Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

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dbhguru
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Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by dbhguru » Sun May 08, 2016 6:37 pm

Hi Ents,

I just returned from 4 days in the Adirondacks. Lots to report on, but gotta get organized first. The one report I will make now is of the re-measurement of the huge Paradox Lake pine. Using my 200X, I got a solid height of 150.2 feet. The girth is 13.1 feet. Here is a look at the pine
JohnDavis-Paradox-Pine-1-a.jpg
I've now measured the pine 3 times. The first time I used a Nikon Prostaff 440 and got 152 feet, but my Prostaff shoots long. The second time, I had Sparky, my 200X, but I didn't find the top. The third time was a charm. I found the top. It is a legitimate 150-footer. So, the combination of a 150-foot height and a 13-foot circumference puts the Paradox Pine in a pretty exclusive white pine club.

Erik and Elijah,

What do you all think about the three of us (plus others who might be interested) joining forces and developing a database of NY sites with trees exceeding a specified height threshold. I have a database for Massachusetts for sites with trees reaching to 130 feet or more. We could set the threshold there or perhaps higher since NY is such a large state.

We would need to agree on what constitutes a separate site. A city park or small state park or forest seem clear, but we would need to establish clear rules for larger areas. The Adirondack Park would have many sites. Please let me know if this collaborative effort is of interest. We already have lots of data between 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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by ElijahW » Sun May 08, 2016 9:04 pm

Bob,

Congratulations. This is the Crane Pond pine, correct? That's a pretty tree. The 200X is slick as snot when used on a tripod.

I have at least three sites within a five-minute drive of my apartment where tuliptree tops 130', so I think 135 or 140 might be a better threshold for a database. I think we have about ten sites with trees above 150', so that's probably too high, at least for now. The Adirondackes ought to have several more undiscovered places where White pine reaches 140'; the Catskills even more. The Hoffman Notch and Silver Lake Wilderness areas of the Dacks should have some decent-sized second growth pines, but they take some time and effort to get into.

I'm down with putting together a list. Without looking, here's where I know the 150' threshold is reached:

Elders Grove, Paul Smiths
Pack Forest, Warrensburg
Crane Pond, Paradox
Pine Orchard, Wells
Green Lakes SP, Fayetteville
Zoar Valley, Gowanda
Inwood Hill, Manhattan
Shu Swamp, Long Island
St. Paul's Cemetery, Hancock

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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon May 09, 2016 9:18 am

Such a database would definitely be of interest! I think, though, that if the intent is to highlight those sites where trees achieve exceptional height, one of the main differences between MA and NY is the ubiquity of tall tulips. I also can rattle off multiple 130+ tulip sites within spitting distance, and I'm sure there are plenty more between the areas we've more comprehensively covered. However, if we go with 140 in order to account for that factor, this excludes all but the most outlying of all outliers for species like red oak, cottonwood, white ash and hickories while knocking exceptional basswood, hemlock, etc off the map... it seems to me that the threshold for "special" for most of these other species, in NY state, is 130'. Sites lacking tuliptree and white pine but topping 130' with these other species I think should have the chance to be included- the cottonwoods and freeman maple in Fuertes Bird Sanctuary in Ithaca, for example. So it might make sense for the threshold to discriminate by species: 140+ for tuliptree and white pine, 130+ for the rest. That would yield a satisfying list without being excessively inclusive and necessitating an enormous excel file.

Looking forward to the rest of your adirondack reporting! It's one of my ambitions to get deep into the high peaks in search of pockets of tall trees along the valleys, particularly around the ausable lakes- haven't had a good backpacking expedition in years. I'm finally facing the prospect of a real paycheck and schedule with discretionary time once I complete my current americorp term, so this is forming at last into a real possibility (among others) next spring.

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dbhguru
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Re: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by dbhguru » Mon May 09, 2016 9:44 am

Erik and Elijah,

Erik, I like the two-tiered approach: 130 for species other than WP and TT, and 140 for them. Makes imminent sense.

