Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

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#1)  Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby tomhoward » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:43 am

ENTS,

On this date (Easter Sunday) Jack Howard and I went to Green Lakes State Park to measure the tall trees of the Tuliptree  Cathedral southwest of Round Lake. We also confirmed that the height of the tall White Pine at the south end of Green Lake is 120 ft. as measured 4/30/2010. Trees in the Tuliptree Cathedral were last measured with laser rangefinder by Bob Leverett on 5/4/2002. On 4/24/2011 I used the Nikon 550 Laser Rangefinder, which has trouble seeing through clutter near the bases of trees and through the dense lofty canopies of these towering trees, but I still got a large number of good heights. Some of these heights may be underestimated due to the difficulty of determining and hitting the exact high points of these broad crowned trees. The Tuliptrees here are the tallest trees yet measured in central NY and the tallest trees I’ve ever measured with the laser rangefinder; they are most likely the tallest Tuliptrees anywhere for so far north; Green Lakes is close to the northern limit of the species.

Trees measured 4/24/2011:
Height in feet first followed by dbh (when measured):

Tuliptree                135
Tuliptree                133 these 2 near Hemlock cored 11/17/2001 to 330 years old
Tuliptree                141        40” dbh balding bark toward view toward Round Lake
Tuliptree                138 slender tree cored by Bruce Kershner 5/4/2002 to 160 years old
Tuliptree                133
Tuliptree                141
Tuliptree                145        32.9” dbh near small Hemlock
Tuliptree                147        37.1” dbh near Hemlock tallest tree measured in central NY, possibly same tree that Bob Leverett measured 2002 as tallest at 144.7
Tuliptree                 138        39.6” dbh next to above
Tuliptree                139  big tree across trail
Tuliptree                147 in hollow when seen from trail also tallest measured
Tuliptree                126 slender near bridge over stream

Bitternut Hickory        139        19” dbh next to tall Tuliptree, 135.6 ft. in 2002, at 139 ft. this tree could be tallest Bitternut Hickory in NY State.
Bitternut Hickory        130 slender
Bitternut Hickory        125

Sugar Maple                117
Sugar Maple                116 slender balding bark
Sugar Maple                105 average tall tree in forest across stream

Hemlock                108
Hemlock                131         45.3” dbh Onondaga County champion, possibly tallest Hemlock in NY State, possibly oldest tree in Onondaga County, est. over 450 years old (est. from 392 rings on smaller long dead stump, and est. age of 330 years on smaller Hemlock cored 11/17/2001 by Fred Breglia)
Hemlock                 130        38.1” dbh next to champion just above
Hemlock                 106         28.4” dbh next to biggest Sugar Maple
Hemlock                120 slender
Hemlock                113+ tree cored 11/17/2001 between 2 taller Tuliptrees, could not hit top but 113 ft. is well below highest point, tree measured 116 ft. 2002

Basswood                111  across trail upslope
Basswood (?)                118        35.3” dbh across trail upslope, bark not quite like Basswood but branch pattern looks like Basswood
Basswood                106  near biggest Sugar Maple

Due to clutter conditions I was not able to get heights on the following in Tuliptree Cathedral:

Tuliptree                42.9” dbh near edge of stand – big and old
Tuliptree                48.8” dbh possibly largest Tuliptree in stand, log lodged against trunk

Sugar Maple                51.6” dbh, biggest in stand, one of largest in central NY, spiral grain, shaggy bark, leaning trunk, possibly 300-350 years old – Bob Leverett measured the tree to 117 ft. tall in 2002

Trees measured outside Tuliptree Cathedral:

Group of tall Tuliptrees on steep slope above southwest shore of Round Lake:
3 trees measured – 111, 109, 125

Group of Tuliptrees above northwest shore of Round Lake at trail break – tallest 116, 115

Basswood on trail between Round Lake and Green Lake – 101 ft.

A beautiful place with spring wildflowers starting to bloom, 2 meromictic lakes with unusual green-blue color; Round Lake was still as a mirror with the old growth forest on its shores reflected in the water, like a forest in an inverted sky.

Tom Howard

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#2)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby edfrank » Mon May 02, 2011 4:19 pm

Tom,

Again a fantastic job of documenting trees in that neck of the woods.  I hope I can make it up there sometime this summer.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
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#3)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby dbhguru » Mon May 02, 2011 8:57 pm

Tom,

 I can only echo what Ed has said. Simply outstanding.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
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#4)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby adam.rosen » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:18 pm

I just want directions!  I travel that secton of I90.  your posts are a great resource to improve my trips west!
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#5)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby ElijahW » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:46 pm

Adam,

I was reading this thread and inserted a link with directions to the park http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/172/getting-there.aspx.  I've been there several times, but never measured any trees.  It's a beautiful place, especially in winter, and my favorite feature is the northern white cedars along the lake trails.  Tom Howard has done a good job highlighting the biggest and tallest species (tuliptree, hemlock, and sugar maple), and there's also a lot of large red oaks, yellow birches, and other northern hardwoods.  

This is the route I would use to get to Green Lakes (though there may be easier ways):  take I-90 to exit 34A (481); 481 S to Kirkville Rd E exit; follow signs to park.  Or just take 481 to the rt. 5 E exit (Genesee St.) to the other side of the park.  There may be a fee to park in the main lot, but I haven't been there since last winter, so I can't say for sure.

