West Point Foundry Preserve

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ElijahW
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West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by ElijahW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:03 pm

NTS,

On April 14, I checked out this nature preserve/archaeological site in village of Cold Spring, NY. The foundry, which played a large part in nineteenth century American military and industrial history, ceased operations in 1911. Here’s a link to the preserve’s website: https://www.scenichudson.org/parks/west ... rypreserve.

Driving by on NY-9D, a deep hollow filled with what I thought were Tuliptrees caught my eye, and I turned around and found a marked trail to the flat bottom. To my surprise, the hollow was filled with Norway Maples and White Ashes on the slopes, and Cottonwoods and Sycamores on the bottom. Tuliptrees were conspicuously absent. The Norway Maples, presumably around 100 years old, formed a large part of the canopy and competed very well with the native species. Here’s what I measured:

White Ash Fraxinus americana

132.4’

American Sycamore Planatus occidentalis

126.0’
123.9’

Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia

126.0’

Norway Maple Acer platanoides

122.0’
114.3’

American Basswood Tilia americana

120.8’

Sugar Maple Acer saccharum

113.2’

Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra

106.3’

Red Hickory Carya ovalis

109.3’

Black Birch Betula lenta

98.1’
Tall Norway Maples
Tall Norway Maples
Foundry creek
Foundry creek
Hollow bottom; trees date to 1911 or later
Hollow bottom; trees date to 1911 or later
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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bbeduhn
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Re: West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:36 am

I haven't seen many numbers on Norway maples. I'm a bit surprised that they can top 120'. In Western NC, They're strictly a street tree and don't typically naturalize, at least not in a forest environment. I have seen them become weed trees in disturbed, urban areas.

ryandallas
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by ryandallas » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:24 am

That's uncanny, I was there on the 14th!

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ElijahW
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Re: West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by ElijahW » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:23 pm

Ryan,

That’s crazy. I was there around 2 pm. Too bad we didn’t cross paths; if I get any closer to Connecticut, I’ll send you a message beforehand.

Brian,

Norway Maple has been a popular street tree in our area for several decades. It’s become quite invasive here; most of the concern is related to its displacing of Sugar Maples seedlings in mature forests. Some of the abandoned estates in the Hudson Valley have been overcome with invasive exotic species, including, but not limited to, Norway Maple, Black Locust, Tree of Heaven, and Horsechestnut.

This site had several Norway Maples over 110’ in height, but it may be an anomaly. I would consider anything over 100’ unusual.

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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PAwildernessadvocate
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Re: West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:28 pm

I worked on the non-native invasive plant control program in Rock Creek National Park during one summer a while back. I believe we considered Norway maple one of our invasives that we were treating for. I believe it was outcompleting native maple species in the area. Even in forest interior areas.

Non-native invasives are here to stay I'm afraid. We're just going to have to get used to that. Norway maple, purple loosestrife, kudzu vine, Japanese knotweed, whatever. In 1,000 years or more maybe some semblance of a new ecological equilibrium of sorts will eventually begin to emerge.
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

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dbhguru
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Re: West Point Foundry Preserve

Post by dbhguru » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:39 am

Brian, Elijah, et. al.,

In a forest setting, Norway maples can reach 100 feet. I've found 100 footers (just barely) on several western Mass sites. The species is super aggressive when there is a good nearby seed source. So, young stands are very crowed. But as others point out, these invasive are here too stay. Still, I don't think I'll ever like Norways that much. Their popularity, I suspect, goes back to a time when European plants were considered better choices than native species. Frederick law Olmsted's firm made frequent use of Norway maple. There are corridors of them on the Crane Estate at Ipswich, MA. For myself, I have to say that as much as I dislike Norway maple, I like Norway spruce. It has shown itself to be a worthy landscaping choice, it is not invasive, and everybody loves its Christmas tree shape. Just my two cents worth.

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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