Liverpool School Maple Grove Nov. 2015

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Liverpool School Maple Grove Nov. 2015

Post by tomhoward » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:40 pm


On this cold, mostly sunny, breezy afternoon, Sunday Nov. 8, 2015, after we left Shackelton Point on Oneida Lake, Elijah Whitcomb and I visited the magnificent old growth Liverpool School Maple Grove. Almost the entire grove is old growth with towering Maples and Beeches over 200 years old all around. The grove was wondrously fragrant with freshly fallen leaves, and the Sugar Maples are bare. This grove of tall, ancient trees has a serene cathedral feel. The grove was gloriously illuminated by the golden light of the setting sun.

Elijah measured a Beech tree with rib like markings in the eastern part of the grove (near the giant Sugar Maple that could have been a Military Tract Witness Tree) to at least 118 ft. This is the tallest Beech ever measured in the grove, but the tree should be at least 120 ft. tall – its highest points are hard to see.

Countless small gray Moths flitted about the big Sugar Maples in the eastern part of the grove.

We stopped by the greatest tree of all, the possible Military Tract Witness Sugar Maple (54” dbh). This tree is intact and awesome, gnarly with spiral grain and thick diameter high into the crown. The old scar on the north side is mostly gone, but the larger, old scar on the west side is intact. This great tree is about 118 ft. tall (its huge high crown is hard to measure), and could be over 400 years old.

We walked west across the southern part of the grove, among the big old Sugar Maples and Beeches. We saw the 2nd biggest Sugar Maple (41.6” dbh), which looks even older than the giant, even gnarlier with spiral grain, and balding bark high into the canopy. There are some big Red Maples in this section.

We came to the grove’s biggest Tuliptree in the southwest corner, a glorious sight as this tree’s broad, lofty crown was filled with golden sunlit leaves. Elijah got a height of 120.9 ft. on this Tuliptree.

We walked north along the grove’s western edge, which is one of central NY’s most primeval landscapes, with many big old Red Maples, with spiral grain, towering trunks rising out of big buttress roots, the finest collection of old Red Maples that I’ve ever seen.

I got 122 ft.+ on a straight up shot on one of the largest (8.8 ft. cbh, 33.7” dbh) Red Maples. This is the 3rd tallest Red Maple I know of in NY; the tallest is 124.9 ft. in the same Liverpool Maple Grove, the 2nd tallest 123.6 ft. in Washington Grove City Park, Rochester.

At the edge of the grove just west of this tall Red Maple, we examined a tall tree at a fence separating the grove from a backyard; this tree was determined to be a White Ash (opposite branch and twig pattern), which Elijah measured to be at least 111 ft. tall with a straight up shot. This is the first Ash measured in the grove.

We met a man who lives by the grove, and who is an advocate for the preservation of the grove. He told us of some of the big trees that used to be in the grove, including a White Ash at the west edge that towered above the trees around it, and spread its wide crown above the other trees. This was probably one of the largest Ash trees in central NY.

We continued our survey walked among the tall, old Red Maples into the Shagbark Hickory area of the northwest. We got a straight up shot of 105 ft. on a slender White Ash. I got a straight up shot of 110 ft.+ on a rather slender Shagbark Hickory a little ways south of the paved path. It was getting dark, so we returned on the paved path to Elijah’s car.

Trees measured at Liverpool School Maple Grove Nov. 8, 2015:

Beech 118+
Tuliptree 120.9
Red Maple 122+ - 3rd tallest NY
White Ash 111+
White Ash 105+
Shagbark Hickory 110+

Liverpool School Maple Grove Rucker 10:

Sugar Maple 126.7
Red Maple 124.9
Bitternut Hickory 123.3
Tuliptree 120.9
Shagbark Hickory 118.4
Beech 118
White Ash 111
Basswood 105
White Oak 96.3
Black Cherry 85.2

Rucker 10: 112.97 ft.

Liverpool School Maple Grove Rucker 5:

Sugar Maple 126.7
Red Maple 124.9
Bitternut Hickory 123.3
Tuliptree 120.9
Shagbark Hickory 118.4

Rucker 5: 122.84 ft.

Tom Howard

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Re: Liverpool School Maple Grove Nov. 2015

Post by dbhguru » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:58 am


You and Elijah keep hitting home runs. Congratulations. We are getting a progressively better image of what trees can achieve in central and western NY. What about a guidebook to great trees and forest sites of central and western NY?

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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