Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

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tomhoward
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Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by tomhoward » Tue May 05, 2015 7:22 pm

NTS,

After leaving Mt. Hope Cemetery on this sunny, very warm day (at least 79 F), Elijah Whitcomb and I surveyed beautiful Highland Park, a site famous for its Lilac Festival later in the month of May. This park also has one of the finest arboretums in the Northeast, with an emphasis on conifers from all over the world. This conifer area, or Pinteum, was the focal point of our survey. The Pinetum is mostly a series of groves of beautiful, fragrant Eastern White Pines about 100 ft. tall, and most likely over 100 years old. Conifers from all over the world are interspersed with the White Pines, creating a harmonious open forest that is quite enchanting. Many of these conifers are vey large, and most likely planted in the 19th century when Highland Park was laid out. The terrain is hilly, but mostly not very steep. In other areas around the pines, are groups of large partly open-grown White and Red Oaks (with some Black Oaks).

We parked near a Limber Pine, and a little farther down the road is a low Himalayan White Pine, like our native Eastern White Pine, but with longer, drooping needles and longer cones. We also saw several Swiss Stone Pines, White Pines with short needles that look more like Red Pines. Swiss Stone Pine is native to the Alps and northern Europe. In this same group is a Cedar of Lebanon with its characteristic flat top. We also saw a Rotund Mugo Pine (small tree, not the usual shrub), and a variety of Japanese Red Pine with very red bark, redder than any pine I’ve seen.

Trees were measured with the NTS sine method.

Elijah measured a typical Eastern White Pine in this group to 100 ft.
I got a height above eye level on another Eastern White Pine in this group to 108.2 ft. This tree may not be that tall, as I could not see its base, and since the tree is on a hill, its base could be above my eye level.

Ponderosa Pine in same group near where we parked:
Height 87.45 ft. – possibly tallest in NY

There are also many Eastern Hemlocks, but, unfortunately, we found the white woolly masses of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid covering twigs.

We saw a bare Dawn Redwood, but it is budded out, and a brown-needled Blue Atlas Cedar that is probably dying from the harsh winter of 2014-15, and a Lacebark Pine from China, a small tree that could be dying.

Among the pines, Elijah measured a short Cucumber Magnolia to 8’5” cbh.

We also saw a big Hickory (Red Hickory or Pignut Hickory?), Redbud in bloom, Yellowwood leafing out, and groups of American Hollies under Red Pines.

We walked up to a reservoir in a big open lawn, with expansive views to south, to hills far away.

Then we walked into a group of large White, Red, and Black Oaks (budding out in the warm weather), with one a large Hickory (Red or Pignut?), with an understory of exotic Paperbark Maple from China?, a small tree with reddish-brown peeling bark.

We returned to the Pinetum, went down hill into a hollow with big conifers from all over the world. In the midst of these conifers is a beautiful flowering Cherry(?) with pink-purple flowers, a lovely contrast to the green of the conifers.

In the hollow are 2 large tall Algerian Firs from the Atlas Mountains of Algeria; the smaller is 27.8” dbh, the larger 33.3” dbh. I measured the height of the largest Algerian Fir, 33.3” dbh:
Height 96.8 ft. – possibly NY record, possibly tallest Algerian Fir ever measured by NTS method in Western Hemisphere (Monumental Trees has a tree at 108.2 ft. in Belgium with NTS method; conifers.org says this tree reaches a height of 25 meters, or 82 ft., the label on the tree at Highland Park says it reaches a height of 120 ft. – in its native land – a height that seems possible – it is a beautiful stately tree)

Elijah measured a double-trunked Eastern Hemlock in the hollow to 105.6 ft.

I measured a tall narrow Nordmann Fir (from Caucasus – Turkey) to 101.42 ft., and a Nikko Fir (from Japan) to 90.4 ft. Both Nordmann Fir and Nikko Fir could be NY height records.

In the same hollow is a small Siebold Hemlock from Japan. In the same hollow is a small Japanese Umbrella Pine (not a pine, but looking more like a cypress with long needles). We found some huge brown leaves on the ground – they came from a small Japanese Bigleaf Magnolia.

In the same hollow Elijah measured a bare (deciduous) Chinese Golden Larch to 79.1 ft, a possible NY record, possibly tallest ever measured with NTS method.

Elijah measured a crooked Japanese Black Pine on a slope above the hollow, to 76.7 ft., a possible NY record, possibly tallest ever measured with NTS method.

Beyond the hollow is a huge Cedar of Lebanon, 11’1” cbh, a magnificent tree with a wide flat-topped crown. This is what I got for the height: 74.9 ft. – possible NY height record

In the same area we saw a battered low Hackberry with 2 crooked big limbs.

On the hillside among other trees (mostly hardwoods), I saw a really big Sassafras, 35.7” dbh, biggest dbh I’ve ever seen on a single-trunked Sassafras. I got 66 ft. for the height of this mostly open-grown Sassafras.

