150.5'
Tulip Poplar 14'1" 150.5'
Tulip Poplar 14'6" 150.6'
Tulip Poplar 15'1" 150.7'
Tulip Poplar 12'9" 151'
Tulip Poplar 14'9" 153.2'

Wissahickon Valley Park Rucker Index
Species CBH Height Coordinates Measurer
Tulip Poplar 10'7" 162.3' N40 02.720 x W75 12.725 Fieo
Bitternut Hickory 7'8" 150.1' N40 04.119 x W75 13.298 Fieo
Sycamore ~10'1" 148.3' N40 03.709 x W75 11.954 Fieo
Green Ash 9'8" 146.4' N40 04.125 x W75 13.295 Fieo
White Pine 6'6' 141.9' N40 03.114 x W75 12.600 Fieo
E Hemlock 8'9" 138.1' N40 03.937 x W75 13.238 Fieo
Black Oak 10'8" 136' N40 02.036 x W75 12.055 Fieo
N Red Oak 10'8" 135.9' Fieo
White Ash 7.3' 135.7' Blozan
Pignut Hickory 10'9" 133.8' N40 02.030 x W75 12.286 Fieo

RI 142.85'
by George Fieo
Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:06 pm
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Re: Silver Maple?


I measured two silver maples on Andruss Island back in November 2010 at 11'9" x 120' and 11' x 119.5'. The island is in the Schuylkill River along the Chester/Montgomery County line in Pa.

by George Fieo
Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:11 pm
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Cedar Hollow's Common Hackberry, PA


On 2/17/2013 I returned to Cedar Hollow Preserve to remeasure a tall common hackberry I first measured in 2009. The preserve is owned and maintained by the Open Land Conservancy of Chester County. This tree shares a common base with another hackberry that has slowly been losing it's footing over the years. About a year ago I recieved an email from the preserve's manager informing me that the lesser hackberry had finally blown down leaving the larger hackberry unscathed. The tree now stands at 12'8" x 119' and is currently the Northeast height champion for the species. Does anyone know of a taller specimen? Here are a few pics.

DSCF5541 Stitch.jpg




by George Fieo
Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:05 pm
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Re: Tree Maximums: Tree of the Week: Bigtooth aspen

Matt: Here is a bigtooth aspen I recently measured:
Country: USA
State or Province: Chester Co., Pennsylvania
Property Owner: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Site Name: White Clay Creek Preserve
Species (Scientific): Populus grandidentata
Species (Common): Bigtooth aspen
Tree Name:
NTS Measurer(s): George Fieo
Date of Measurement: 11/22/2012
Height (ft): 126.2
Method of Height Measurement: Sine Top-Sine Bottom with handheld Nikon 440 laser rangefinder, Brunton clinometer
CBH (ft): 3.7
Average Spread (ft):
Maximum Spread (ft):
Habitat: East facing, upper slope above White Clay Creek.
by George Fieo
Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:03 pm
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Re: Anyone know this tree?


The leaves look like Castor aralia (Kalopanax septemlobus) to me. The tree is native to Asia and is the largest member of the aralia family. Branches and stems are covered with thorns and become less prominent on older bark. Another feature are spurs with purple terminal buds.

by George Fieo
Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:57 pm
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Re: Exceptional forests in the Black Hills?


My brother in law grew up in the Black Hills and gave me three sites off the top of his head. His first choise is Sylvan Lake. It has a good trail system and is loaded with ponderosa pine. Another site is Harney Peak. It's the highest point between the Rocky and Pyrenees mountains. The last site is Spearfish Canyon with quite a few waterfalls. Its 40 minutes outside of Rapid City. He said he'll check his maps for other sites. If you have any questions let me know. Hope this helps.

by George Fieo
Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:48 pm
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Re: Upcoming Sand Run MetroPark Trip (Akron, OH)


I wish I could make every NTS invitation but thank you for putting it out there. The measuring season is upon us and Steve definitely knows where the tall ones are. Can't wait to hear what you find. Just remember to take lots of photos. I have several trip reports from last year to report on yet and hopefully several more for this season. Good luck.

by George Fieo
Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:12 pm
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Re: State Champion Tulip, KY's tallest


Welcome to NTS. That tulip is a beast!!! Great report, great pictures, can't wait to hear what else you find. Congratulations.


This was an epic event. We congratulate you. Your confirmation also put another point on the map for the geographical range of 170-foot tulips. We have them in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Ohio. We might have one in VA. We have two that are very close. We then have 160-footers in PA and DE. I expect there is at least one in NJ. Basically, we can see the drop in maximum height as we move northward. In CT and NY, we're down into the 150s. Going westward, I think we can find 150s in IN and IL. MI probably has a few 150s. We are getting a handle on the height curve for the species. I'm curious about AL. There are 150s there. I don't know about 160s. Probably not, and the max seems to drop off fairly significantly in MS.



