Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

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tomhoward
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Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by tomhoward » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:36 pm

NTS,

On this sunny warm breezy Sunday (up to 81 F), Elijah Whitcomb and I explored part of the famous Cornell Plantations up on the hill at Cornell University. We explored the eastern part of the Plantations, a section we did not get to in our earlier exploration of Oct. 5, 2014. The trees in this eastern section are neither as large nor as tall as in the western part where we were in Oct. 2014. We first stopped at the Oak Collection, which has a greater variety of Oaks from all over the world than I’ve seen elsewhere; most of these trees are small, not much larger than sapling size, but there are some groves of medium-sized trees about 50-60 ft. high. The tallest trees seen were a few Eastern White Pines up to about 90 ft. tall, that appear to tower far above the rest of the Oak Collection. Some of the trees seen include Scarlet Oak, Hungarian Oak, Patriot Hybrid Elm, Sycamore Maple (fairly large), Pin Oak, Swamp White Oak, Bartram Oak (Quercus x heterophylla), Shumard Oak (among the biggest trees, one 35.7” dbh), Sawtooth Oak (from Japan, China, Korea – looks like Chinkapin Oak, but with smaller leaves), Chestnut Oak, Umbrella Magnolia (small tree with huge leaves over 2 ft. long, 8 in. wide), Basket Oak (small tree, Q. michauxcii [sp.], also known as Swamp Chestnut Oak, from Southeast USA), Chinkapin Oak, Downy Oak (Q. pubescens, small from southern Europe, Asia Minor), Gambel Oak (small White Oak-like tree from CO-NM [which I’ve seen at the Grand Canyon]), Jack Pine, Chestnut Leaf Oak (from Caucasus – Iran, Red Oak like bark, with Chestnut like leaves, small tree at Cornell, but a giant in its native lands), Daimyo Oak (small tree from Japan, Korea, China, with big Bur Oak like leaves), Turkey Oak (White Oak like leaves, Q. x cerris, from Turkey, southeastern Europe), Northern Red Oak. According to the Cornell Plantations website, there were many other species of Oak, but we didn’t see them all.

All trees measured for height were measured with the NTS Sine Method.

All White Pines referred to in this report are Eastern White Pines.

White Pine, one of tallest trees in Oak Collection:
Height 87.1 ft.

We continued to the Maple Collection, saw a Maple that had leaves that looked rounder than most Maple leaves, Bosnian Maple (Acer opalus), from eastern Europe, southern Italy, northern Africa. The Maples in this section were small, including a few Sugar Maple cultivars with deeply-cut leaves.

Just above the Maple Collection is the loveliest part of the Plantations we saw on this day, a grove of White Pines on a hilltop. These rough-barked White Pines are up to a little over 100 ft. tall, fast-growing trees with crooked crowns tossing in the breeze. These Pines are up to about 100 years old (the few stumps – possibly from trees knocked down in storms – have wide rings), wondrously fragrant, picturesque. The White Pines are reproducing, with seedlings and saplings. In front of the Pine Grove is a lovely stand of low Paper Birch. Striped Maple is common in the understory of the Pine Grove.

One of the tallest White Pines in the grove measured from down hill:
Height 101 ft.

This area exudes a pine-scented aura of peace.

Typical White Pine in the grove:
Height 84.5 ft.

Another one of the tallest White Pines in the grove measured from down hill:
Height 102.42 ft., tallest tree measured on this day.

We saw 2 small Hemlocks in the understory of the Pine Grove. The grove’s understory also includes Shadbush, Sweet Cherry, Rhodendron (R. maximum). A low plant that could be the rare (? – this plant was identified by part of Bob Leverett’s team in the North Syracuse Cemetery Oak Grove Apr. 25, 1998, and said to be a rare plant) Bristly Currant rises above the pine needles. A plaque identified the wildflower Wood Anemone, and we saw a wildflower with yellow flowers (at the edge of the grove, one of these flowers was growing out of a White Pine stump).

The Pine Grove is bordered by a road, and there is a forest of big hardwoods on the other side of the road. In this forest was a big Hickory (most likely Red or Pignut), and some large Black Birches – Elijah measure one Black Birch to 70 ft. tall, and 6 ft. 3 in. cbh. There is also at least one big Black Birch in the Pine Grove, the largest Black Birch I’ve ever seen in NY, 23” dbh, and with a height of 73.9 ft. measured by Elijah. This Black Birch has rough, platy bark, and its leaves have a powerful Wintergreen fragrance.

