Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Project

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:16 pm

Given that the scars occur so uniformly on both the maples I'd be inclined to suspect they resulted from interaction with a wire fence at some point in the past. They do seem to be present in a bit of a "boundary zone."

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ElijahW
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by ElijahW » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:12 am

Erik Danielsen wrote:Given that the scars occur so uniformly on both the maples I'd be inclined to suspect they resulted from interaction with a wire fence at some point in the past. They do seem to be present in a bit of a "boundary zone."
I'll second that, Erik. Both maples appear to have the same scar pattern at the same height: three lines in parallel. Barbed wire fences are often three or four strands at about that height, and that's what I suspect is the cause, though it could also be a wooden plank fence.

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

Joe

Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by Joe » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:48 am

adam.rosen wrote:Are those old skid scars, or sleigh scars, on the left side maple?
wild guess, but I suggest they indicate where some sort of fence ran along the trees way back....
Joe

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adam.rosen
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by adam.rosen » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:52 pm

Fall is pretty spectacular this year. Not too late for a trip to Vermont. Lots of nice places here.

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adam.rosen
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by adam.rosen » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:22 pm

hemlock at Marsh Billings, one of them.jpg
[attachment=1]

I was at Marsh Billings again this past week. I was able to see the champion white pine tree, and walk more of the trails there. In addition to the abundant second growth pines and spruces, the site hosts a variety of aged hemlock trees. Some date to the early plantation plantings, and I was able to count 137 rings on a small specimen.

There are hemlock and maple trees at what appears nearly the maximum height for their species in this location. I have attached two photographs, not for the height of the trees, but the length of the bole. The top one is of a hemlock, below is a maple. A hemlock inventory of the north side of the park might yield a dozen or so OG hemlock.

I surveyed one that had broken off at about a 30 foot snap. I paced off each section of down and dead hemlock--it was like an old style photo of OG logging from 100 years ago. This tree had over 60 feet of limbless branches. The only comparable "mess" I have ever seen was a blowdown in the Elder's Grove in the Adirondaks.

I would enjoy the opportunity to survey and see the hemlocks and maples at Marsh Billings--I suspect there are many 100 footers, at least, in this park.
Attachments
March Billings Canopy Maple.jpg

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JHarkness
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Re: Marsh-billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park Projec

Post by JHarkness » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:07 pm

Adam,

Apologies for reopening an old thread. I was at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller property a few weeks ago, and I think that you're onto something. I was impressed by the pines and spruces, but the hemlocks and maples there are absolutely incredible, I'm unclear about how many are genuine old growth and how many are second growth that have had been able to develop their crown and bark characteristics faster from the selective logging that has taken place there. Some sugar maples I encountered supposedly date to the late 1800s but are about as impressive as a couple remnant old growth specimens I have on my property that date back to the late 1600s and early 1700s, they were spared to be used as shade trees and as fence posts for barbed wire, similar to the ones in the photo from your earlier post. I'm assuming that some could be old growth, but I couldn't find any written evidence of them being OG. I did find evidence that at least some of the hemlocks are old growth, supposedly a number of younger hemlocks were not removed when the land was cleared, I'm unclear why. There could certainly be some trees into their 300s in that case. I had my rangefinder on hand but I could only do very limited measuring with the leafed out canopy, the maples I measured were in the 100-105' range and the hemlocks in the 95-100' range, however, the only hemlocks I measured were near the ridgeline and exposed to wind, the ones along the brook to the northeast are likely much taller, I also measured some white ashes on Mount Tom, they just barely broke 100', but most were second growth and exposed to wind, there is a very nice patch of old growth hemlocks on a steep slope on Mount Tom just below the summit of the south peak, just below them the slope eases a bit and it's clear that it was farmed, there's an absolutely massive red oak wolf tree there, I wouldn't be surprised if it was over 14' in CBH.


I'm hoping to return here this fall to measure and document some of the hemlocks and maples. I would be very interested to know whether you've returned and what your finding have been.


Joshua Harkness
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

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