Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

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ElijahW
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Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by ElijahW » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:19 am

NTS,

On 12/26, I combined a trip to Kaaterskill Falls with a visit to the Rider Hollow trailhead for Balsam Mountain. Rider Hollow Rd. dead-ends at about 2000' above sea level, and my two targets, European (Dunkeld) larch and White spruce (see below photos) plantations, were located just a short distance from the parking area. Jess Riddle's report from 2006: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... untain.htm really intrigued me, and I have to thank him for sharing his trip from back in the day. I only measured a handful of trees, and just three species:

European (Dunkeld) larch:

131.6' x 5'5"
Dunkeld larch
Dunkeld larch
White spruce

125.6' x 5'11"
122.5' x 7'1"
DSC00676.JPG
DSC00675.JPG
DSC00673.JPG
Common serviceberry

64.5' x 1'9" (beginning of trailhead)

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Have you considered keeping a comparison of height:diameter ratios for these conifer sites you keep measuring? You are on a roll with very thin, very tall conifers. I didn't even know white spruce was likely to hit those heights.

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ElijahW
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Re: Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by ElijahW » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:41 am

Erik,

I did some figuring last night and compiled a list of diameter-to-height ratios for some NY trees that have been reported on. Will Blozan and others have discussed this sort of thing before, and to see actually numbers is pretty cool. Here you are:

All figures are to a factor of 1. For example, a tree with a height of 100.0' and a diameter of 1.0' has a ratio of 100:1.

Height to Diameter Ratio (ft.) Species Site

115.7 C. dentata Long Branch
113.1 A. arborea Rider Hollow
103.2 C. cordiformis Zoar Valley
96.1 A. pensylvanicum Smith Woods
92.3 M. acuminata Howlands Island
91.5 U. rubra Zoar Valley
89.0 Q. meuhlenbergii Howlands Island
83.5 F. americana Howlands Island
83.4 P. tremuloides Beaver Lake
80.0 P. strobus Howlands Island
77.4 L. x marschlinsii Rider Hollow
75.4 R. pseudoacacia Howlands Island
75.2 A. balsamea Pine Orchard
74.6 O. virginiana Green Lakes
72.5 F. nigra Howlands Island
72.0 B. alleghaniensis Howlands Island
69.8 S. albidum Washington Grove
69.7 P. glauca Rider Hollow
68.6 A. rubrum Washington Grove
68.7 P. abies Morgan Hill
68.7 P. avium Washington Grove
68.5 P. rubens Pine Orchard
67.6 A. glutinosa Sprakers, NY
67.5 Q. rubra Zoar Valley
62.2 T. americana Zoar Valley
60.5 A. saccharum Howlands Island
60.5 Q. palustris Howlands Island
58.1 P. banksiana Wanakena, NY
58.1 P. occidentalis Zoar Valley
55.0 P. sylvestris Washington Grove
50.1 J. nigra Zoar Valley
36.0 P. jeffreyi Highland Park
35.8 A. numidica Highland Park
30.3 M. glyptostroboides Cornell Plantations
21.4 C. libani Highland Park

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: Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by Jess Riddle » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:37 pm

Elijah,

The spruce looked to you like white spruce? The trees in that grove are the tallest NTS has measured for the species, but I've been hesitant to list them in the MaxList. I'm not very familiar with the species, so I haven't been positive of the ID. White spruce is the only species I know of with cones that size that is commonly used for plantations in the region though.

Jess

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ElijahW
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Re: Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by ElijahW » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:24 pm

Jess,

The form and cones are a fit for white spruce, but I didn't handle any needles or get a close look at them. It's not black, red, or Norway, and the only alternative in my mind would be a white spruce hybrid. From what I've seen online, the overall form doesn't match a Sitka spruce- or Engelmann spruce-white spruce hybrid. I don't know what other options I have for an ID. I did some searching on the NY DEC website, and the state planted white spruce in the Charleston State Forest, in Fultonville, NY. I saw examples of these trees the same day I visited Rider Hollow (just a couple of hours earlier, really), and to my eye, they were a match. You've seen the mistakes on ID I've made in the past, so my confidence isn't 100%, either, but I really don't know what else they could be. My personal experience with white spruce is limited to what I've seen in southern Ontario, a little bit in the Adirondacks, and Christmas tree plantations, but I can tell it apart from Black, Red, and Norway up close.

Maybe we can get a Canadian to chime in?

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: Rider Hollow, Balsam Mountain

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:59 pm

NTS,

This morning I revisited Rider Hollow to check on the planted white spruce stand. The tallest tree, measured to 125’+ in 2015, has been deceased for some time. The trunk is broken partway up, and apparently a strong wind event did it in. The good news, however, is that the second-tallest (and largest-girthed) spruce, measured to 122’ x 7’1” in 2015, is in good health and now weighs in at 126.1’ x 7.32’. A second living tree may also just hit 120’, but I didn’t measure it carefully this time. One white spruce in the Adirondacks, where the species is native, should exceed that same threshold this year.

In other news, a Catskill Park white pine I’ve been keeping my eye on for a few years has now joined the 150’ club. It’s an older tree growing on private property, so I’ve been shooting the laser at it from the roadside for the last four years. Here’s a photo of the Pine in its small group of companions:
Claryville Pine
Claryville Pine
The large tree on the far right is about 142’ tall. The 150’ Pine is second from the right, in the background.

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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