P.S.  I am a native Vermonter now living in central NY and have been to Washington Woods in Rochester (another great place with big oaks).  So I guess we have lots in common.

Elijah
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#6)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby adam.rosen » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:58 pm

Thanks for the reply.  I'm looking forward to stopping there when I get a chance and can drag my kids along with me.  I appreciate the directions, I see you don't live too far away, check out the other sites Tom has posted about in Syracuse, if you haven't yet.
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#7)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby Rand » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:32 pm

I got a couple of good shots of green lakes on September 21rst of this year.  First, the obligatory Google Earth shot of the Lakes.  The Tuliptree Cathedral is circled in red.

               
                       
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#8)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby ElijahW » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:26 pm

NTS, Tom,

This afternoon I made a visit to Green Lakes.  Although the sun was out, the temperature was in the teens, and coupled with a brisk wind, my hike was a little chilly.  I was there more for the exercise, but did measure a handful of trees in a section of the tuliptree cathedral.  Here's what I came up with:

I measured five tuliptrees, all fairly close to the trail.  These ranged from 138.8' to 147', with four of the five over 140' tall.  

Next were the hemlocks, four of which, in the same small area, came in with heights of 115.8', 120.6', 122.2', and 123.1'.  The tallest hemlocks at Green Lakes do not grow in this area, though these are very beautiful trees.

The last and most interesting species I went after was bitternut hickory.  The two hickories came in at 135.9' and 140.1'.  The 140.1' tree is the same one measured by Tom at 139'.  It grows only inches away from a tuliptree, and nearly out-competes it.  The girth of this tree is only 5.0'; it's a real bean pole.  

To round out the heights and to get a Rucker-5 Index, I measured a white ash and black cherry in this same section of the grove, which came in at 115.4' and 113.5', respectively.  Neither of these trees represent maximums for their respective species at Green Lakes.  

The Rucker-5 Height Index for this trip was 127.8', and all of the trees measured were pretty much a stone's throw or less apart.  I discontinued my outing when I started having trouble feeling the numbers on my calculator, so I hope I'll be forgiven for such a short report; also, no photos.  Sorry.  Tom and I will get back here at some point, I'm sure.  

Elijah

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#9)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby ElijahW » Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:31 pm

NTS,

I made another trip to Green Lakes this afternoon.  More than anything, I'm trying to get better (and quicker) at identifying tree tops; however, I might as well collect some useful height data while I'm at it.  The temperature while I was on my hike was around 40F, though rain started to fall after a little while, and the compacted snow had long ago turned to ice underfoot, thanks to the popularity of the park's trail system with the locals.  It was a pretty comfortable outing, though I had to watch my steps very carefully.  Now, on to the numbers:

I measured four hemlocks, all east of the tuliptree cathedral, past the power line right of way:

Hemlock1  124.0'
Hemlock2  125.2'
Hemlock3  132.3'
Hemlock4  133.1'

I'm uncertain if these trees have been measured before, as they're away from the main grove.  The hemlocks growing among the tulips seem to top out in the 115-125' range, while the taller ones have no similar competition.  

I measured two basswood, both on the northern-most trail between Green and Round Lake:

Basswood1  118.9'
Basswood2  123.3'

A Yellow birch in the same area came in at 87.8'.  Many Yellow birch at Green Lakes have impressive girths, but fairly short trunks and lots of fine branches overhead.

On the northwest side of the tuliptree cathedral, among a group of similar trees, I measured a sugar maple to 121.7', and in the northeast corner, growing under hemlocks, I measured a beech tree to 108.0'.  

On the south side of Green Lake, from the trail, I measured a Northern Red Oak to 114.6, and a Chinkapin Oak to 86.7'.  The Northern Red has quite a buttress, and I'll make a point to record the girth in the future.  

To round out the trip, I remeasured the lone white pine at the east end of Green Lake, next to the trail, at 121.2'.  This pine, though in good color, is showing some age in the thinness of its crown, and I don't know how much longer it has before it starts to break down.

For now, my personal Rucker-10 Height Index for Green Lakes stands at 123.7'.  My guess is that it'll settle closer to 130' when I'm done, though this may take a while.  I may have to recruit Tom to help me.

Elijah

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#10)  Re: Green Lakes State Park 4/24/2011

Postby tomhoward » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:38 pm

Elijah,

These are fantastic posts. The tallest Tuliptree at 147 ft. is the tallest tree I know of in  central NY, and matches the heights I measured in 2011. The Bitternut Hickory at 140.1 ft. is the tallest of its species I know of in NY State, and is the tallest Hickory of any species I know of in NY.

The Hemlock at 133.1 ft. is the tallest I know of in NY. The Basswood at 123.3 ft. is a virtual tie with a tree measured at Green Lakes in 2011 for tallest in central NY. Even the Chinkapin Oak at 86.7 ft. is a significant height - I know of none of that species taller in NY.

I definitely need to join you on these Green Lakes outings. Green Lakes is more and more confirmed as the most outstanding forest in central NY.

Tom Howard
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