Zoar Valley Update

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

#31)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby ElijahW » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:05 pm

Erik,

Sweet sassy-molassee!  Good work.  I think you did find the Elm and Beech that I previously measured; the dimensions are very close.  For the Cottonwood, your mid-slope placement may be a little lower than mine, but I don't think it is.  2-3 inches in added girth and 2.2' in height is a reasonable growth rate for that tree in that location.  

I was secretly hoping Michael's 165' Lidar hit would be a Sycamore, but alas, Tulips won't be denied.  Congrats again,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks
User avatar
ElijahW
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, NY
Has Liked: 211 times
Has Been Liked: 272 times
Print view this post

#32)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby M.W.Taylor » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:40 am

Erik and Elijah,

My apologies on that 165' hit. It is a major hillside leaner. I just plucked it out of the point cloud and can see it's leaning over a hillside. You can tell by looking at the height banding where the white top is offset from the lower base. This is a dead give-a-way for hillside leaner and inflated LIDAR reading.   I'll take a look at the watershed further to the south to see if I can get LIDAR for that and download more of Zoar Valley MUA in search of tall trees.

Michael T
User avatar
M.W.Taylor
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 12:45 pm
Location: Northern California
Has Liked: 35 times
Has Been Liked: 369 times
Print view this post

#33)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Erik Danielsen » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:49 pm

A few photos to accompany the last post. I can't figure out how to get them to display right side up in the post, but when you click on them they load in the correct orientation.
Attachments
20171209_142920.jpg
The 161.98' tuliptree is the stem on the left, with my tape faintly visible wrapped at midslope.
20171209_133951.jpg
The nice tall beech, not a huge or imposing tree, but a pleasant surprise once you train your laser on its uppermost twigs.
20171209_114822.jpg
The big cottonwood, now 142.2' tall.

For this message the author Erik Danielsen has received Likes :
bbeduhn
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 pm
Location: NYC
Has Liked: 248 times
Has Been Liked: 321 times
Print view this post

#34)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Erik Danielsen » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:42 pm

10/25 A scouting trip along the north rim going west past the knife-edge ridge took me through a mix of old growth and second growth. Hybrid Saul's oak made an appearance, along with black tupelo (some very old) and sassafras, not found elsewhere in the gorge. Emergent white pines visible from afar did not turn out to be tall, though one specimen on the gorge edge was respectably large. A half-broken serviceberry had the largest stem I've seen for the species. An odd environment "scooped" out of the main rim was home to a population of both common juniper and eastern redcedar, some of which I measured. Eventually descending to the westernmost terrace on the north bank, I had time to measureba sugar maple to at least 130'. A dense cluster of elms, probably slippery elm, with larger stems than typical in the canyon also caught my eye and may exceed 120' but there was too much foliage for satisfying measuring.

White Pine
108'    /    9.02'cbh
Serviceberry
51'     /     2.7'cbh, 3.8' circumference narrowest below split
Eastern Redcedar
25'     /     1.4'cbh
17.5'  /     0.7'cbh
Sugar Maple
130'    /    10.6'cbh
               
                       
R5837385.jpg
                       
The largest Serviceberry trunk I've encountered to date, diminished slightly by the loss of one stem.
               
               

               
                       
R5837405.jpg
                       
Juniperus virginiana and communis both sharing a small "scoop" of gravelly sloping soil cut into the north rim of the main canyon, directly across from the point peter lookout.
               
               

               
                       
R5837444.jpg
                       
130' Sugar Maple.
               
               


11/3 I left the Holcomb Pond parking lot to examine a stand of white pines on the north rim uplands towards the eastern limits of the MUA. This stand catches some attention in online guidebooks due to its large-seeming pines. These are in fact all youngish scraggly multitrunk trees with fat bases, but a few get into the 120s. I descended to a small, unfamiliar terrace. Much of it was swampy, and a very large old ash caught my attention, rather unlike most white ash in the canyon- I was hoping it would be a green ash, but after measuring, leaf scars on dropped twigs confirmed white ash. Also evident was a sizeable Black Maple population. I measured one mature tree I could confirm, but with leaves all down and the overlap in bark characteristics with old trees, it may take another leaf cycle to determine whether black maple will join the ranks of really tall species in zoar.

White Pine
122.5'    /    7.8'cbh
121'      /     10.3'cbh double
White Ash
126'     /     10.4'cbh
Black Maple
105.5'    /    7'cbh
               
                       
IMGP9373.jpg
                       
Black Maple turns out to be abundant on some of the eastern terraces.
               
