Irondequoit Bay Parks

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ElijahW
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:05 pm

NTS,

Although a bit chilly, weather conditions this weekend were excellent for additional survey work in the Irondeqouit Bay parks. In addition to a few new finds, I was also able to bring the Bay’s Rucker Index up to date; I’ll summarize that in the next post. Here are the stats:

Abraham Lincoln

Sassafras

123.0’ (updated measurement of tallest individual)

Northern Red Oak

127.7’

Eastern Cottonwood

133.4’ x 9.5’ (update of previous tallest)

Red Hickory

132.8’
132.1’

Bitternut Hickory

131.2’

Lucien Morin

White Ash

137.4’ x 7.29’ (previously measured; only lost a few inches in height, but health is questionable)

Black Walnut

126.8’ (previously measured)
127.4’ x 9.22’ (new tallest of species in NY)
127’ Black Walnut; swollen base inflates CBH
127’ Black Walnut; swollen base inflates CBH
Irondequoit Bay Park West

Red Hickory

138.2’ (update of previous tallest)

Black Cherry

131.5’ (update of previous tallest)

Although I have a limited amount of data to go on, the growth rates for some of these trees are very impressive. The original forest here must have been something to behold. Hopefully the upward trend will continue.

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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ElijahW
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:13 pm

NTS,

The current Rucker Index for Irondeqouit Bay: 140.2’

Eastern White Pine: 160.3’
Tuliptree: 156.8’
Bitternut Hickory: 140.1’
Shagbark Hickory: 140.0’
Red Hickory: 138.2’
White Ash: 137.4’
Eastern Cottonwood: 133.4’
Red Maple: 132.6’
Northern Red Oak: 132.2’
Black Cherry: 131.5’

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:55 pm

Elijah,

Congratulations on NY's second RHI over 140. In terms of geographic scale, how do the collectice irondequoit bay parks compare to the other high-index sites like zoar, letchworth, fischer etc? I wonder what site might be considered to have the highest index relative to area in which its rucker trees are located?

I am also curious about the 110' butternut in Ellison. What was its habitat and condition? I've been really inteogued by this species in the last few months. There are quite a few around the house I just moved to, both planted trees in the yard along a creek and natural ones in hardwood forest on the hillside behind. The more I pay attention to this species, the more I like it.

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ElijahW
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by ElijahW » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:09 pm

Erik,

Thanks.

Of the sites you mentioned, I think all represent the realized potential of their respective geographical areas. Fischer sits in a series of ravines at the end of Cayuga Lake, one of many such ravines, or glens, that can grow tall trees throughout the Finger Lakes region.

Though Irondeqouit Bay now drains into Lake Ontario independently from the Genesee River, it is thought to be the river’s original mouth, and I would consider Irondeqouit to lie within the historical Genesee River drainage. Much of the land along the Genesee is now farmland, but as you know, historically it has tremendous big-tree potential, maybe more so than any other NY river drainage. So all that to say that I don’t think, pre-European settlement, Irondeqouit Bay and Letchworth would have been anomalies.

Zoar Valley is definitely the zebra in a herd of horses, but you’ve demonstrated that Cattaraugus Creek is not the lone productive Lake Erie tributary.

Green Lakes State Park probably stands out from its surroundings more than any other tall-tree site I know of. Central NY is bereft of tall trees, and the closest known 150’ tree to Green Lakes is probably an hour and a half away.

Regarding Butternuts, I’m glad you’re interested in them. They’re great trees. I believe that the Ellison Butternut grows at the bottom of a steep slope, within or adjacent to a wet seep. I’d like to call it a riparian area, but I don’t recall seeing any permanent surface water. The 110’ Butternut in Abraham Lincoln Park grows in a very similar location; both are in constantly wet soil at the base of hills and lack overstory competition on their downhill sides. The slope aspect doesn’t seem to matter; one is east-facing, the other is either north or south (I don’t remember for sure).

Washington Grove in Rochester and Green Lakes also have 110’+ Butternuts. These trees do compete with overstory Tulips, Oaks, and Hickories, but grow on relatively flat ground that is well-drained. The Washington Grove trees are uniquely well-formed: tall and straight, with narrow crowns. They may also have some age to them, as they’re within an old growth forest.

Sorry for rambling. I hope that helps.

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:47 am

Elijah, what you call "rambling" I call "great information!" Thank you for your detailed reply.

