Zoar Valley Update

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#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
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#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
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#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.

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#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!

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#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
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#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.
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