A New 150 footer for New York State

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Matt Markworth
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A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by Matt Markworth » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:31 pm

NTS,

I recently returned from a 10 day trip to the Northeast and the trip was bookended by quite a contrast. My first full day was spent exploring Midtown Manhattan, and my last 3 days were spent within the Five Ponds Wilderness in the Adirondacks - from one extreme to the other. I had to finally see the former, but I much prefer the latter.

Despite all the great sites and trees visited during the trip, my favorite parts by far were the great times shared with NTS folks - Bob, Monica, Erik, Ray, and Jared. Getting a tour of Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan (thanks again Erik!) and the great times, great trees (and great ice cream!) in Massachusetts are memories that I'll carry for a very long time.

I tend to keep my schedule pretty loose when on trips, and although I had originally planned to visit eastern Massachusetts towards the tail end of the trip, the lure of the Adirondacks proved to be too much and I headed Northwest upon leaving western Massachusetts.

Much can be said about the forest types within Five Ponds, but the things that stood out the most to me were:

- Old growth is extensive and is scattered throughout. There was definitely some logging, but extensive logging was not done for all forest types.

- There was extensive damage from the 1995 derecho. In one case I found a very seldomly used trail (no longer on the official maps, yet still marked) and for a couple miles the forest was mostly blowdown with regrowth.

- I didn't see any oaks. Upon looking at a range map, I see that I was in the blank spot on the range map for northern red oak.

- Without attempting to separately list the species associated with each forest type, overall the species that I noticed the most were yellow birch, balsam fir, red maple, sugar maple, red spruce, eastern hemlock, black cherry, white pine, and American beech. Ten or so other species were observed, but didn’t seem as prevalent as the ones mentioned. Some of the others that I really enjoyed seeing were tamarack, striped maple, bigtooth aspen, and northern white cedar.

The tallest tree measured was a 10.34’ x 151.8’ white pine deep within the wilderness. It’s in a very remote spot and is about an 18 mile round trip hike based on the commonly used trail. The “shortcut” trail that I found through blowdown cuts it down to about a 14 mile round trip.

At first sight the tree looks taller than it is, and would have been taller in it’s prime since it has a dead top. It has the 4 main factors for superlative height that I often see (sufficient age, shelter, deep soil, and water access). The tree is so ideally positioned at the bottom of a curved hill that it makes me wonder if this is a case of a perfect storm for white pine tree height at this site.

There are a lot of white pines in the 120's and a good number in the 130's, but moving up into the 140's and beyond will probably be few and far between at the site. That being said, I was extremely impressed with how well white pine does at this latitude, which was above the 44th parallel.

Photos and video of the 10.34' x 151.8' white pine:
pine base.jpg
pine top.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izVGl2XVfNE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izVGl2XVfNE


A beaver wasn't happy with my presence (sound recommended):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emNwKseF06w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emNwKseF06w

Other scenes:
IMG_7657 (6).jpg
IMG_7664.jpg
IMG_7682.jpg
Matt

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Larry Tucei
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:05 pm

Matt- I hear you on the latter! Good photos! I'll be going up to New England in Oct look forward to seeing the Forest up that way. The White Pine are so adapted to the northern climate like our tall Loblollies down south. Larry

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Matt Markworth
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by Matt Markworth » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:54 pm

Larry,

Very cool! I loved it up there. You'll probably be there at the perfect time for fall colors.

I can think of at least 3 rules... make sure to see TALL pines, make sure to see BIG sycamores, AND last but not least, make sure to visit as many local diners and ice cream shops as possible. The food was incredible!

Matt

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Don
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by Don » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:41 pm

Clearly you had a great NE visit!
Especially with the beaver episode...I've only seen two myself, one in Eastern Arizona...such events are rare these days, and a treat to be sure...especially when they 'clap' for you!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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ElijahW
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by ElijahW » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:37 am

Matt,

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip into Five Ponds. My brother has wanted for years to make a multi-day canoe journey down the Oswegatchie, but we haven't been able to pull it off. The area is well-known for its wildness, but as far as I know, serious tree measurement, formal or informal, has never been done.

Finding a 150' pine was unexpected; my assumption was maybe a handful that survived the blowdown would make 140' and an average would be in the 120s. Given the form of this tree, wind is an obvious obstacle to height growth. Five Ponds is also one of the colder areas in NY, regularly reaching subzero temperatures in winter. The remaining old growth ought to be very old.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. If you can make it back here at some point, I'd love to join you.

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by Erik Danielsen » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:58 am

ENTS Five Ponds Wilderness 2017 Expedition? As the year gets going let's all keep in touch regarding what schedule openings we might all be able to link up.

Especially tall pines may be unlikely due to the site conditions, but no doubt the remaining old growth is worth documenting and appreciating. Attached is a document with some trees a member of the facebook page posted. Not sure how those spruces stack up compared to other parts of the dacks but they don't look small, at the least.
Attachments
5pondsnotes.pdf
(731.98 KiB) Downloaded 88 times

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bbeduhn
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Re: A New 150 footer for New York State

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:55 pm

Matt,
Simply sublime photos which capture the wilderness experience! I've seen one wild beaver in all of my times in the forest. Nice!
Brian

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