I like your way of thinking about the Irondequoit and the Genessee- the present course of the river is one thing, but linked ecology goes deeper in time than that. I do think the Lake Erie drainages have some more surprises in store for us. We'll see if this year I have any hope of keeping up with your rate of discovery from the last couple years. I've only just now figured out appropriate access for some of the most promising spots, so there is hope- but very little of what can grow tall trees here has been protected in parks or public land. Inspired by your finger lakes ravine finds, I checked into an old-growth ravine called Conklin's Gulf at the south end of Hemlock Lake on christmas. The small narrow ravine was packed with tall white pines, tulips, ash, hemlock, even some sycamores- with the tallest trees maybe just hitting 130'. No luck! Some other nice old stuff around Hemlock Lake to explore and report on but nothing tall yet.

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ElijahW
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by ElijahW » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:12 am

NTS,

Yesterday I wrapped up my latest survey of the five Irondequoit Bay parks. With the exception of an American Basswood in Ellison Park, all trees comprising the Rucker Indices of each park were measured in 2020. I also misidentified a Shagbark Hickory as a Bitternut Hickory in Ellison Park previously; this mistake has been corrected. Here are the Indices:

Abraham Lincoln Park

Tuliptree 150.6’ x 136”
Eastern Cottonwood 134.3’ x 117”
Red Hickory 132.8’
White Ash 132.1’ x 99”
Bitternut Hickory 131.2’
Northern Red Oak 127.7’
Red Maple 125.4’ x 113”
Pignut Hickory 124.4’
Sassafras 123.5’ x 85”
Tree of Heaven 121.8’ x 60”

Rucker 10: 130.4’

Ellison Park

Eastern White Pine 161.5’ x 122”
Tuliptree 158.6’ x 147”
Shagbark Hickory 141.0’
White Ash 133.4’ x 62”
Red Maple 133.1’ x 115”
Eastern Cottonwood 131.0’ x 102”
American Basswood 126.8’
Bitternut Hickory 126.2’
American Beech 125.3’
Black Cherry 124.4’

Rucker 10: 136.1’

Irondequoit Bay Park West

Tuliptree 146.4’ x 112”
Eastern White Pine 141.0’ x 94”
Red Hickory 139.1’ x 110”
Bitternut Hickory 137.2’ x 89”
Northern Red Oak 134.6’ x 120”
Black Cherry 131.5’ x 85”
Eastern Hemlock 128.0’
Red Maple 125.3’ x 99”
Eastern Cottonwood 123.9’ x 87”
Black Oak 122.9’ x 115”

Rucker 10: 133.0’

Lucien Morin Park

Tuliptree 157.2’ x 113”
Bitternut Hickory 140.7’ x 85”
White Ash 137.6’ x 87”
Northern Red Oak 134.2’ x 117”
Black Walnut 130.8’ x 111”
Pignut Hickory 128.1’ x 68”
Shagbark Hickory 126.7’
Eastern Hemlock 125.3’
Eastern Cottonwood 124.0’ x 138”
American Basswood 121.1’

Rucker 10: 132.6’

Tryon Park

Tuliptree 147.4’ x 131”
Bitternut Hickory 140.3’ x 78”
Black Cherry 131.0’ x 95”
Red Maple 130.4’ x 147”
White Ash 128.1’ x 67”
Sugar Maple 128.0’ x 107”
White Oak 125.8’ x 84”
Northern Red Oak 124.3’ x 100”
American Basswood 122.9’ x 116”
Red Hickory 121.6’ x 72”

Rucker 10: 130.0’

Irondequoit Bay Complex Rucker Index : 141.2’

Eastern White Pine 161.5’
Tuliptree 158.6’
Shagbark Hickory 141.0’
Bitternut Hickory 140.7’
Red Hickory 139.1’
White Ash 137.6’
Northern Red Oak 134.6’
Eastern Cottonwood 134.3’
Red Maple 133.1’
Black Cherry 131.5’

Elijah

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bbeduhn
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:26 pm

Elijah,
Are you sure you're in New York? Those are some pretty stout numbers, and not just from the usual suspects. 136 Rucker and 141' composite are both outstanding! Awesome work, and I'm glad to see we still have several very active measurers out there.
Brian

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dbhguru
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Re: Irondequoit Bay Parks

Post by dbhguru » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:47 am

Elijah,

Jared and I are leaf green with envy!! We demand a 10-foot Massachusetts height handicap.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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