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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by ElijahW » Tue May 10, 2016 7:47 am

Erik,

I like your idea. How would you gentlemen like to proceed?

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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue May 10, 2016 9:08 am

Not sure. I'm used to keeping my databases via google sheets, and also open excel files via OpenOffice on my personal computer to view them but seem to run into compatibility issues if I do any editing. I do have excel on my work computer. If the database should be in excel, I perhaps should not be the one to maintain it. I do like the instant capacity to share and collaboratively author databases built in google sheets, though, and use them for my job, for tree measurements, and for botanical inventories. If that sounds like an appealing platform to try out to the two of you, I'd be willing to build it.

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ElijahW
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Re: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by ElijahW » Tue May 10, 2016 9:02 pm

Erik,

For individual trips, I just make lists in "Notes" on my phone or laptop, or manually on a small notepad. Long-term, everything goes into Excel, Word, and the Trees Database. A database of exceptional NY sites, whatever the given height threshold, should be pretty simple. I haven't used any online tools like Google Sheets, but am willing to try. I used MS Access years ago, but I'm much more comfortable now with a simple spreadsheet.

This list we're discussing isn't likely to be very dynamic after initial construction, so it's not really important which format is used, for now. The cat's meow, of course, would be a powerful database such as Bob has wanted with Harvard or another respected partner.

If you'd like to build a list in Sheets, let me know and I'll go along with it. Peace,

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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by dbhguru » Wed May 11, 2016 7:11 am

Elijah and Erik,

I recently had a meeting at Harvard Forest and they are definitely interested in being a repository for our data. The details have yet to be worked out. Dr. David Foster, the director is insanely busy, constantly traveling. I will eventually get enough time with him, but it may not happen for months. So, it may be some time before we can get a real database set up at Harvard Forest, but I do think it is in our future.

Regardless, we each will likely maintain our own databases, which could feed one devoted to summary statistics of the type we're discussing. We could agree on an Excel format which each of us could keep on our individual sites/measurements. One of us could maintain a consolidated version - same format. No extra software. The reason I personally prefer Excel is that the data are in a very convenient format and instantly available for all kinds of analysis and summarizations. Just my thoughts.

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: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by Erik Danielsen » Thu May 12, 2016 8:36 am

Sounds sensible. Since I'm quite a bit less familiar with Excel, is there some way for you to share the format which you've used for your analogous MA list, which could then be modified however needed for NY?

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ElijahW
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Re: Back to the Incomparable Adirondacks

Post by ElijahW » Sat May 21, 2016 11:24 pm

Bob, Erik,

I'm good with Excel. I thought some on this topic earlier today and here's a list so far of sites meeting our criteria where I've visited, with the species meeting said criteria:

Green Lakes SP (Tuliptree, Hemlock, American Basswood, White Ash, Bitternut Hickory, Sugar Maple)
Zoar Valley (Tuliptree, American Sycamore, American Basswood, White Ash, Bitternut Hickory, Northern Red Oak, Eastern Cottonwood)
Elders Grove, Paul Smiths (White Pine)
Pine Orchard, Wells (White Pine)
Village of Wells (White Pine)
Pack Forest, Warrensburg (White Pine)
Smith Woods, Trumansburg (Tuliptree)
St. Pauls Cemetery, Hancock (White Pine)
Morgan Hill SF (Norway Spruce)
Taylor Valley SF (Norway Spruce)
Mt. Hope Cemetery, Norwich (Norway Spruce)
Claryville (White Pine)
Frost Valley (White Pine)
Rider Hollow (Dunkeld Larch)
Fuertes Bird Sanctuary, Ithaca (Eastern Cottonwood, American Sycamore, Freeman Maple)

These, of course, will be entered into an Excel spreadsheet, along with future sites. Frost Valley, in the central Catskills, looks to have some old-growth White pine, by the way, and will probably have some exceeding 150'. The biggest challenge I'm facing in the Catskills so far is access to the most interesting forests; most everything that looks promising is posted. The Adirondacks, by contrast, are pretty much wide open for exploring. Peace,

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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