On the same hill, Elijah measured a tall straight (9’3” cbh) Jeffrey Pine to 104.4 ft., possibly the tallest Jeffrey Pine in NY.

We looked across another hollow, saw a towering Tuliptree on the far side, easily the tallest tree we saw on this outing to Rochester. The tree has a big scar on its trunk; I got:
Height 118.5 ft.

In the same area is a Carolina Hemlock with tiny red spheres at the ends of the needles.

Nearby are some very large spreading Zelkova trees (most likely from Caucasus) with Sycamore-like bark, but with fine twig structure (and in summer small elm-like leaves).

It was already early evening and we had to head back to North Syracuse.

Summary of heights measured in Highland Park on this outing:

White Pine 100
White Pine 108.2 height above eye level, could not see base, base on slope that may be above eye level, so tree may not be this tall
Ponderosa Pine 87.4 possible NY record
Algerian Fir 96.8 possible NY record, 33.3” dbh, possibly tallest of this species measured in Western Hemisphere
Eastern Hemlock 105.6
Chinese Golden Larch 79.1 possible NY record, possibly tallest ever rmeasured of this species
Nordmann Fir 101.4 possible NY record
Nikko Fir 90.4 possible NY record
Japanese Black Pine 76.7 possible NY record, possibly tallest ever measured of this species
Cedar of Lebanon 74.9 possible NY record, big tree, 11’1” cbh
Sassafras 66 35.7” dbh, biggest single trunk I’ve seen
Jeffrey Pine 104.4 possible NY record, 9’3” cbh
Tuliptree 118.5


Tom Howard

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bbeduhn
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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by bbeduhn » Wed May 06, 2015 3:18 pm

Nice finds! I've seen taller Nordmann and Nikko firs in the US but that golden larch is much taller than any I've seen. I think about 40' is the best I've seen. Algerian fir is one i haven't come across before. The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard is a good bet for potential record exotics but I haven't been there yet. That's a big sassafras and the western conifers are quite impressive! Any pics coming? Do you have a height on the Dawn redwood? It does quite well in Ohio but I wonder how it does a bit further north. I would assume it dates to the early 1950's.

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ElijahW
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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Sat May 09, 2015 11:25 am

NTS, Brian, Tom,

I really enjoyed this outing with Tom. It's nice to see new species for the first time, especially in bunches. The bummer on this day was, of course, the abundance of adelgid on the hemlocks. The lone Carolina hemlock did not seem to have any white spots on the needles, but I suppose it will before long. Below are some of our finds:
"Pinetum" dominated by Eastern White Pine.  The tallest trees were generally just over 100', though the height above eye level made them seem more impressive.
"Pinetum" dominated by Eastern White Pine. The tallest trees were generally just over 100', though the height above eye level made them seem more impressive.
Mixed in among the White Pines are Swiss Stone Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Limber Pine, Red Pine, Rotund Mugo Pine, Cedar of Lebanon, and other assorted exotic conifers.
Mixed in among the White Pines are Swiss Stone Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Limber Pine, Red Pine, Rotund Mugo Pine, Cedar of Lebanon, and other assorted exotic conifers.
A photo in the shade of a limber pine, I believe.
A photo in the shade of a limber pine, I believe.
DSC00432.JPG
Tom next to a Cedar of Lebanon
Tom next to a Cedar of Lebanon
Cedar of Lebanon needles
Cedar of Lebanon needles
Cedar of Lebanon (74.9' x 11'1")
Cedar of Lebanon (74.9' x 11'1")
Western Yellow, or Ponderosa, Pine
Western Yellow, or Ponderosa, Pine
87.4' Ponderosa Pine
87.4' Ponderosa Pine
Jeffrey Pine (104.4' x 9'3")
Jeffrey Pine (104.4' x 9'3")
Himalayan White Pine
Himalayan White Pine
The under- and mid-story of the pinetum was mostly the native northern white cedar intermixed with smaller exotic cedars and cypresses, along with some rhododendrons.
The under- and mid-story of the pinetum was mostly the native northern white cedar intermixed with smaller exotic cedars and cypresses, along with some rhododendrons.
Tom measuring an Algerian Fir, unidentified flowering tree in background.
Tom measuring an Algerian Fir, unidentified flowering tree in background.
DSC00446.JPG
Algerian Fir
Algerian Fir
Algerian Fir needles
Algerian Fir needles
Lots of adelgid sign on the Eastern Hemlocks in the pinetum.
Lots of adelgid sign on the Eastern Hemlocks in the pinetum.
Carolina Hemlock red growths.  I plead ignorance here, and don't know whether these are good, bad, or indifferent.  Please advise.
Carolina Hemlock red growths. I plead ignorance here, and don't know whether these are good, bad, or indifferent. Please advise.
DSC00455.JPG
Sassafras (35.7" DBH)
Sassafras (35.7" DBH)
I apologize for not having photos of the rest of the exotics, in particular the Nikko and Nordmann Firs, Japanese Black Pine, and Chinese Golden Larch. These were all beautiful trees, and well worth the visit.

