SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

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InglesLuke
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:49 pm

SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

Post by InglesLuke » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:49 pm

recently i have been exploring the state game area in St. Clair county, MI and have made a few nice tree finds along the way. the area contains steep slopes along the river as well as slopes along smaller creeks and seasonal brooks. –– which is not common in the area. initially i found a nice maple of about 90' and a CBH of just over 10', as well as a couple white pines in the 100'-115' range and lots of thriving hemlock. however, last week I stumbled across two hemlocks around 90' with a CBH of 10' 4" and 8' 8.5". In addition i found a white pine with a CBH of 8' 8" and an approximate height of 130'. i was able to hit one of the higher lateral branches with my laser but not the top. that gave me a measurement of 120'. i feel comfortable estimating that it was at least another 10 foot to the highest point, giving it a total height of about 130'+.

it is a really nice area and would recommend anyone in the area looking for a nice hike/to enjoy the outdoors to check it out.

I am extremely curious about the age of the area in general. it's full of northern hardwoods with the addition of White Pine and Hemlock --dominating the slopes. there are some nice trees such as the ones I mentioned and would rate it as a really nice second growth stand. it is right along the black river in St. Clair county, MI which historically was used to float logs. i did some research and it seems possible that the area was logged as early as 1820, but also possibly many decades later. however, i would venture a guess that it could have the potential to have been logged pre-1820 because of its location. being so close to the river it would have been the 1st place they cut if i am thinking correctly. however, could a stand such as the predate the late 1800s with the ravaging forest fires? if anyone as an idea about the area historically i would love to know more, as well as anything about the possible age of the stand/w pine.

the ~130' w pine is the biggest I've seen in the area. I'm not sure if it is the biggest though.

more photos of the area in general:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/139087651@N04/

Luke
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maple trunk
maple trunk
maple crown
maple crown
Area in general
Area in general
E Hemlock dominated slopes
E Hemlock dominated slopes
~130' W Pine
~130' W Pine

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Matt Markworth
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:44 pm

Luke,

Wow, great photos. I especially like the beech and hemlock photos and the forest scenes over on the Flickr page.

Matt

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:48 pm

Luke- I second what Matt said- Nice photos and look forward to more stuff from Michigan. I've reported some on northern Wisconsin in the past your Forest area looks very similar. Larry

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bbeduhn
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: SE Michigan Comstock Hills/State Game Area

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:03 am

Luke,
A possible scenario is that it was logged early on and then high graded at a later date. The maple certainly has some age. It's tough to tell from two photos but it appears to be well over 100 years, quite possibly 200, like you surmised. The bark is furrowed, it's fairly large and the crown has been battered a bit. I find relic old growth trees in otherwise logged forests fairly frequently.
Brian

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