               


12/2 I parked along the road at the very eastern tip of the MUA and descended to the young floodplain terrace there. This is dominated by black walnut, cottonwood, black and sugar maples, a little sycamore, a little red oak, and white ash. Canopy rarely exceeds 85'. I did see a lot of chunky hornbeam, and measured some flowering dogwoods, nothing exceptional.

Moving west and up onto the plateau I entered some nice northern hardwoods regrowth, with trees occasionally popping up to 110-120 but mostly smaller, where a nice little American Chestnut appeared. Continuing west and gaining elevation, a "shelf" below the main rim but still high above the river terraces was covered in nice hardwoods including tulips into the 130s, and within this a new tallest Cuke for Zoar turned up. Finally descending to a narrow, sloping terrace I was surprised by an abundance of very tall white ash and red oak, and also measured some nice hickories. I don't think I caught all the worthwhile trees on this terrace by any means, but I was running out of time and headed back. Definitely high on the list for a return visit.

White Ash
139.46'    /    8.72'cbh
137.3'     /     9.71'cbh
Northern Red Oak
135.5'     /     7.9'cbh
132'       /      7.2'cbh
130.9'    /     7.5'cbh
Bitternut Hickory
121.5'    /     5.2'cbh
Shagbark Hickory
112'      /      6.03'cbh
Cucumber Magnolia
116.5'   /     7.02'cbh
American Chestnut
85.9'     /     2.95'cbh
Hornbeam
29.5'     /     2.92'cbh
Flowering Dogwood
24'       /      0.85'cbh
21.5'    /     0.82'cbh
               
                       
IMGP0018.jpg
                       
139.4' tall white ash.
               
               

Finally, on 12/7 I left the point peter parking lot and followed the gorge west along its south rim, finally descending to the westernmost terrace on the south bank. Most of this terrace appears to have been cut over and probably farmed, but there are sections of older and taller trees hugging the canyon slope, with the tallest growing right along where it levels off before giving way to the respectable bitternut-hickory dominated regrowth that covers most of the terrace (much of that reaching 110-120). I measured in the band of tall trees until blowing snow made the laser useless (and then barely made it home! Fortunately as I write this my snow tires are being mounted). Definitely more to measure there, but fortunately it's very easy to access compared to other parts of the gorge.

Cottonwood
131.5'     /     9.6'cbh
Bitternut Hickory
137'      /      6.82'cbh
123'      /      5.38'cbh
Black Walnut
120.5'   /     6.58'cbh
119.5'   /     8.2'cbh
Slippery Elm
110.5'   /     6.82'cbh

I believe that brings this year so far up to date for me. Zoar is the gift that keeps on giving!

For this message the author Erik Danielsen has received Likes :
bbeduhn
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 pm
Location: NYC
Has Liked: 248 times
Has Been Liked: 321 times
Print view this post

#35)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby ElijahW » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:45 pm

Nice work, Erik.

Directly below Point Peter, descending the western edge of the point, is a nice group of tall Sugar Maples.  I did some exploring in that area, but didn’t record any measurements.  

I see a clear difference in the Black Maple leaves you found and the normal Sugar Maple leaves.  I found identical leaves at Green Lakes SP this fall, but had the same problem you did in identifying their tree of origin.  I don’t see any difference in bark color or texture between the two species, though supposedly Black Maple sometimes is darker.  I expect the maximum height for Black Maple at Green Lakes should be around 110’, but that’s just a guess.

Peace,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks
User avatar
ElijahW
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, NY
Has Liked: 211 times
Has Been Liked: 272 times
Print view this post

#36)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Erik Danielsen » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:03 pm

Yeah, I suspect they may hit similar heights to sugar maple at both sites. From what I've been able to tell black maple often has a "tighter" bark than sugar, sometimes more ridged than plated, almost like the difference between white oak and red oak but to a lesser degree of difference. Then again, individual sugar maples occasionally vary in that direction to the same degree. I haven't noticed a real color difference but the older balding black maple was actually very light. According to some book I just browsed on wood identification, their tissues are pretty much indistinguishable in microscopic structure as well. I'm definitely not confident on separating them without leaves. Sometimes I feel like I can take a pretty solid guess, but that's it.
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 pm
Location: NYC
Has Liked: 248 times
Has Been Liked: 321 times
Print view this post

#37)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Erik Danielsen » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:55 pm

I've made a couple visits to Zoar's main canyon in the last couple days. Volume measurements for the Knife-Edge Terrace Tuliptree and the giant cottonwood in the south branch have been the primary goals, but I've measured other trees along the way.

