Big Tree Trail, Lake Saint Catherine State Park

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Big Tree Trail, Lake Saint Catherine State Park

Post by adam.rosen » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:34 pm

adam with large red Oak at Lake Saint Catherine.jpg
[attachment=2]attachment]You would think that if a trail was called "Big Tree Trail" sooner or later I would check it out. Big Tree trail is a former pasture where a farmer allowed some second growth oak pasture trees to mature and get big. Red Oaks are close to the Northern end of their range in Vermont and they don't get big here like in other places. My hometown of Montpelier has NO oak trees. Too cold.

Lake Saint Catherine is in Southern Vermont and a valley to boot. It's warm there, so these are some of the bigger oak trees I have seen in Vermont. These pictures are more a family album than anything. Two oak pasture trees that probably date to the Civil War and really have had a chance to grow--one of them has a nice fungus at the base, the other a significant cavity. Take a close look at the bark and you can see it is getting mature characteristics.

The second growth pine is just for fun, maybe a hundred years old. But that's what we call a "Big Tree" around here.

One interesting feature of this park are the trees that are recovering from some severe storm in the past. Many trees had snaps at below canopy level, but had regenerated in interesting ways.
family with Red Oak in Big Tree Trail.jpg
adam with pine tree on big tree trail.jpg

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Big Tree Trail, Lake Saint Catherine State Park

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:46 pm

Adam- Wow big Northern Red Oaks! That Pine might be older than 100 in that climate. Larry

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Re: Big Tree Trail, Lake Saint Catherine State Park

Post by JHarkness » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:47 am

Beautiful trees Adam, especially that pine. I personally have not seen any oaks in Montpelier, but that doesn't mean it's too cold there for them, in fact Montpelier has a similar climate to my hometown in eastern New York, but we have a lot of oaks due to excessive past farming. I would assume it's only soil and mineral composition that don't support oak growth there, I've seen red oaks growing as a forest tree just a few miles south of the Canadian border in Vermont at 900 feet of elevation and in the much colder Adirondacks at over 1,000 feet, so it's clearly not too cold.
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