The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

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JHarkness
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drain

Post by JHarkness » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:57 pm

Beautiful photos and beautiful trees, Erik! This looks like an incredible place, impressive hemlocks and those black cherries are stunning! Most of the black cherry trees I see here are tall, contorted pole-sized trees, the few nice ones are typically quite small, at least compared to the other dominant hardwoods, for example I know of only one black cherry that managed to top 100' in my area, and it's a very strange tree that doesn't reflect the species very well.

Joshua
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Erik Danielsen
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drain

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:43 am

Returning recently to stand C, it turns out that the old growth extends around the edge of the intersection of the smaller ravine with of the main ravine of the Canadaway for some distance on the slope. More old hemlocks and some very impressive sugar maples join the count. This may be one of the largest contiguous patches of old-growth in the county. Lots of ideas and measuring to pursue in the dormant season, but for now one of the new hemlocks at ~108' tall, 8.9'cbh, and a very beautiful form.
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Erik Danielsen
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:50 am

Recently I took the time to collect a core sample from a Hemlock in the first location I posted about in this thread, the narrow ridges in the steep ravine at location "D" on the map. Previously, a section I cut from a snapped-off hemlock of modest size showed at least 291 growth rings. This newly sampled tree is a live specimen with a diameter of roughly 14" (35cm) where it was cored. I haven't measured the height yet but it's not more than 60'.

The mounted and prepared core yields a full count of 478, placing the innermost ring at 1542 AD. The tightest section of growth includes a full century of rings in just 12mm. Unfortunately this core missed the pith a by a bit, which could add a couple decades or could add quite a few. In the near future I hope to be able to get back to it to collect a "B" core for crossdating and make sure to get the pith, but when I checked yesterday the seasonal road accessing the site was impassible. Suffice to say this stunted ridgeline forest is old!
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Old-growth characteristics are pronounced on this small tree, but it's far from being the only one with similar traits in this habitat.
Old-growth characteristics are pronounced on this small tree, but it's far from being the only one with similar traits in this habitat.
>478 year old Hemlock
>478 year old Hemlock

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ElijahW
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:07 pm

Erik,

Wow, this is exciting! Nice find. Maybe I'll have to get into the coring game, as well. Congratulations.

Elijah

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BeeEnvironment2020
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

Post by BeeEnvironment2020 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:49 am

Yes! This really is an amazing forest! Those Hemlocks really stun me! Increment coring is sure a fascinating topic to learn about. However, do any of you fill up the holes after taking the cores? I have always thought that filling it up with some type of foam (like great stuff) would help prevent moisture and lots of bacteria from getting in and rotting the wood, I suppose?
Is crossdating where you assign a year to a ring? I have always been at odds with the term.
Thanks, BeeEnvironment

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:42 pm

Thanks Elijah.

BeeEnvironment, my understanding is that at this point filling or plugging increment borer holes is considered to have no benefit and even potential to cause harm by interfering with the tree's natural processes for compartmentalizing small wounds. Most of the old trees I have cored in this region already show active internal decay (which can make getting a good core tricky) and in some cases have probably been coping with those decay organisms for most of their lifespan.

Crossdating involves having cores from two different sides of the tree, so that you can cross-reference their growth patterns against each other and identify instances where there may be hidden or missing rings (or false rings depending on the species) from part of the tree's circumference in years with poor growth or traumatic events. This makes the process of assigning dates to rings more reliable.

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BeeEnvironment2020
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Re: The Ancient Hemlock Ravines of the Canadaway Creek Drainage

Post by BeeEnvironment2020 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:08 pm

Ahh, ok. I never quite understood whether filling the hole would help the tree or not. It does make sense that it probably has no benefit, because as you just said, it actually can interfere with the tree healing.
Crossdating sounds pretty complicated! Increment coring is definitely a fascinating topic though. I hope to get into it in the future if I can purchase one of those amazing Haglofs I have been hearing so much about!
I was looking through your photos of the waterfalls and OG forests of Canadaway Creek, and it is a beautiful place! No place with such waterfalls or forest really exist for at least a few hours from where I'm located (Ricketts Glen SP is the closest). I wonder if there is a online map or something describing or telling of waterfalls through the east-coast? They may be good places to explore for OG maybe.
BeeEnvironment

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