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: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by tomhoward » Sun May 10, 2015 7:03 pm

The Arnold Arboretum is in Jamaica Plain on the south side of Boston, but has long been run by Harvard. It is one of the best places to look for record exotics, but I have no idea when I can get there.

We didn't measure the height of the Dawn Redwood, but it wasn't very tall, most likely not over 50 ft. tall. I haven't seen any tall Dawn Redwood in NY, but some are big - at SUNY ESF in Syracuse is a Dawn Redwood over 4 ft. dbh.

Elijah,

Thank you for posting the pictures. They are great, reminders of a fabulous outing.


Tom Howard

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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:21 pm

NTS,

Last Sunday (9/17), Tom Howard and I made another visit to Highland Park to measure exotics. Despite the heat (mid-80s), I had a great time, and Tom thought it was one of our most productive outings together. This collection of species from all over the world is much more extensive than I originally thought, and though we did a lot of measuring, there's much more left to be done.

Below I've compiled a list of tree species measured at Highland Park; for many species, ID tags were relied on. One note: The tree listed as "Bhutan Pine," or Pinus wallichiana, is also known, and was tagged as, Himalayan Pine. For some of the pines and firs, bark characteristics and needles were similar on different species, and cones were absent or too high to see clearly. It's possible that one or more trees have been incorrectly identified, but Tom and I have done our best to confirm that these trees are what their tags say they are. Here's what we've measured so far:
Highland Park 1.PNG
Highland Park 2.PNG
Tom and I also spotted a pair of small hawks in one of the pines, one smaller and differently colored than the other. After some research, they turned out to be a Cooper's Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. The common Red tailed hawk is what I'm used to seeing, so this was a real treat.

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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bbeduhn
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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:49 am

You've got quite a few species that I have yet to encounter in an arboretum or large estate. Some of them are quite large, especially the western US species.

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dbhguru
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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by dbhguru » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:09 pm

Elijah,

You are a one-man army! Need any help putting the native trees into our VA Tech database? I'd hate to see all your work limited to NTS posts.

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: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:50 pm

Brian,

It's an outstanding collection of exotics, the best that I'm aware of in upstate NY. The park was established about 1890, and these trees have been well taken care of. Highland Park makes up half of Monroe County's arboretum, and eventually Tom and I will get to the other half, at Durand-Eastman. I recommend this place to any lover of rare conifers.

Bob,

Thanks. Tom and I have spent several hours so far at Highland, and there's more to do, yet. I was looking over your spreadsheet template yesterday, and I may have questions as I fill it out. I do intend to put these measurements in the VT database. They're already in the Galehouse database, which is where I exported the above spreadsheet from.

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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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:32 am

NTS,

Earlier this fall, I surveyed some deciduous trees in Highland Park, focusing mostly on the nut tree collection. I measured the following trees:

Black Hickory Carya texana

97.1' x 6.41'

Pecan Carya illinoinensis

88.1' x 4.89'

Carolina (Southern) Shagbark Hickory Carya carolinae-septentrionalis

69.0' x 6.23'

English Walnut Juglans regia

64.6' x 6.59'

Bigtooth Maple Acer grandidentatum

71.9' x 8.14' (Circumference taken at 3')

Field Maple Acer campestre

60.6' (Multiple trunks)

Miyabe Maple Acer miyabei

55.3' x 3.94'

European Hornbeam Carpinus betulus

42.8' x 6.19'

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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Re: Highland Park, Rochester, NY May 3, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:43 pm

NTS,

This afternoon I spent a few minutes back in the hardwood section of Highland Park. I measured several interesting trees, some of which I’ve never seen before. Here they are:

Carolina Shagbark Hickory Carya carolinae-septentrionalis

95.3’ x 7.78’

Shellbark Hickory Carya laciniosa

95.0’ x 6.10’

Mockernut Hickory Carya tomentosa

80.3’ x 5.35’

Dunbar’s Hickory Carya x dunbarii (C. laciniosa x C. ovata)

84.8’ x 4.89’

Castor Aralia Kalopanax septemlobus

63.6’ x 11.26’

Pumpkin Ash Fraxinus profunda

94.2’ x 7.93’

Biltmore Ash Fraxinus biltmoreana

73.0’ x 11.04’

Blue Ash Fraxinus quadrangulata

56.5’ x 7.50’

Narrow-leafed Ash Fraxinus angustifolia australis

88.2’ x 9.92’

Common (European) Ash Fraxinus excelsior

71.2’ x 9.60’

The Ashes stood out to me more than anything else today. The two Blue Ash trees I saw were in poor shape, but the European Ashes were both very handsome specimens, and thriving well away from their native lands.

Elijah

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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