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


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


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

"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


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

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


I was reading this thread and inserted a link with directions to the park  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.

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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.

Grenn lakes.jpg







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