Maryland has two 160' tulips. One in Belt woods and one I've not reported on yet.

by George Fieo
Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:33 pm
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Re: Help ID'ing Oak

Thanks Will. I'll upload better pics later.

by George Fieo
Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:53 pm
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Hamamelis (Witchhazel


Here's a nomination from the Philadelphia area.

Species (Scientific): Hamamelis virginiana
Species (Common): Witch-hazel
Height: 37.1'
CBH: 24.5"
Maximum Spread: 57'
Average Spread: 49.5'
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: Fairmount Park System
Subsite Name: Wissahickon Valley Park
Country: USA
State or Province: Pennsylvania
Property Owner: City of Philadelphia
Date of Measurement: 10/16/2011
Measurer: George Fieo
Method of Height Measurement: Sine method with handheld Nikon 440 laser rangefinder, Brunton clinometer.
Tree Name:
Habitat: Mid-slope of east facing slope above Wissahickon Creek.
Notes: Current Pennsylvania State Champion

by George Fieo
Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:12 pm
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Hamamelis (Witchhazel


Yes. The spread is of the entire group. I'll only measure the spread of the largest stem on these multistemmed species from now on so there's no confusion.


Forget about the spread of the Wissahickon specimen for now. The girth is fine. I measured the largest stem at 4.5'.

by George Fieo
Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:40 am
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Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park, PA


I made a road trip up to Salt Springs State Park on 11/12/2012. The parks main attraction is the Fall Brook Natural Area that features a steep gorge with several small waterfalls surrounded by old growth eastern hemlocks. Hemlocks 8' in girth and 90' in height are common. Hemlocks above the east side of the gorge are repeatedly battered by the elements. Dead falls, snags, and blown out tops with reiterations create large canopy gaps where hemlock recruitment is high. Unfortunately the largest hemlock I saw was down and had a girth of 11.1'. The tallest hemlock grows on the east wall of the gorge at mid slope and measured 10.6' x 125.6'.

The main purpose of this trip was to see and document these old hemlocks. Some are more than 300 years old. I did take lots of photos but they are locked in laptop that no longer works. Sorry. There were not enough species within the natural area to do a RHI10.

Species GBH Height Comment
A Basswood 7' 89.4'
A Basswood 6.3' 110.2'
A Beech 6.4' 96.9'
Bigtooth Aspen 5.5' 78.3'
Bigtooth Aspen 4.2' 79.3'
Black Cherry 8.1' 92.3'
Black Cherry 9.1' 112.9'
E Hemlock 11.1' Stump
E Hemlock 10.6' 90.7' Top out
E Hemlock 10.4' 91.1'
E Hemlock 8.7' 100.7' Top out
E Hemlock ~8' 100.7'
E Hemlock ~9' 110.8'
E Hemlock 9.6' 112.3'
E Hemlock 8.4' 122.6'
E Hemlock 10.6' 125.6'
E Hophornbeam 1.8' 48.6'
E Hophornbeam 1.2' 52.5'
Red Maple 7.1' 102.2'
Striped Maple NA 47.4'
Striped Maple 1.7' 58' GBH @ 4.5' of largest stem

by George Fieo
Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:47 pm
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Abies (fir)


Here's my nomination for balsam fir.

Species (Scientific): Abies balsamea
Species (Common): Balsam fir
Height (ft): 102.7
CBH (ft): 8
Maximum Spread (ft): 42
Average Spread (ft): 40.5
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: The Laurels Preserve
Subsite Name:
Country: USA
State or Province: Pennsylvania
Property Owner: Brandywine Conservancy
Date of Measurement: 11/20/2013
NTS Measurer(s): George Fieo
Method of Height Measurement: Sine Top-Sine Bottom with handheld Nikon 440 laser rangefinder, Brunton clinometer.
Tree Name:
Habitat: Forest
Notes: Planted specimen outside of native range at an elevation of 105'.

DSCF6029 Stitch.jpg

Brandon 3000.jpg

Brandon 3006.jpg

by George Fieo
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:36 pm
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Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Osage Orange


Here's my nomination for Osage orange.

Species (Scientific): Maclura pomifera
Species (Common); Osage orange
Height (ft): 87.6
CBH (ft): 9.6
Maximum Spread (ft):
Average Spread (ft):
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: Valley Forge National Park
Subsite Name:
Country: USA
State or Province: Pennsylvania
Property Owner: National Park Service
Date of Measurement: 1/19/2014
NTS Measurer(s): George Fieo
Method of Height Measurement: Sine Top-Sine Bottom with handheld Nikon 440 laser rangefinder, Brunton clinometer.
Tree Name:
Habitat: Floodplain forest
DSCF6050 Stitch.jpg

by George Fieo
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:09 pm
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Re: unknown tree in Egg Harbor City, NJ

Definitely hickory. You can see its flowers in the third photo.

by George Fieo
Thu May 22, 2014 9:20 pm
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