Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

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tomhoward
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Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by tomhoward » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:36 pm

NTS,

On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, Elijah Whitcomb and I measured trees at the Wizard of Oz Memorial Oak Grove. The weather was sunny and with temperature about 45 F, not at all like February, but a perfect day for exploring this magnificent old growth forest. The air felt fresh, and was fragrant with fallen leaves. There was no snow on the ground. the western part of the grove, which is exposed to winds, looks battered, because of a large number of dead Oaks as a result of a Forest Tent Caterpillar outbreak a few years ago. Some of these dead trees have fallen recently, including a dead White Oak that has fallen across the trail into the Forest Cathedral in the north central part of the grove. We measured many trees, updating the grove’s height measurements.

I measured the large Harriet Tubman Black Oak in the northwest part of the grove to 103.6 ft., a new maximum height for Black Oak in this grove.

I measured White Oak #23 (cored tree #23, dating to about 1855), a small White Oak next to the much larger and younger Baum Red Oak in the northwest, to 102.8 ft.

Elijah measured a Beech in the northern part of the grove to 93 ft., and an American Chestnut in the northwest to 57.1 ft. tall and 1.5 ft. cbh. This is the tallest Chestnut I know of in North Syracuse.

I measured a Beech at the north end of the Forest Cathedral to 93.4 ft., the maximum height for Beech in this grove. I measured a slender White Oak in the northeastern part of the Forest Cathedral to 107.5 ft., and I measured its larger neighbor, White Oak #15 (cored tree #15, dating to about 1860) to 110.7 ft.

Near these trees just east of the Forest Cathedral, are the shattered remains of the huge JFK Red Maple, one of the largest Red Maples in central NY. This tree was close to 3 ft. dbh, and over 106 ft. tall. It was dying, and fell in the windstorm of Jan. 10, 2016.

By the trail in the southeast part of the Forest Cathedral stands one of the grove’s most picturesque trees, an old shaggy, spiral-grain Red Maple that could be called the “Magic Maple” of this grove. On Feb. 7 Elijah measured this tree to a height of 119.1 ft., making this the tallest tree in the grove and in North Syracuse. The highest point in this tree’s dense, complex crown is very difficult to find. It twisting trunk is about 27 in. dbh.

The Forest Cathedral was especially magnificent on a day like this, with dense ranks of old White Oaks and Red Maples lifting their crooked crowns high into the crystal blue sky.

I measured the 9/11 White Oak, one of the greatest White Oaks in the Forest Cathedral, to a height of 112 ft., now the maximum for White Oak in this grove. This tree is called the 9/11 White Oak because it used to have a plaque dedicated to the 9/11 Rescuers. This plaque, like so many dedicatory plaques in this grove, has fallen.

Elijah measured the Anne Frank Black Gum, an old tree (est. over 240 years old) with a complex reiterated crown, to a height of 94.9 ft. One other part of the crown is 94.8 ft. In 2009, Robert Henry measured this tree to 94.5 ft. As far as I know, this is the tallest Black Gum in New York State. Its dbh is a little over 20 in.

At the edge of the second growth forest that separates the grove from Lonergan Park, is a prominent White Pine that is difficult to measure because of multiple tops. On Feb. 7, Elijah measured this tree to 112 ft. As of now, this is the tallest White Pine in North Syracuse.

I counted about 100 rings on a 3.5 in. radius cross-section of a Red Maple branch, 54 ft. above the tree’s uprooted base. This Red Maple seems to have lived about 150-200 years, a typical age for Red Maple in this grove.

I got a straight up shot of 90.5 ft.+ on a Beech in the southern part of the grove. In the southeast part of the grove, Elijah measured the grove’s tallest Black Cherry to 97.7 ft., and a tall Black Oak in the grove’s southeast corner to 102.1 ft.

In the field south of the grove, Dandelions were in bloom, incredible for this time of year around here. A week later (Feb. 14), it would be -23 Fahrenheit here, the coldest temperature in over 20 years here, and coldest in Feb. since 1979.

Elijah and I next surveyed Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse.

Trees measured:

Harriet Tubman Black Oak 103.6 tallest Black Oak in Grove
White Oak #23 102.8
Beech 93
American Chestnut 57.1 tallest Chestnut in Grove
Beech 93.4 tallest Beech in Grove
White Oak 107.5
White Oak #15 110.7
Red Maple 119.1 SE Forest Cathedral, tallest tree in Grove, and in North Syracuse
9/11 White Oak 112 tallest White Oak in Grove
Anne Frank Black Gum 94.9 tallest Black Gum in NY
White Pine 112 near Lonergan Park, tallest White Pine North Syracuse
Beech 90.5+ straight up shot
Black Cherry 97.7 tallest Black Cherry in Grove
Black Oak 102.1

Tom Howard

wisconsitom
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by wisconsitom » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:23 pm

Nice report, Tom. Just one rhetorical question, for you or whomever: Ever notice anything strange about those "oak"....or were they beech trees in the Wizard of Oz? In short, they bore apples! Yes, these trees-again, they always looked like beech to me-had apples on them!

OK, just trying to levitate the mood here on this Monday! Carry on.........

