Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

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#1)  Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:49 pm

This report has been months in the making, as I first discovered and began measuring trees in the Codman North conservation area in July of last year. My interest was turned on to this site not by anyone else’s recommendation, but by my own search of Google satellite imagery. Initially, I was trying to locate the stand of “super pines” in Lincoln that Doug Bidlack had reported on, but whose exact location was undisclosed. I could have simply contacted Doug, but I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could locate the pines or find some other good trees in the process. As I was scanning the landscape of Lincoln from the comfort of my laptop, I came upon a good stand of what I recognized as hemlock trees. Hemlocks have a very distinct, cauliflower-like appearance when seen from above. Here’s what my first glimpse of the trees was:
               
                       
Satellite view of Codman hemlocks.jpg
                                       
               

In April of this year, with my trusty unit Spiffy (LTI TruPulse 200X) I began measuring and documenting the superb hemlocks and other trees that grow on this property. The trail system here is quite limited; one well-worn main trail is accompanied by an infrequently used secondary trail that appears to be a dead-end. The main trail, popular with local cyclists, runs along the base of a steep, north-facing slope that leads down to a swamp thick with winterberry, red maple, and even some small blackgum trees. The slope itself is dominated by eastern hemlocks, with scattered red oaks and red maples. Black oaks can be found at the top of the slope, but only white and red oaks are found elsewhere on the site. White pine are present throughout, but not as a major component of the canopy. One of the features of this site that I am intrigued by is the abundant pit-and-mound microtopography. This site appears to have existed in a wooded state for a substantial amount of time given the number of large, living trees as well as the amount of course woody debris and evidence of large trees having fallen in the past. I wouldn’t call this old growth, but it is certainly a nicely maturing forest that is developing characteristics of age and producing some large trees.

I’m sure you’d like to know how big some of these trees are, so here are the measurements I’ve taken so far (listed as CBH x height) with photos of some of the exceptional individuals:

Tsuga canadensis

8.28’ x 128.3’
7.98’ x 125.6’
7.37’ x 125.3’
8.48’ x 123.4’
8.83’ x 123.3’
9.88’ x 120.4’
7.4’ x 120.1’
7.98’ x 119.6’
9.17’ x 119.2’
10.82’ x 119’
9.31’ x 118.3’
9.41’ x 118.1’
7.6’ x 116.6’
6.47’ x 115.1’
10.15’ x 114.8’
7.1’ x 113.4’
7.92’ x 113.2’
5.96’ x 111.1’
7’ x 111’
7.91’ x 110.4’
12.01’ x 109.1’
               
                       
8.28' x 128.3' hemlock - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
8.28' x 128.3' hemlock - full.jpg
                       
The first live branch is 28.5' above midslope, so there are 99.8 vertical feet of branches on this tree.
               
               

               
                       
8.28' x 128.3' hemlock - top.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
12.01' x 109.1' hemlock - base.jpg
                       
This hemlock has the largest girth of any that I've measured here. The top of the tree has broken off and regrown, so 109' isn't bad.
               
               

               
                       
12.01' x 109.1' hemlock - full.jpg
                                       
               


Pinus strobus

9.73’ x 128.3’
7.57’ x 121.7’
7.53’ x 120.3’
7.61’ x 112.7’
               
                       
9.73' x 128.3' white pine - full.jpg
                                       
               



Quercus rubra

11.3’ x 112.4’
4.84’ x 102.8’
9.85’ x 102.2’
9.95’ x 101.2’
8.82’ x 100.6’
8.22’ x 96.9’
10.52’ x 91.8’
               
                       
11.3' x 112.4' red oak - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
11.3' x 112.4' red oak - full.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
11.3' x 112.4' red oak - top.jpg
                                       
               


Quercus alba

8.13’ x 98.4’
9.21’ x 92.1’
10.93’ x 88.9’
               
                       
10.93' x 88.9' white oak - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
10.93' x 88.9' white oak - full.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
10.93' x 88.9' white oak - top.jpg
                                       
               


Quercus velutina

7.17’ x 88’
6.9’ x 87.1’
8.75’ x 81.6’

Fraxinus americana

5.82’ x 99.3’
3.68’ x 99.2’

Carya glabra

4.34’ x 107.9’
3.88’ x 89.9’

Juglans cinerea

4.32’ x 96.3’

Acer rubrum

4.82’ x 101.4’
4.97’ x 98.2’
5.2’ x 96.9’

Ulmus americana

6.35’ x 100.3’
               
                       
6.35' x 100.3' American elm - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
6.35' x 100.3' American elm - top.jpg
                                       
               


Betula lenta

5.24’ x 107.2’
               
                       
5.24' x 107.2' black birch - base.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
5.24' x 107.2' black birch - full.jpg
                                       
               

               
                       
5.24' x 107.2' black birch - top.jpg
                                       
               

Ilex verticillata
0.57’ x 21.7’

Part of the reason that I have waited until now to share my data with the rest of you is that I have wanted to more adequately represent all species that are present on the site. I still would like to measure the few sugar maples that are present, as well as a few more of the oaks. I’ll have more data once the leaves fall and I can more easily spot the tops of those hardwoods.

Jared

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#2)  Re: Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby dbhguru » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:13 pm

Jared,

 Pretty darned impressive! The number of 120+ hemlocks within a small area is very noteworthy. What physical area are we dealing with?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

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#3)  Re: Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby ElijahW » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:53 pm

Jared,

Very impressive hemlock stand.  Do you think the pines and hemlocks are of similar age?  If they are, this is even more impressive.  In NY, the only non-old-growth site that comes to mind producing this kind of vertical height is Zoar Valley.  Nice job,

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

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#4)  Re: Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby a_blooming_botanist » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:06 pm

dbhguru wrote:Jared,

 Pretty darned impressive! The number of 120+ hemlocks within a small area is very noteworthy. What physical area are we dealing with?

Bob

Bob,

Thanks! There may be as many as ten 120'+ hemlocks in here, but the official count is now at seven. The core of the hemlock stand is an area of about 2.5 - 3 acres.

ElijahW wrote:Jared,

Very impressive hemlock stand.  Do you think the pines and hemlocks are of similar age?  If they are, this is even more impressive.  In NY, the only non-old-growth site that comes to mind producing this kind of vertical height is Zoar Valley.  Nice job,

Elijah

Elijah,

Thanks, again. I would surmise that all of the large hemlocks and pines are of approximately equal age, but I'm not always the best at judging age by appearance. Most of the hemlocks in this stand are tagged (even some small understory ones), but I haven't been able to make contact with the person responsible for that. I would like to know how much they know about these trees and this forest.

I'm curious to find out which species will bring this site into the 130'+ club — white pine or eastern hemlock.

Jared
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#5)  Re: Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby Bart Bouricius » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:18 am

Looks like these hemlocks are in a ravine and have some competition from closely spaced tall neighbors.  I'm guessing that was what Bob was driving at, as the relatively flat conditions in most of Eastern MA allow more storm damage, and less protection from drying out during droughts, than is commonly the case in the mountainous western part of the state.

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#6)  Re: Codman North conservation area in Lincoln

Postby bbeduhn » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:56 am

The oaks appear to have some age. The other hardwoods are growing in some quality soil. They are quite thin for their heights. They should be impressive in another 15-20 years.

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