In the same area, we saw a Japanese Dogwood(?) (Cornus kousa), and Flowering Dogwood from eastern USA.

We next went to the Nut Trees area, where there are some big spreading Black Walnuts, Butternuts, one of the biggest Black Walnuts, a low spreading tree was measured by Elijah at 11 ft. 4 in. circ. below where big limbs comes out of trunk, and 10 ft. 9 in. circ. above where this limb (which leans on the ground) comes out of the trunk – the limb emerges from the trunk at breast height.

In the forest nearby is a big Sycamore, that Elijah measured to 15 ft. 4 in. cbh – it seemed tall, but it was at most 90 ft. tall above eye level. In the same wooded area is a small tree with leaves that look like Poison Sumach leaves with red stems, but, unlike Poison Sumach, which has alternate leaves, the leaves of this unknown tree are opposite each other – it could be the exotic Cork Tree.

We went to the western part of the Plantations where we were Oct. 5, 2014. The hill called Comstock Knoll has some fairly tall conifers, including a Norway Spruce that Elijah measured to 100.4 ft., and near the top of the hill the Ponderosa Pine we noticed in Oct. 2014 rising above a group of smaller Red Pines.

I climbed some stairs and got a full view of the Ponderosa Pine so I could measure it. It still is a young tree with the dark bark characteristic of young Ponderosa Pines:
Height 95 ft., possibly tallest Ponderosa Pine in NY

Elijah measured a European Larch on Comstock Knoll to 63.6 ft.

Near the parking lot below Comstock Knoll, Elijah measured a large spreading Dawn Redwood to 75.8 ft. tall (possibly tallest Dawn Redwood in NY) and 8 ft. cbh.

Elijah measured a large fragrant White Pine in the garden by the Lewis Building to 101 ft. tall, 8 ft. 10 in. cbh. In this same area, there are more White Pines on a hilltop, a grove of Sawara Cypress (from Japan – these trees cultivars) and Western Red Cedar (giant tree from western North America); Elijah measured a Western Red Cedar to 73.9 ft. tall and 7 ft. 4 in. cbh.

I measured the following Western Red Cedar down in a hollow:
Height 76.9 ft., possibly tallest Western Red Cedar in NY

Across the road from the Western Red Cedars are several River Birches. I measured a big 4-trunked River Birch:
Height 59.5 ft., possibly tallest River Birch in NY

In the same area is a large spreading Zelkova tree:
Height 58.9 ft., possibly tallest Zelkova NY

We then returned to North Syracuse.


Tom Howard

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dbhguru
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:52 pm

Tom,

Excellent report! You, Elijah, and Erik have become a heck of a team. I'll be in Ithaca in early August. Monica is part of a music festival at Cornell. Hopefully, we can meet up. Hopefully, we could talk about the National Cadre and you and the others joining it.

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:44 am

I'll also plan to get out to Ithaca for that, and will see if I can get Chris Merchant out there as well. Unfortunately, Durango is not in the cards for me this year after all.

I'm really enjoying all these reports from plantations and arboretums! The western redcedars in particular intrigue me. Are any of these exotics growing within a forest setting? The oddball species mixes that sometimes occur when planted exotics are left to fend for themselves within native forests arising through natural succession always pique my interest. I met up with Chris at Long Point state park last week and we came to an interesting section of forest at the site of a former homestead where catalpa, european larch, some exotic spruces and maples and eastern white cedar were all integrated with the rebounding native flora. Really catches my interest.

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ElijahW
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:44 pm

NTS,

Here are some photos of our second trip to Cornell Plantations:
Umbrella Magnolia
Umbrella Magnolia
DSC00457.JPG
Swamp white oak
Swamp white oak
A mix of Swamp white and Shumard oaks
A mix of Swamp white and Shumard oaks
Shumard oak leaves; these varied in shape and size from tree to tree.
Shumard oak leaves; these varied in shape and size from tree to tree.
Rhododendron in bloom
Rhododendron in bloom
Sycamore maple
Sycamore maple
Daimo oak
Daimo oak
DSC00478.JPG
Bosnian maple
Bosnian maple
DSC00482.JPG
"Fidcrezam" - One of many sugar and red maple hybrids in the Maple section.  This is a Sugar maple.
"Fidcrezam" - One of many sugar and red maple hybrids in the Maple section. This is a Sugar maple.
DSC00485.JPG
Tallest trees of the day:  White pines just over 100'.
Tallest trees of the day: White pines just over 100'.
Shadblow serviceberry
Shadblow serviceberry
Wood anemone
Wood anemone
Low-growing wildflower in question
Low-growing wildflower in question
Japanese dogwood
Japanese dogwood
Pignut hickory?
Pignut hickory?
Tom measuring among the pines
Tom measuring among the pines
Continued in the next post.