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:28 pm

Tom, All,

On my way back home from the Northeast I found myself heading south on I-81 towards North Syracuse. Thoughts of The Wizard of Oz Grove crept into my mind and I realized this would be the perfect opportunity to see this magical forest that I've heard so much about.

I left the vehicle and the road behind in Lonergan Park and approached the forest. A small pathway appeared and upon entering, the miles behind and the thought of the miles ahead melted away.

I strolled the main path and saw some of these great trees that Tom has so eloquently reported on.

Toll roads, construction zones, accident warnings, and the necessity of getting up early the next morning forced an all too brief visit.

I had no plans of measuring any trees, although I did measure the circumference of one tree. I'm sorry to report that one of the big northern red oaks has come crashing down and significantly impacted a mid-sized sugar maple. I'm sure that Tom has measured this tree before, but for documentation purposes and before it's potentially taken all the way down, I wanted to make sure to get a current CBH, which was 11.15'. One side of the tree was in very bad shape as one of the photos below will show, so I suppose it was just a matter of time.

Such is the nature of a very old forest, as sunlight pours in from above - a skylight into this majestic cathedral - those that have been patiently waiting seize the opportunity and lift their arms, ever reaching for the sky.
oz red 1.JPG
oz.JPG
The impacted sugar maple:
oz red 2.JPG
Trunk in very bad shape:
oz red 3.JPG
A new canopy opening:
oz red 4.JPG
Matt

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tomhoward
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by tomhoward » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:03 pm

Dear Matt,

I'm glad you got to see the Wizard of Oz Oak Grove. It is a magnificent old forest. I visited the grove yesterday, saw the fallen Red Oak. That tree had been on the way out for sometime; its other leader fell in a thunderstorm in Nov. 2005. The tree was 80 ft. tall when I last measured it (about 2013 or 2014), much shorter than most of the grove's other oaks. White and Red Oaks reach over 110 ft. in the Forest Cathedral section, and Red Maple reaches 119 ft.

Sugar Maple is an extremely rare tree in the grove; all (or nearly all) of the grove's many big maples are Red Maples. The tree the Red Oak fell against should be the biggest Sugar Maple in the grove.

The next time you or other NTS are in this area, please call me at (315) 452-0805 - if I'm available, I'll be happy to show you the 3 old growth groves in this area, Liverpool School Maple Grove, Wizard of Oz Oak Grove, North Syracuse Cemetery Oak Grove.

Tom Howard

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by Matt Markworth » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:35 pm

Tom,

Very interesting. I'll be curious to see how the maple does long term and I wonder how badly the roots have been damaged.

I'd love to see those other groves as well and will be sure to reach out the next time I'm in the area. Next time hopefully I'll have more time!

Matt

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ElijahW
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by ElijahW » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:49 pm

NTS,

This past Sunday, Tom Howard and I spent some time in the Wizard of Oz Grove. Our main objective to see how well the trees weathered the large amount of heavy, wet snow we received earlier this month. Aside from a lot of small broken limbs on the Red Maples, an uprooted Black Cherry, and a few snapped saplings, all was well.

As is our custom, Tom and I also measured some trees. For the most part, the canopy height remains the same; Red Maple is still the tallest, at 119’, Red Oak is just behind at about 114’, and White Oaks top out at 112’. We were able to add two species to the height summary, Cottonwood at 110’ and Pin Cherry at 70’. The Grove suffered a severe blowdown during the Labor Day Storm of 1998, and Tom believes that’s when the Pin Cherries sprouted.

Overall, the trip was a great time-well worth the price of admission.

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: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by ElijahW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:41 pm

NTS,

This afternoon, I completed a volume modeling of the Baum Red Oak, the largest tree in the Wizard of Oz Grove. Here’s the tree:
39A2EA16-A732-4F6A-9CE5-770265344F61.jpeg
52BFCFE5-C537-42DA-B206-9546F1BF8E66.jpeg
5BDE9209-6334-413A-8F1B-A04E57A9D808.jpeg
I treated the lower trunk from just above the root flare to the first major split as one section, and modeled it from two angles. The two measurements averaged came to 479’^3. The two major stems above the main trunk, plus a third, minor limb, added another ~347’^3. All told, the Baum Red Oak volume total was ~826’^3.

Above the root flare, the Baum Red Oak is ~6’ in diameter. The tree’s height is 114.’

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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dbhguru
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Re: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by dbhguru » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:03 am

Elijah,

Good show! With a volume of 826 ft^3, the density of red oak is around 44 lbs/ft^3. This yields a mass of 36,344 lbs for Baum. If 50% is carbon weight, we have 18,172 lbs or 9.09 regular tons of carbon. This reinforces the value of the hardwoods and the L. Frank Baum Oak's contribution to carbon sequestration. Our very largest white pines have a carbon content of not more than 7 tons. So, this large N. Red surpasses our biggest pines. Long live the hardwoods.

BTW, what is Baum's DBH? I'd like to compare your volume determination to that a Forest Service carbon model would give us?

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: Wizard of Oz Oak Grove Feb. 2016

Post by ElijahW » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:32 pm

Bob,

Thanks. The Baum Oak is 13.8’ CBH, or 52.7” DBH. Those mass figures are incredible, especially for a species that grows relatively quickly when compared to other hardwoods. Hopefully I’ll have a few more Red Oaks to share in the coming months.

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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