Hart's Woods, Town of Perinton, Monroe County

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ElijahW
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Hart's Woods, Town of Perinton, Monroe County

Post by ElijahW » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:17 pm

NTS,

On March 24th, 2019, Tom Howard and I surveyed about half of Hart's Woods in the Town of Perinton, NY. Prior to this visit, I walked through the whole forest (~14 acres) by myself earlier in 2019. This mature forest was dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in the 1970s, and part of the explanation for its preservation was its high quality mature American Beech-Sugar Maple composition. Because Tom and I are both suckers for any nice stand of healthy, mature Beeches, we'd both been looking forward to this survey since we figured out where Hart's Woods was and how to access it.

What Tom and I found was not primarily a Beech-Maple forest, but an Oak-Hickory one with a small Beech and Sugar Maple component. The Beech trees remaining are healthy, and any dramatic changes (Beech die-out, for example) since the '70s are unlikely. The forest appears generally stable in its species succession, as the White Oaks are gradually being replaced by Sugar Maples. For some reason, the original description of Hart's Woods is way off.

With that bit of controversy out of the way, what's left is a wonderful mature Oak Woods, split pretty clearly in half by a small stream. The eastern half contains, by Tom's reckoning, mostly White Oaks up to about 200 years old; the western half is dominated by Northern Red Oak along the stream and Black Locust near the perimeter. The younger, western section seems to date to the late 19th century (c. 1880-1890). Both sections of forest appear relatively even-aged, so my guess is that the whole area was cleared or nearly cleared around the time of first settlement in the region. Here's an edited satellite view of Hart's Woods:
Hart's Woods.JPG
Tom has some additional measurements, mostly of White Oaks, but here's what I recorded from our survey on the 24th:

Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera

134.9'

Sugar Maple Acer saccharum

101.8'

American Basswood Tilia americana

114.7'

White Ash Fraxinus americana

113.0'

Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra

125.9'
125.4'

Black Oak Quercus velutina

105.4' x 9.7'

White Oak Quercus alba

115.3' x 6.88'

Pignut Hickory Carya glabra

121.4' x 5.98'

Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata

115.0'

Average of 9 Species: 116.3'

Additional species observed:

Black Locust
Bitternut Hickory
American Beech
Black Walnut
Black Cherry
Sassafras
Hophornbeam
American Hornbeam
Witch hazel

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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