Washington Grove City Park, NY

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tomhoward
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:36 am

11/25/2012 – Washington Grove truly is a fantastic place. The heights you got are extraordinary for upstate NY. I’m especially impressed by the Sassafras over 100 ft. tall – Washington Grove is the only place in upstate NY I know of where Sassafras reaches 100 ft. Here, in central NY, Sassafras doesn’t quite reach 90 ft. The Butternut at 110.1 ft., is, as far as I know, the tallest of its species in the state. It is close to a height record for the species. 120 ft. is an exceptional height for Oaks in upstate NY. The White Oak at 120.2 ft. is the tallest in upstate NY, and Black Oaks above 110 ft. are the tallest in the state as far as I know. Oaks in the old growth groves here in North Syracuse barely get to 110 ft.

Fantastic report! My brother and I have to get back to Washington Grove in the spring.

Tom Howard

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edfrank
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by edfrank » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:03 am

Tom,

Very nice reports. We will need to get you as a guest speaker at one of these events, or maybe you should hold one and give everyone tours....

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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pdbrandt
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by pdbrandt » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:47 am

I'm in Rochester this week for business and plan to visit Washington Grove on Saturday. I'll take some pictures and remeasure some of the trees with my Nikon 440. Are there any specific remeasure requests? I did email Larry Champoux who lives nearby and I hope to hear back from him before Saturday. Until then...
Patrick

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tomhoward
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by tomhoward » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:46 am

Paul,

You should look at all 3 oak species there - it is an extraordinary oak forest, and all 3 oak species - white, red, and black reach exceptional heights for upstate NY. Outside of Zoar Valley (where red oak has reached 140 ft.), I know of no other place in upstate NY where oaks reach 120 ft. You also should measure some of the straight tall sassafras - this is the only place in upstate NY where I know of sassafras 100 ft. or more. Elijah Whitcomb measured trees here in 2012.

Tom Howard

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tomhoward
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by tomhoward » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:47 am

Patrick,

I'm sorry I called you Paul.

Tom Howard

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pdbrandt
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by pdbrandt » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:55 pm

I stopped by Washington Grove a bit before sundown and captured this panorama. Tomorrow I'll be back with a few hours to spare for measuring.

http://photosynth.net/view/fcfc2041-a30 ... 5b518e6f82
Patrick

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pdbrandt
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by pdbrandt » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:31 pm

When I was at Washington Grove today I saw this sad sight.
photo 1-3.JPG
photo 2-3.JPG
Apparently the rot visible at the base of this towering black oak was enough to scare city officials into having it cut down (see video below):

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/art ... e-oak-tree

They must not have cored it because the tree does not look that unhealthy to me. I imagine whoever cut it down got a fair amount of healthy trunk wood to sell. As can be seen written in the cross section, "Perfectly sound wood. Strong as an OAK!" I admit that I am not an arborist or a tree inspector, but it does seem a shame the tree was cut down.
Patrick

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pdbrandt
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by pdbrandt » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:30 pm

As I got close to Washington Grove I knew I was in for a treat when I began to see street trees like this one:


Click on image to see its original size

I spent about 4 hours in the Washington Grove, but alas it was not enough time to do the trees there justice. There are so many amazing red oaks, black oaks, white oaks and even a few very noticeable tulip poplars. I spent my first hour in the grove walking along the trails, taking in the relative heights and growth characteristics of the different sections of the forest, and making a mental note of the trees I planned to document. Andy Schechter, member of the Washington Grove Preservation Group, has labeled trees throughout the grove. This was a huge help to me since I am not as familiar with bark ID’ing Northeast trees.

After my cursory stroll of the grove, I went back and took GPS waypoints for about a dozen trees, photographed them, and measured the CBH of each. By that point it was time to meet Evelyn Brister, another member of the Washington Grove Preservation Group, who had agreed to meet me to explain some history of the grove and show me some of her favorite trees there. Larry Champoux, who has posted in this thread previously, put me in touch with Evelyn. Evelyn taught me a lot about northern tree ID. I naively thought black oaks and red oaks are simply the same tree called by different names in different parts of the country. She also very generously acted as scribe as we went back through the grove measuring trees I had pinpointed earlier as well as some she pointed out to me. Evelyn also showed me a very special tree - an 88 foot tall American Chestnut with large husks from last year’s plentiful harvest still littering the ground all around it (pictures below).

There are so many trees of similar grandeur that I could have stayed to measure them all day. When I compare my data to that reported by Eli earlier in this thread, I’m not sure we measured any of the same trees except for possibly the tallest tulip poplar, which I measured to be 122.2' -- a few feet shorter than Eli in 2012.

I superimposed the approximate location of the trees I measured and/or photographed on the trail map Larry posted previously.

Click on image to see its original size

Below are the data and pictures I collected for these trees. The trees are listed on the map and in the spreadsheet by their common name and a tree number I arbitrarily assigned. Evelyn briefly showed me an ArcGIS file she has of the grove with many trees already pinpointed. Hopefully this height data (which I have shared with the Washington Grove Preservation Group) will be added to the file.

Click on image to see its original size
Last edited by pdbrandt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
Patrick

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pdbrandt
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by pdbrandt » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:31 pm

TP1 - The tallest tree in the grove at 122.2'

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TP2

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TP3 - a prominent tree with balding trunk right along a main trail. Measured to 111.2'

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106.3' Black Cherry

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WO2 - How I wish I had had time to measure this beautiful tree. Hopefully someone can go back and get a measurement on it

Click on image to see its original size

88.4' American Chestnut

Click on image to see its original size

Click on image to see its original size

Interesting bark pattern on BO1

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BO2

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RO1

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RO2

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RO3

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RO4

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WO1

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There is a grove of hemlock trees at the southwest corner of the forest. Unfortunately there was ample evidence of HWA.

Click on image to see its original size

Higher quality versions of all the photos are at https://plus.google.com/photos/10416999 ... 4567085969
Patrick

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tomhoward
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Re: Washington Grove City Park, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:55 pm

Patrick,

Great photos of this magnificent forest - heights are impressive for this far north. The 88.4 ft. American chestnut is probably the tallest in NY.

The felled tree you saw at the entrance was the largest tree in the grove - my brother and I measured its dbh as 56.1 in. in Apr. 2012. I was able to get a very rough count of about 180 rings on the intact cross-section in your photo, so the great tree was probably about 200 years old.

Tom Howard

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