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Beall Woods State Park

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:31 pm
by ElijahW

On 9/22 I spent about an hour and a half walking one of several forested trails in Beall Woods State Park, located in southern Illinois on the Wabash River. I saw that a single Tuliptree measurement had been recorded on the Trees Database site, but couldn’t find any associated trip report on the BBS; I assume Beall Woods has been surveyed before, but don’t know when or by whom.

All trees I measured grew on or in view of the Tuliptree Trail. The diversity of species was impressive, ranging from southern oaks to northern hardwoods. Over a mile or so of fairly level trail, I counted some twenty tree-sized species, five of which were oaks. My assumption is that further exploration would turn up many more impressive trees than I found, given the brevity of my visit.

Here’s what I found:

Pawpaw Asimina triloba

20.0’ x 0.46’

Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata

119.0’ x 9.10’

Persimmon Diospyros virginiana

114.2’ x 5.84’

Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica

123.6’ x 10.63’
109.7’ x 9.30’

Kentucky Coffeetree Gymnocladus dioicus

104.1’ x 7.16’

Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua

118.2’ x 9.30’

Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera


Blackgum Nyssa sylvatica

105.5’ x 5.77’

White Oak Quercus alba

131.1’ x 11.23’

Pin Oak Quercus palustris

130.3’ x 19.95’

Shumard Oak Quercus shumardii

130.9’ x 16.55’

Black Oak Quercus velutina

108.7’ x 11.38’

Tuliptree Trail Rucker Index: 121.8’

If anyone has more information on Beall Woods, please chime in. It seems to have great potential, especially for the region.


Re: Beall Woods State Park

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:52 am
by Erik Danielsen
Hi Elijah,

There are a couple snippets about Beall Woods here: Unfortunately in both cases it seems the discussion primarily continued in the linked google groups discussions, and as far as I can tell that's all gone. I was able to access the google groups content last year, to my recollection. I don't know if it's permanently gone. It may just be an issue with access permissions from those links.

Two bottomland oaks combining impressive height and girth- especially that pin oak! What were their forms like? Tall columnar trunks, or big crowns above relatively stout bases?

Re: Beall Woods State Park

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:41 pm
by ElijahW

Thanks for the link. I wasn't able to access the Google Groups site, either. It looks like Beall Woods was last reported on in 2009, by Bob Leverett.

The Pin Oak (I didn't take a photo) has a large, buttressed base, and the trunk narrows up fairly quickly. At ground level, the tree is hollow, and seems destined to fall over soon. It still is very impressive and has a very nice trunk and large, healthy crown.

The Shumard Oak I've included two photos of below. The trunk is thick with little taper and resembles that of a Quercus rubra, but the leaves are much different. This tree is also a beauty.
Persimmon crown
Persimmon crown
Shumard Oak trunk
Shumard Oak trunk
Shumard Oak crown
Shumard Oak crown

Re: Beall Woods State Park

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:13 am
by bbeduhn
Those are some supersized oaks! The pin oak is easily the largest forest grown pin. It's also near the top in height. We have very few numbers on Illinois. The southern part of Illinois could have some excellent bottomland forest. There is an abundance of old growth, some of which you found.

Re: Beall Woods State Park

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:04 am
by tsharp
There were other trees measured in Beall Woods in addition to the Yellow-poplar. They were never posted to the google group forum. The usual suspects would be Beth Koebel, Bob & Monica and Amy? Perhaps they kept some notes and could find them.