On Monday 2/12, after descending the knife-edge ridge into the canyon, I made a measurement of Zoar's tallest sycamore from across the stream, standing roughly where Elijah measured it to 157.7' in November 2016. On this occasion I did not have my tripod out and I couldn't get a read off the very top twigs. The numbers worked out to 159.98'. I'm certainly not taking this as a final measurement, at that distance with no tripod, but it shouldn't be more than a couple feet off at most. Based on the significant visible growth on the highest leader (which gained a lot of lateral twigs as well) I would not be surprised if the current true height is 159' or so. 160? Maybe, maybe not. Next year? I'd bet on it.
               
                       
DSC_3754.jpg
                       
The Knife-Edge Ridge is always gorge-ous
               
               

On Knife-Edge Terrace itself I measured two Hemlocks. One wound up being the largest I've modeled for volume in Zoar Valley so far. Then I moved on to modeling the big Tuliptree. Its basic measurements haven't changed much since November 2016, just a slight increase in girth, really. Mapping and modeling its large crown was interesting; I modeled two major limbs plus a smaller limb that was similar in size to about 6 others elsewhere in the crown (slightly smaller than most of them, to keep the model conservative). Once I've modeled crowns on at least a few more hardwoods I'll make a topic detailing these and comparing the processes. In the meantime it's more accurate to say “I modeled 1070 ft3 of the tree's total volume” than “the tree's total volume is 1070 ft3.” There is limb wood that is left out of my current modeling as the sun was going down, as well as all that twigging I'm not yet sure how to account for.
               
                       
DSC_3823.jpg
                       
From the shape of its trunk and condition of its bark, I'd suspect the Knife Edge Terrace Tulip is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, tulip in the canyon.
               
               

Eastern Hemlock
126.7' tall / 7.58'cbh
119' tall / 8.82'cbh / 405 ft3 approximate volume
Tuliptree
145.05' tall / 11.48'cbh / 1070 ft3 approximate volume
Sycamore
159.98' tall +-2'

Tuesday 2/13 I headed down into the south branch to visit the big cottonwood, but first traced the canyon even further south to check out the 160'+ LiDAR hit that appeared to be just a little further upstream from the 161.98' tulip. When I got to the right spot, I saw a very substantial sycamore rooted about halfway up the canyon slope growing at an angle of about 45 degrees out into the canyon. I suspect this tree may have been the culprit! It was not wasted time, however. A northern red oak rooted near it caught my eye, and when I made initial VD-mode measurements it was shown to be at least 135' tall. I ran up and wrapped a tape (10.73'cbh), made careful measurements from my tripod, wrote them down, and continued... doing the math later, the height came to 145.4'. In this case, I really think I wrote something down incorrectly. I'll have to shoot the height again before spring brings the leaves back on. Below it stands the snag of what was once an enormous white ash more than 12'cbh- wish I had seen that tree standing!

Nearby, I confirmed that the slightly thicker tulip that grows “under” the 161.98' tree is another 150, but did not get a cbh. Heading back to the cottonwood, I spied a really nice viewing window on the canyon's tallest hemlock, which in 8/2016 I had measured from a precarious position up on the slope to 130.8'/8'cbh. From this new vantage point down on the terrace, I could see that the tree's uppermost tuft of growth was on the side away from the direction of my initial measurement, and may not have been visible. So, I ran up to wrap my tape for a reference point, came back down to my tripod, and... got a new state height record for eastern hemlock. Zoar does not mess around. It appears that I selected a slightly lower midslope this time, but I am confident in my placement.

I only had time to start modeling the big cottonwood, collecting diameters up the trunk for the “narrow” axis and modeling the lower 2/3 of the smallest of the three main crown limbs. If, at this point, I calculated the volume using just the narrow axis of the trunk as though it had a circular cross section, and substituted the volume of that smallest leader for all three, it'd come to 984 ft3. A little more chickenscratch suggests that final figures if it's only as elliptical as the knife-edge terrace tulip (though it looks to be moreso) will get up to a minimum of 1200 ft3. I doubt any other tree in the canyon will match this cottonwood for volume.

Eastern Hemlock
135.2' tall / 8.4'cbh
Tuliptree
150.03' tall
Cottonwood
142.2' tall / 14.96'cbh / >980 ft3

The RHI10 (if I use 159' as a placeholder for the sycamore height) is now running up at 142.5. The tallest northern red oak and bitternut likely have some new growth to be measured.

For this message the author Erik Danielsen has received Likes :
Larry Tucei
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 pm
Location: NYC
Has Liked: 248 times
Has Been Liked: 321 times
Print view this post

#38)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Erik Danielsen » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:01 pm

2/20 I made the nice easy hike down to the terrace on the east side of the South Branch, which is as Elijah notes one of the nicest parts of the canyon. I was hoping to model the large tuliptree there, with the greatest cbh of any tulip at Zoar yet measured. I warmed up on a few other trees (including a bitternut right next to the waterfall I think Elijah measured previously) and found that I wasn't really feeling up to serious modeling. The big tree is beautiful, younger-looking than the others of similar size, splitting reasonably high into 3 more well-limbed leaders, near-vertical themselves, and rises over 150'.

