Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

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tomhoward
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Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Post by tomhoward » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:07 pm

NTS,

Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY Oct. 5, 2014


Elijah Whitcomb and I crossed the Sackett Bridge over Fall Creek into Beebe Lake Woods. Beebe Lake Woods is an old growth forest that is part of Cornell Plantations. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, a dense stand of mostly White Oak and Red Oak (with other species) occupying the steep slope from Cornell’s Fuertes Observatory to Fall Creek and Beebe Lake. Water rushing over a dam on Fall Creek made a soothing sound. The area upstream is called the Hemlock Gorge, with many large Hemlocks above the layered rock walls of the gorge.

Robert Henry and I explored Beebe Lake Woods Apr. 30, 2000 – we had only “D” tapes then, no height measuring equipment. A report from a group called the Cornell Greens identified this as an old growth site then, and our survey confirmed that it is old growth. During this 2000 visit, we counted 275 rings on a White Oak stump, and 183 rings on the cross-section of a Red Oak at least 60 ft. above that fallen tree’s base. In 2000 there were many tall old looking White Pines. In 2014 we could only see 1 large old White Pine. The old growth covers perhaps about 10 or more acres, and the Hemlock Gorge upstream may contain more old growth. Despite steep terrain, this forest is not hard to access, due to stairs going up from the Sackett Bridge to Fuertes Observatory. A trail breaking off from the stairs let us get deep into the grove.

Trees seen in Beebe Lake Woods Oct. 5, 2014:
Dominant: White Oak, Red Oak
Associate: Hemlock (nearly dominant, one seems to be at least 100 ft. tall), White pine, Pignut Hickory (one large and tall that we did not have time to measure), Red Maple, Norway Maple, Hop Hornbeam, possibly Black Cherry, possibly Black Birch, Shadbush, Flowering Dogwood (one est. 35 ft. tall), Chestnut (sapling seen, with dying shriveled leaves near top), Witch Hazel (common large shrub), Tuliptree

Trees measured:

White Oak (near smaller Tuliptree), typical of larger trees:
Height 93.8 ft.

White Pine, only large White Pine seen, tallest tree in grove:
Height 120.4 ft.
Next to this White Pine is a much shorter White Oak with balding bark.

Red Oak, typical of large trees, 100 ft. + tall, with straight up shot

Red Oak up slope, one of biggest trees in grove:
Height 104.8 ft.

The Oaks in this grove seem to be about 90 – 105 ft. tall, and the largest trees seem to be about 3 ft. dbh.

I counted 206 rings on a 13” radius cross-section of the log of a fallen dead White Pine. Inner rings were very wide, and outer rings were very tight and narrow.

I also counted 178 rings on the 8.5” radius stump of a long dead White Pine.

It was already well into evening when Elijah and returned to the main section of Cornell Plantations, and to his car.


Tom Howard

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ElijahW
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Re: Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Post by ElijahW » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:56 pm

NTS,

Here's some pictures I took of Beebe Lake and the surrounding woods.
DSC003761.jpg
DSC003781.jpg
This is a shrub I came across and am curious about. Any idea what it is?
DSC003741.jpg
DSC003751.jpg
Thanks,

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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Jess Riddle
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Re: Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Post by Jess Riddle » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:50 pm

Elijah,

Your shrub looks like fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)

Jess

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ElijahW
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Re: Beebe Lake Woods, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Post by ElijahW » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Jess,

Thanks. I looked at some images and agree. I was wondering if it was an escaped plant from the arboretum, because I hadn't noticed before.

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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