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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ElijahW
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:14 pm

NTS,

The following are the remaining photos of Tom and my trip:
Striped maple reproducing
Striped maple reproducing
Three flower maple (Asian)
Three flower maple (Asian)
DSC00503.JPG
Largest black birch of the day
Largest black birch of the day
DSC00506.JPG
DSC00507.JPG
Mystery yellow flower
Mystery yellow flower
Flowering dogwood
Flowering dogwood
~11' CBH Black walnut
~11' CBH Black walnut
Comstock Knoll, a mix of Eastern White pine, Red pine, Ponderosa pine, European Larch and Norway Spruce.  There also may have been Douglas-Fir, Balsam fir, and a few other species.
Comstock Knoll, a mix of Eastern White pine, Red pine, Ponderosa pine, European Larch and Norway Spruce. There also may have been Douglas-Fir, Balsam fir, and a few other species.
River birch left, Tom Howard center, Western Red cedar behind Tom, Sawara cypress right.
River birch left, Tom Howard center, Western Red cedar behind Tom, Sawara cypress right.
101' White pine by the Lewis Building, Sawara Cypress foreground
101' White pine by the Lewis Building, Sawara Cypress foreground
58' Zelkova tree
58' Zelkova tree
In a few decades, barring large-scale destruction, the oak and maple collections should be very attractive. As they are now, most of the trees are too young to see much distinction in form, or even leaf or bark characteristics. Overall though, I really enjoyed this visit with Tom and look forward to returning.

Bob, I'm looking forward to seeing you. Hopefully we can work this thing out.

Erik, I'm with you on mixing exotics and natives, at least where it can be done attractively. Around here, many plantations are made up of Norway Spruce and White pine, and they seem to grow at exactly the same rate when in competition. Red pine is often grown alone, as is Scots pine. Thanks for the reply,

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: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by tomhoward » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:48 am

Bob,

On WCNY radio (Syracuse classical music station) I heard about a music program in Ithaca Aug. 5-9. I believe that this is the program that Monica is a part of. Erik Danielsen, Elijah Whitcomb, and I would like to meet you to see the big Cottonwoods of Fuertes Bird Sanctuary in Stewart Park.

Hopefully, we can get this coordinated.

Also,I'd love to show you the great trees of the Liverpool School Maple Grove, which is not very far from Ithaca.

The best time for Elijah, I think, is the weekend of Sat. 8/8 - Sun. 8/9.

It would be good if we all could get together.

Tom Howard

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:07 pm

As far as arrangements have gone so far the 8th is the date- was waiting to hear back from Bob on Las Fuertes as a place to meet. Perhaps we could all meet there at a specified time in the morning and carry on the day as seems sensible from there?

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dbhguru
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by dbhguru » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:18 pm

Erik, Tom, et.al,

I'm good for the 8th, but I'll be without vehicle. I'll be at the Enfield Manor B&B. Address is 226 Hines Road, Newfield, NY. My cell is 413-320-8894. Would it be possible for someone to pick me up? If not, I could meet you at Cornell where Monica will be playing.

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:39 pm

I'd be able to do so. Tom and I just discussed timing on the phone, actually. It sounds like late morning meeting at Las Fuertes could be best? I could pick you up at either the B&B or Cornell on the way, whichever is preferable to you, and then we could meet Tom and Elijah at the bird sanctuary. Unfortunately Chris Merchant has a wedding to cater this weekend and can't make it.

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ElijahW
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Re: Cornell Plantations June 7, 2015

Post by ElijahW » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:21 pm

Tom, Erik, Bob,

I'll be coming down to Stewart Park (Fuertes Bird Sanctuary) with Tom on the 8th. Our plan is to get there a little before noon. I have the whole day open, and I'm looking forward to the trip. I'll see everyone on Saturday,

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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