Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

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

Re: Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

Post by ElijahW » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:33 pm

NTS,

Severance Hill Trail 1.2 Miles (2.4 out & back) 9/16/17

Eastern White Pine

148.5' x 11'6"
145.6' x 7'1"
145.3' x 8'10"
143.3' x 8'2"
142' x 8'5"

Red Maple

114.3' x 5'6"

Eastern Hemlock

114' x 5'4"
112.9' x 4'11"
111.8' x 6'3"
105.5' x 7'2"

Sugar Maple

109.6' x 9'3"

American Basswood

107.8' x 8'1"

Tamarack

98' x 5'2"

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)

91.1' x 6'

Aside from the tamarack listed above, all of the trees in this post were measured off-trail. This lovely tamarack is located near the start of the trail after crossing under the interstate. On the ascent to the top of Severance Hill are several nice large White Pines which I haven't measured, but I don't think they'll exceed 120' in height. Severance's summit, though not tremendously high, offers great views of Schroon Lake and the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness to the east. The Peaked Hills of the Blue Ridge range are visible to the west and north.

All of the measured tall pines are located in a small, nearly-pure stand bordering private property, and probably date from 1890 or so. 150' White pines should be appearing in the next decade or so. A second age class, noticeably younger, of pines contains trees up to about 130', and will be interesting to watch in the future. These younger trees are likely slightly under 100 years old and are growing on fairly level terrain with good soil.

As far as I'm aware, the listed Red Maple is the tallest yet measured in the Adirondacks. Severance's topography is conducive to tall hardwoods; the eastern lower slope is cut by several shallow, dry ravines, forcing trees to put on height to compete with their neighbors. I also measured both Northern Red Oak and White Ash to over 105', but had trouble re-locating the trees to confirm the heights after checking out some other spots. Probably due to its low elevation (1000'>), relatively rich soil, and disturbance history, Red Oak is a common canopy tree in several areas on Severance's eastern slope.

Some more wildflower photos:
Canada mayflower fruit
Canada mayflower fruit
Tea berry (Wintergreen)?
Tea berry (Wintergreen)?
White Wood Aster?
White Wood Aster?
Self-heal?
Self-heal?
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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ElijahW
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Re: Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

Post by ElijahW » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:10 pm

Bob,

This 54' Stripey is my best so far. Huntington Wildlife Forest in Newcomb has three or four over 50', but that's a managed forest, and they'll be cut eventually, I think. 65' is a realistic maximum height, from what I've seen.

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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ElijahW
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Re: Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

Post by ElijahW » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:58 am

NTS,

This August I finally got around to climbing Hoffman Mountain, and since I said that I would update this thread when the time came, that’s what I’m doing. For those interested, Hoffman’s summit (3700’) offers zero views. I came upon a herd trail for the last few yards to the top, but approximately four of the five and a half mile trek is a bushwack; first through nice hardwoods, then through mostly Balsam Fir and Red Spruce stands. The round trip took me eleven hours, in addition to a half hour lunch break at the top (the ascent from the trailhead is ~2500’).

I only measured one tree, an American Mountain-ash (Sorbus americana ). It was 34.6’ tall, with a CBH of 2.85’. The tree grows at 3085’.

The tree species I spotted on the summit were pretty typical of Adirondack peaks: Balsam Fir, Red Spruce, Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) and American Mountain-ash. The only additional interesting thing I encountered related to trees on my hike was what appeared to be an old growth hardwood stand at just over 3000’ in elevation, breaking up the monotony of Spruce and Fir. This small forest was made up of large Sugar Maples, American Beech, and Yellow Birch. The trees were respectably tall (less than 100’), though I didn’t record any of their measurements.

I don’t plan to make this climb again, but thought I should follow up on my promise from 2017.

Elijah

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:17 am

Nothing like a good bushwack to a viewless peak with no official trails to avoid the crowds in the adirondacks this summer. Interesting to hear about the old-growth hardwoods you encountered at elevation- in my recent trip over the flank of Ampersand and bushwacking up adjacent Van Dorrien, some really spectacular old-growth hardwood patches appeared above 2000' and the most impressive birches in particular in a patch at around 2800'. Pretty much all of these have clearly lost all their large beech to bark disease, though.

What's the highest elevation tree you've measured in the adirondacks?

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ElijahW
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Re: Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

Post by ElijahW » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:44 pm

Erik,

This Mountain Ash is the highest-elevation tree I’ve measured in the Adirondacks.

I loved your account of Ampersand and Van Dorrien; that whole area has become a goldmine. I think that exploration of new places is really good for the human spirit as well as science, whether what is found is exceptional or not.

Elijah

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