Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island

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Erik Danielsen
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:46 pm

Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:12 pm

Just 4 blocks from my home is Moravian Cemetery, a fairly large and old cemetery with quite a variety of trees. Strolling through the cemetery the largest trees are a couple chunky tulips, many red and white oaks, a ginko, a few fat european beech, and of course the ubiquitous london planetrees. None of those are exceptional for their species and open environment, except perhaps a london plane and a scarlet oak that may be of exceptional girth (due to the very cold temperatures today I kept actual girth measurement to a minimum). More interesting are the cemetery's uncommon nonnative species.

It'll be easier to parse out what's present here when the leaves start emerging, but I took the time to measure and observe a few trees on my way through the cemetery, headed to High Rock Park. One specimen new to me was a european Silver Fir (Abies alba) measuring 76.6' tall. Next to this tree were a few Western Redcedars and a Douglas Fir. The Western Redcedar measured 8.4'cbh and the Douglas Fir 6.5'cbh. I neglected to measure their height as the silver fir distracted me, but I'll certainly get those next time.

The next very interesting tree is a magnolia of some sort. I'm hoping someone here can help me with the identification. Measurements- 51.2'/7.3'cbh
You can zoom in on this image and see the winter buds.
You can zoom in on this image and see the winter buds.
A seedpod
A seedpod
Bark and trunk form.
Bark and trunk form.
View of the branching structure.
View of the branching structure.
As I got towards the back of the cemetery at the edge of the woods, I noted many American Bladdernut husks on the ground. I have yet to learn the form of the shrub/tree they came from. There was an additional mystery tree here, about a dozen trees up to a foot thick and maybe 50 feet tall, with thickly ridged light gray bark that I would have assumed to be cottonwood- except that their bare branches bore many little clusters of dark shriveled fruits. I'm really lost with that one, for now, but I photographed an unfamiliar leaf from the ground nearby.
The unfamiliar leaf. Or it could be beech. Just seemed a little different.
The unfamiliar leaf. Or it could be beech. Just seemed a little different.

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ElijahW
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island

Post by ElijahW » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:29 am

Erik,

I realize that this thread is almost five years old now, but I figured I'd give your two ID questions a shot. The first tree, by form and bark, looks like a Magnolia kobus. The seed pods I'm unsure about. The leaf certainly appears to be Fagus sylvatica. You've probably figured out these trees already; this is just my two cents.

Did you get any photos of the European Silver Fir?

Elijah

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Erik Danielsen
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:02 pm

Hi Elijah,

Thanks for the Magnolia suggestion. I really haven't gotten any more familiar with these nonnative trees since I posted, to be honest. I do think the leaf may be more likely F. grandifolia than sylvatica based on the lack of cilia around the edges and it was found near the cemetery edge, adjacent to a large area of native hardwood forest with abundant young beech.

I didn't get great photos of the Silver Fir but I did get a couple- one of the base (surrounded by Rhododendron), one of some foliage. I wouldn't be surprised if I've misidentified it, but the interesting layered architecture of the branching (which unfortunately I did not photograph) seemed a good match for what I'd been reading about the species.
Putative silver fir base.
Putative silver fir base.
Putative silver fir foliage.
Putative silver fir foliage.

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