Verona Beach State Park

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Verona Beach State Park

Post by ElijahW » Mon May 07, 2018 7:40 pm


Tom Howard and I first surveyed this park on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake last fall, but the leaves were still on the trees, and we had some difficulties in locating the tops of the tallest ones. We made a second visit April 29, and were more successful.

What makes Verona, and nearby Sylvan, Beach interesting is not the size nor age of the trees, but the species composition. North and east of Oneida Lake, elevation steadily increases, and many of the southern trees found in central NY disappear, giving way to the Maple-Beech forests and eventually Pine and Spruce-Fir forests of the Adirondacks. The white oaks are generally absent from the mountains, as are Tulips, Sassafras, and Black Gum. Some southern species do reappear north of the Adirondacks, in a swath along the St. Lawrence from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain, but that’s a little off-topic. Verona Beach has a great collection of the southern species growing naturally, and due to the deep sandy soil, also supports a healthy, though young, Pitch Pine community.

Here’s a summary of what Tom and I were able to measure:


115.6’ x 8.68’
114.2’ x 7.98’

Eastern Hemlock

107.2’ x 5.7’

Red Maple


Black Gum

101.3’ x 7’

Tom also measured a Yellow Birch to about 90’ and a White Oak to just over 100.’

Trees present but not measured:

Northern Red Oak
White Ash
Black Cherry
Eastern Cottonwood
Eastern White Pine
Pitch Pine

Tom and I were under the impression that the small strip of forest we surveyed was rather young, but a closer look revealed many potential old-growth features, including pit and mound topography, stag-headed crowns, and balding bark extended up trunks. Several trees, especially a couple of the Gums, appear particularly aged.

Some photos of our trip:
Red Maple-Hemlock forest
Red Maple-Hemlock forest
Old Tuliptree
Old Tuliptree
Tom with the oldest-looking Gum
Tom with the oldest-looking Gum
"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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