Central NY Old Growth Sites

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Central NY Old Growth Sites

Post by tomhoward » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:18 pm


Old Growth Sites in Central New York 7/3/2010

(Central NY is defined here as follows: Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Cortland, Oswego,, Cayuga (north of Thruway and on shore of Skaneateles Lake) Counties)

Primary Old Growth Forest

Green Lakes State Park Hemlock-Hardwood, Hemlock-Tuliptree Cove, Lakeside White Cedar
Onondaga County about 1000 acres old growth
Upland, Lakeshore
Tuliptree Cathedral – possibly only Hemlock-Tuliptree Cove in Upstate NY and tallest forest in central NY with Tuliptrees to 145 ft. tall; the Tuliptree Cathedral covers about 6 acres; oldest trees Hemlocks up to possibly 500 years old; the bulk of the old growth is dominated by Sugar Maple, and is one of the largest old growth forests in the Northeast outside the Adirondacks, and one of the largest Sugar Maple forests near any major city in the USA, and this old growth forest contains 2 meromictic lakes.

Wizard of Oz Memorial Oak Grove (North Syracuse) Oak
Onondaga County 6 acres old growth
owned by North Syracuse Central School District, canopy trees to 200+ years old. This forest is the most likely inspiration for L. Frank Baum’s world-famous Great Forest of Oz as Baum grew up near this oak grove.

North Syracuse Cemetery Oak Grove Oak
Onondaga County 1.5 acres old growth
Lowland owned by North Syracuse Cemetery Association, Oaks to over 200 years old, highest density of large old trees in central NY.

Liverpool School Maple Grove (Town of Clay) Northern Hardwood
Onondaga County 11 acres old growth
Lowland owned by Liverpool Central School District, exceptionally large old growth Sugar Maple (to est. 350 years old), Red Maple, Beech, Shagbark Hickory, Basswood.

Selkirk Shores State Park Northern Hardwood
Oswego County about 8 acres old growth
Upland between Day Use Area and Campground, only primary old growth forest known in Oswego County.

Nelson Swamp White Cedar Swamp
Madison County about 12 acres old growth
Lowland owned by NYSDEC contains White Pine about 470 years old

S.U.N.Y. Morrisville Hemlock Grove Hemlock-Hardwood
Madison County 3? acres
Upland Hemlocks over 300 years old

Hemlock Island Hemlock
Cayuga County acreage uncertain
Lakeshore SW shore Skaneateles Lake

Secondary Old Growth Forest

Sacred Grove, Von Steuben Memorial State Historic Site Northern Hardwood
Oneida County 5 acres
Upland highly disturbed with nearly all big trees removed over past 100+ years.

Brewerton Oak Grove Oak
Onondaga County 1 acre
Upland site destroyed by owner 1998; this used to a magnificent stand of White Oak-Red Oak – big trees but few other old growth signs, yet some of these trees could have been from the original forest. The largest tree, a forest-grown Red Oak 53.1” dbh, was spared (at least as of 2009).

Beaver Lake Nature Center Hemlock-Hardwood
Onondaga County acreage of older forest uncertain, owned by Onondaga County Parks
Lowland, Lakeshore at least 2 areas of older forest, including Beech Grove.

Camillus Maple Forest Northern Hardwood
Onondaga County 38 acres old forest, owned by NYSDEC, core of Camillus Unique Area
Upland dominated by Sugar Maple – most trees under 170 years old, but oldest Sugar Maples are remnants of original forest and close to 300 years old; site is farmland abandoned about 1830.

Pratts Falls County Park Hemlock-Hardwood
Onondaga County acreage of older forest uncertain

Selkirk Shores State Park, Boat Launch Grove White Pine
Oswego County about 3 acres
Lowland finest stand of White Pine in area, trees 150-180 years old.

Curtiss-Gale State Wildlife Mgmt. Area Hemlock-Hardwood
Oswego County 10 acres older forest owned by NYSDEC south of Fulton
Upland established after most likely natural disturbance after 1800, possible site of opening of J. F. Cooper’s Pathfinder.

Cliffside Old Growth

Chittenango Falls State Park Madison County White Cedar

Clark Reservation State Park Onondaga County White Cedar

Open Collections of Old Growth Trees (not forests)

Hamilton College, Clinton Oneida County mixed species, some old growth

Shackelton Point (by Oneida Lake) Madison County Sugar Maple, few Red Oak

NYS Thruway Parking Area west of Exit 33 westbound lane Madison County
mostly Silver Maple, some White Ash, American Elm, large Swamp White Oak –most likely secondary old growth

Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse Onondaga County White Oak, Red Oak, Black Oak

Long Branch Park, Geddes Onondaga County White Oak, Red Oak, Black Oak

Recreation Park, Fulton Oswego County Red Oak (on Lake Neahtawanta)

North Bay Campground, Fulton Oswego County Red Oak (on Lake Neahtawanta)

Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton Oswego County huge Black Oak (single trunk to 74” dbh), some White Oak, White Pine

Tom Howard
Eastern Native Tree Society
Central New York Old Growth Survey

Amanda Dolbear
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Re: Central NY Old Growth Sites

Post by Amanda Dolbear » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:35 pm

Mr. Howard,
I've been so interested in old trees of CNY for a few years. I'm wondering if you have any information about the huge trees at Longbranch where the sledding hill is. I am amazed by the gurth of the trees there especially close to the fence of John Glenn blvd.

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Re: Central NY Old Growth Sites

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:08 pm


The large trees on the sledding hill are a mix of oaks, hickories, and tuliptrees. The larger trees near John Glenn Blvd. are mostly tuliptrees. Long Branch is one of my favorite places, and I’m glad you appreciate it, as well. Hopefully Tom will see this and send you a reply. He’s very knowledgeable about the park, its trees, and its history, which is very interesting.

"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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