Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

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tomhoward
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Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by tomhoward » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:36 pm

NTS,

My friends from Old Forge and I explored this beautiful old growth grove Sun. Oct. 7, 2012, a cold windy day with increasing clouds, but with some glorious autumn sun. The Red Pines have reddish artistically beautiful platy bark composed of jigsaw puzzle-like scales, and this platy bark has a papery feel. When the sun came out, streams of silvery light shot out from the long needles of the Red Pines, illuminating the grove. Most of the Red Pines (and there are possibly 100 or more on the slope above Raquette Lake’s marshy South Inlet) seem to be about 150 years old, but a few of the trees near the bottom of the slope look far older with smoother bark, twisted crowns, and one of these older-looking trees has a prominent fire scar. Mixed in with the Red Pines and on top of the hill above them are several much larger White Pines (over 40” dbh and up to 120 ft. tall), and these White Pines are about 200 years old. The ground was covered with freshly-fallen brown pine needles; old growth pit and mound topography is highly developed, more than in most sites I’ve been to. We all loved this grove, and we spent possibly 2 hours exploring it. We got some good height measurements with the NTS method (use of sine function, etc.) as we had clear sight lines from base to top on several trees.

Trees measured (all heights in feet):

Red Pine 97.9
Red Pine 90+ (couldn’t see base but got close)
Red Pine 104.8 – rising out of hollow
Red Pine 105.6 – rising out of hollow, slender tree, tallest Red Pine - found by the 10-year-old daughter of my friends, who has the makings of a future ent
Red Pine 94.4 – on hill
Red Pine 94.7 – old gnarled tree near slope bottom – could this be the 320-350-year-old Red Pine cored by Neil Pederson? Next to it is the old Red Pine with the fire scar.
Red Pine 94.1
Most Red Pines in this stand seem to be about 90-97 ft. tall. The 105.6 ft. tree Sidney found seems to be the tallest Red Pine.

Red Pine 20.9” dbh
Red Pine 21.5” dbh – typical diameter of big ones

White Pine 111.8
White Pine 119.5 – tallest tree measured

Age data (all White Pine):
log cross-section from high in crown 140 rings, 11” radius
Some people made a campfire pit, and carved chairs out of a fallen White Pine log – I counted about 180 rings on one of the makeshift chairs, 9” radius.

Dominant Trees: Red Pine, White Pine
Associate: Balsam Fir, Red Spruce, Hemlock, White Cedar (mixed in with Red Pines, small, not over 50-60 ft. tall), Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Striped Maple, Paper Birch, Quaking Aspen, Bigtooth Aspen (these last 3 near edge by NY 28)


Tom Howard

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dbhguru
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines

Post by dbhguru » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:27 pm

Tom,

Excellent report. I know that stand well. Gorgeous.

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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Neil
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by Neil » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:47 am

it could be the same tree, Tom. It has been years since I sampled in that stand. David Barclay of SUNY Cortland also sampled that stand and got the same ages were did. I can finally confirms the ages: of 20 red pine I cored, all but one essentially date to the late 1840s at coring height, ~1 m above the forest floor. The oldest tree dates to 1644.

That is a really cool stand, huh Tom?

neil

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tomhoward
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:48 am

Neil,

It is a really great stand, one of the most beautiful forests I've ever seen. So most of the Red Pines are about 170 years - that's older than most of them looked. But 2 trees down the slope looked far older, amazint that the oldest Red Pine goes back to 1644.

Tom Howard

Jed
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines,

Post by Jed » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:07 am

My family has a cottage on Raquette lake. I been coming up here for my whole life. Want to go check out the stand described above but you all haven't given any specific information as to its whereabouts. I imagine that may be intentional. So I have half a mind to just go down there and look for it. However, I'm on the north end of the lake and am afraid it may end up being a wild goose chase. South inlet is long and marshy. Just wondering, at the very least if you could tell me whether the above stand is on the east or west side of the inlet. Perhaps someone could email me a little more specific info or direct me to another website. I grew up in Northern New York and currently live in Arizona. Some friends of mine out there who are biologists where surveying some forests out here and told me the Adirondacks have some of the finest old growth they've seen anywhere. It's now on my list of things to do when I come visit.

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ElijahW
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by ElijahW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:32 pm

Hi Jed,

Welcome to the forum. The Red pine stand is easily accessible just yards from Rt. 28, on the east side of the inlet. The pull-off holds maybe two vehicles.

Tom Howard, Bob Henry, and I visited the pines last month, and the tallest is officially 111.4'. The tallest White pine in the stand is an even 120'.

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

Joe

Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by Joe » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:31 pm

I'd like to see some photos of this red pine stand.
Joe

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ElijahW
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by ElijahW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:18 pm

Joe,

I haven't taken any photos of the pines; Tom may have. If I remember, I'll get some next time I'm up there. It's just a few acres on a nondescript gentle slope, but once you're inside, it becomes a special spot.

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

Jed
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by Jed » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:53 pm

Elijah,

Thank you. I will go check it out.

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tomhoward
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Re: Raquette Lake Red Pines, NY

Post by tomhoward » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:30 pm

Raquette Lake Red Pines is an extraordinary place, especially on a sunny day. It was cloudy when we were there in July. I don't have any pictures of the stand to post, but Bob Leverett posted some really good pictures of this stand in a thread called "Adirondack Adventures" in 2011. The grove looks the same as then.

Tom Howard

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