Wandering down to the edge of the stream nearby (at full flood), I looked across the gorge to see that underneath the tall cliff was a narrow strip of sloping soil in which there were in fact trees growing. This is just upstream of where I had concluded my search of Michael's second 160' LiDAR hit, having assumed that everything around the bend was just sheer cliff, and that a leaning sycamore on the slope just before the bend must be the source of the hit. It felt necessary to check these trees, just in case they might be the real source of the hit. One tulip returned readings suggesting a 130'+ height. Shifting around to get a good view on the next, I hit the button and... 167'! The base was above me, of course. I shot that too, and refined the readings on the top, and there it was: Zoar has not one but two measured 160'+ tuliptrees now.
               
                       
20180220_141033.jpg
                       
The 161.05' Tulip.
               
               

I wandered further upstream, to the terrace right across from the forty road parking lot. This one seems fairly disturbed, with fewer really old, tall trees, the greatest interest being a scattering of very large tuliptrees appearing to be 150 years old or less. I measured three. These will make nice inclusions in the tuliptree modeling project, being not far off their elders in size, but very different in crown form. At the south edge of this terrace (across from the private Deer Lick Preserve) is a section with many hemlocks marked after being treated by the NYS DEC for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. So far, even in the area of the recorded infestation, I have not seen any HWA in Zoar. In addition to the treatments, my understanding is that the last couple winters have had the type of climate swings that are suspected to suppress HWA populations.

All Trees Measured:
Tuliptree
161.05' tall
145' tall / 10.43'cbh
144' tall / 9.54'cbh
137.5' tall / 9.07'cbh
Bitternut Hickory
134.31' tall / 5.97'cbh
Sugar Maple
127.38' tall / 6.23'cbh
Black Cherry
121.44' tall / 6.81'cbh

Heading back up the hill, I explored the second-growth south of the conifer plantations on the eastern rim of the south branch, to the furthest boundary of the DEC land. Some sections are almost exclusively tulip, nothing old. A Butternut was a surprise- the bark in the base of the fissures was lighter than on the ridges, though, so I suspect it might be a hybrid rather than the type species. There are interesting pockets and sub-shelves on the gorge wall here, and there may be some mini-terraces below. Plenty of hiding places for interesting trees, in other words. At one point I followed a descending ridgeline to find myself on a second, smaller bare "hogsback", complete with its own community of stunted chestnut oak and white oak, but somewhat hidden from the canyon below by quite a bit of white pine on the lower slopes- this spot feels like a place apart. And indeed, here is something unique; truly ancient and gnarled eastern redcedars, growing inverted from rooting points in the cliff on one side of the hogsback, at least three that I could see and every bit as sinuous and weathered as you could find anywhere. I look forward to photographing these on a dryer day. Two were more exposed, and tiny. One was tucked a little closer to the shelter of the hemlocks overhead and seems more substantial, though I could only see part of it. Regardless, these are definitely candidates for Zoar's oldest trees, even with ages already verified out to several centuries elsewhere in the canyon.

In the second growth near the extreme boundary of the MUA I was surprised by no less than four very substantial serviceberries. I wasn't measuring anymore by this point, navigating in fading daylight, but so many 12"dbh+ amelanchiers was something special to see.
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 pm
Location: NYC
Has Liked: 248 times
Has Been Liked: 321 times
Print view this post

#39)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby Larry Tucei » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 am

Erik- Nice Post.  Congratulations on all of the finds you are making. 160' Tulips that far north is awesome and the 159' Sycamore is off the charts! Wow Zoar Valley is a tree measuring mecca! Good to hear that the Hemlocks are doing well.  Your volume measurements are also interesting. Keep up the great work.    Larry
User avatar
Larry Tucei
 
Posts: 1873
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Southern Mississippi
Has Liked: 720 times
Has Been Liked: 596 times
Print view this post

#40)  Re: Zoar Valley Update

Postby ElijahW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:16 pm

Erik,

Congrats again.  Zoar is much more complex than I imagined, and I assume Tom Diggins and Bruce Kershner would be very pleased with what you’ve found the last couple of years.  This forest is significant.  Thanks for sharing your work,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks
User avatar
ElijahW
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, NY
Has Liked: 211 times
Has Been Liked: 272 times
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to New York

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest