Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

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tomhoward
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Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:55 pm

NTS,

On this sunny very warm day Elijah Whitcomb of NTS and I explored 2 big tree sites in Oswego County north of here.

We first visited the tiny Pioneer Cemetery in Phoenix, a small tree-filled town by the Oswego River. This cemetery is dominated by 2 huge single-trunked, mostly open-grown Tuliptrees, that could be close to 200 years old – they are developing balding bark, and are magnificent trees. Other trees on this site are much smaller, and include Butternut, Sugar Maple, Cherry, plentiful Black Locust. Trees with cbh listed in feet and inches were measured by Elijah with his 50-foot logging tape measure.

All height measurements on this outing were done by the NTS sine method; all heights are in feet.

Biggest Tuliptree (cbh 15 ft., 7” (59.5” dbh)):
Height 116.3 tallest tree measured in Oswego County this outing

Other Tuliptree (cbh 13 ft. 11”), Black Locusts growing out of base:
Height 103.4

Our next stop was the old beautiful Mt. Adnah Cemetery in Fulton, farther north down the Oswego River. Mt. Adnah is a garden cemetery on NY 3 on Fulton’s east side. Many veterans of the Civil War were buried there. The site is said in some early histories of Fulton to have been a forest of White Pines, under which lower Oaks grew. According to one book, called Fulton, New York, Mt. Adnah Cemetery was established in 1851; the forest then was mostly Pine. The Pines were thinned out from 1851-1853, and Oaks were left behind; the big Oaks today are the trees that were saved in 1853, and a few of the old Pines seem to remain. The site is hilly, and the soil is sandy, and Elijah surmised that it used to be a Pine Ridge. We had an idyllic time among great numbers of huge Black Oaks (largest Black Oaks in central NY) and smaller, but still very large, open-grown White Oaks, and among some big wondrously fragrant White Pines, with sun and warmth steeping the air with Pine fragrance; the sandy soil, the Pine-scented air, the breeze wafting through Pine boughs, gave the place a Maine-like feel. Many Oaks are germinating in lawns under the big Oaks. Huge Black Oaks often have huge scars, big burls. The Oaks are open-grown with flat-topped spreading crowns, with no Oaks over 85 feet tall (most are shorter). Trees with cbh listed in feet and inches were measured by Elijah with his 50-foot logging tape measure. All trees measured are single-trunked.


Biggest White Pine (cbh 10 ft., 10” (41.4” dbh)), old tree with old-looking platy bark, trunk high into crown with little taper, top seems to have been blown off a couple times at least, but was probably never much taller, big scar from base up:
Height 104.6 tallest tree measured at Mt. Adnah Cemetery, tree possibly about 250 years old, possibly one of the White Pines left when the original White Pine forest was said to have been removed

There are several other big White Pines in this section, one with top blown off.

White Pine in hollow toward NY 3 (cbh 9 ft. 1”):
Height 104.2

Big Black Oak by road (typical big tree) – 58.2” dbh (15.24 ft. cbh)

Big Black Oak, with big cleft in trunk – cbh 14 ft. 7”

Black Oak with huge burl by main entrance – cbh 15 ft. 2”
Huge Black Oak with 2 huge burls by side street – cbh 16 ft. 4” above burls

Big Black Oak near side street – cbh 14 ft. 3”

Big Black Oak in same area – 49.7” dbh (13 ft. cbh)

Biggest tree seen today, Black Oak with balding bark by side street –
cbh – 18 ft. 7” (71” dbh):
Height 74.4

Big Black Oak by Section 11 sign:
Height 80

We came to an impressive row of big open-grown Black Oaks that may have been planted a long time ago near St. Mary’s Cemetery fence:
Typical tree – cbh 13 ft. 2”
Burly Black Oak – cbh 16 ft. 6”

Trees in St. Mary’s Cemetery are much smaller than in Mt. Adnah Cemetery. Just over the fence in St. Mary’s Cemetery, we saw a rather big-trunked low compact Sassafras.

Back in Mt. Adnah Cemetery – big open-grown White Oak – one of biggest White Oaks: cbh – 14 ft. 2”

Near this tree, a Hickory with wavy grayish-brown bark (possibly Mockernut) – 27.4” dbh

Big Black Oak – cbh 13 ft. 8”

It looks like the great 74” dbh Black Oak Robert Henry, Sean Fagan, Beth Frey, and I measured Sept. 14, 2002, is gone. Today Elijah and I looked all over Mt. Adnah Cemetery for it, but could find no tree that large.

White Pine with big limb coming out of side, younger looking than biggest White Pine (cbh 9 ft. 9”)
Height 92

Average cbh of Black Oaks measured (10 trees) - 15.05 ft.

This could be one of the finest collections of large Black Oaks anywhere in the range of the species.

Trees: Dominant – Black Oak, White Oak

Associate – White Pine, Norway Spruce, Douglas-fir, White Fir, Hemlock, Baldcypress (1 small), Yew, Red Oak (smaller and younger than the other Oaks), Norway Maple, Hickory with wavy bark (possibly Mockernut), Sweetgum, Sawara Cypress (? pyramidal tree in same genus), no doubt others I didn’t write down.

Age Data (diameters and radii measured by Elijah with his logging tape):

Huge Black Oak stump – 6 ft. diameter, inner part hollow, about 150 rings on intact outer part, countable radius 1 ft. 11”

White Oak stump – 2 ft. 4” radius, 4 ft. 3” dia., intact to center – 220 rings

We walked to the back of the cemetery to edge of 2nd growth woods with Red Maple, to an area where wood cut out of the cemetery is discarded, saw the remains of at least 2 huge fallen Black Oaks: I counted 230 rings on a cross-section intact to center, an exceptional age for Black Oak anywhere – radius 1 ft. 9”, 4 ft. diameter.

These huge Black Oaks and White Oaks seem to average between 200 and 250 years old.


Tom Howard

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dbhguru
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Re: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:27 pm

Tom,

Very impressive. That's the best lineup of black oaks that I've read about. Congratulations on the confirmations.

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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ElijahW
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Re: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:26 pm

Tom, NTS,

Great report. Thank you, Tom, for taking lots of notes. I tend to trust my memory too much and should be documenting more than I do. Also, the heights are all Tom's measurements, as I forgot to pack my calculator, though I did make good use of my Nikon 440 with corroborating straight-up laser shots. My favorite part of the outing was definitely verifying ring counts on several of the oaks, both black and white. Mt. Adnah Cemetery is chock full of old, stout black oaks, and the size and form of the white oaks remind me of the specimen yard trees of the South. The trees as a whole looked very healthy, and hopefully have many years of life ahead of them.

Below are some pictures I took of our trip; both Mt. Adnah and the cemetery in Phoenix, Pioneer Cemetery.
The larger and taller of two tuliptrees in Pioneer Cemetery, Phoenix, NY.
The larger and taller of two tuliptrees in Pioneer Cemetery, Phoenix, NY.
Tom with same tuliptree.
Tom with same tuliptree.
005.JPG
006.JPG
Largest of Mt. Adnah Cemetery black oaks (71" DBH), Fulton, NY
Largest of Mt. Adnah Cemetery black oaks (71" DBH), Fulton, NY
Close-up of same black oak
Close-up of same black oak
Typical Mt. Adnah Cemetery scenery
Typical Mt. Adnah Cemetery scenery
010.JPG
Black oak leaves
Black oak leaves
Black oak bark
Black oak bark
Black oak regrowth, soon to be mowed over
Black oak regrowth, soon to be mowed over
Black oak acorn
Black oak acorn
Tom and I had another enjoyable, productive field trip, and I look forward to the next one. Thank you again, Tom, for introducing me to this place.

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

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tomhoward
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Re: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by tomhoward » Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:53 pm

Elijah,

Thanks for posting the great pictures. It was a good field trip; I'm looking forward to our next outing. Thanks for letting me show you these 2 great old cemeteries.

Tom Howard

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bbeduhn
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Re: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:30 am

Those black oaks are off the charts! The big tulip looks vigorous with no balding. That looks like a very productive site. The trees appear to be no older than the cemetery by looking at their bark. The growing season must be a bit longer than is typical for New York. Maybe all of that snow aids in fast growth!

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, NY

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Tom- A really nice report on the big Tulips and the large Black Oaks. Congrats on compiling such a listing of Black Oaks. Elijah the photos really show how large the Tulip and Black Oak are, good shots. I looked up the National Champ Black Oak it is in Hartford CT. Cir 347, Height 78' Crown Spread 89' for a total of 447. Has anyone seen that monster? I also looked up the Ms. Champion Black Oak Cir 187, Height 104', Crown Spread 107', total 320 located in Noxubee NWR. I'd like to verify that tree, the average Spread seams a bit large. Larry

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