Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY

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ElijahW
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY

Post by ElijahW » Sun May 29, 2016 7:59 pm

NTS,

My youngest brother and I spent a few hours yesterday at Fillmore Glen, just south of the village of Moravia, at the south end of Owasco Lake. Fillmore Glen features several waterfalls, the highest of which drops about forty feet, and nearly vertical walls, similar to the nearby and widely known Watkins Glen.

I didn't do much measuring, but the limited old growth within the walls of the glen definitely warrants a return trip after leaf-off. I roughly measured a hemlock to 130', and both tuliptree and white ash to over 120'. White pine also shows some height potential.

The main reason for writing this is to make an inquiry about a species I measured here for the first time, Mountain Maple, or Acer spicatum. Within the cool, moist glen, Mountain Maple was likely the most common understory species, and though the tallest I measurered was 25', I'm sure it gets into the low 30s. I don't recall Mountain Maple being mentioned recently in any trip reports, and wondered if 30' is a significant height. The largest-girthed tree seemed to be around 2' CBH, though none were wrapped.

Though I'm largely ignorant of wildflower and fern species, Fillmore Glen seems to have a great variety of each, and I did recognize both trilliums and Wild Ginger. Canada Yew is also present, as well as Striped Maple.

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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DougBidlack
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Re: Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY

Post by DougBidlack » Mon May 30, 2016 9:01 am

Elijah,

I measured some mountain maples in western Ontario that I haven't written about yet. The tallest I measured was just under 30' but I know the species easily makes 30'+ there and the largest in girth were right around 2' in girth as you suggest for Fillmore Glen SP in NY.

Doug

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bbeduhn
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Re: Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY

Post by bbeduhn » Tue May 31, 2016 12:49 pm

The tallest spicatum is 46' from 2007, Blozan and Riddle, in the Smokies. 30' is a pretty significant height.

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ElijahW
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Re: Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, NY

Post by ElijahW » Sat May 13, 2017 8:12 pm

NTS,

Since last spring, I've made a couple return trips to Fillmore Glen. Though I didn't find any sky-scrapers, my conclusion is that this is an important, botanically diverse site, perhaps as much a gem for a wildflower or small plant enthusiast as for a tree lover. First, some measurements:

Eastern Hemlock

129.3'
121.5'

Tuliptree

125.4'
115.0'

Eastern White Pine

119.3'
117.3

American Basswood

113.3'

Bitternut Hickory

113.0'

White Ash

112.5'

Red Hickory ID Tentative

105'

Northern Red Oak

94.3'

Mockernut Hickory ID Tentative

93.0'

White Oak

90.5'

Mountain Maple

32.2' x 1'1"
29.0'
25.8'
25.5'

Witch Hazel

21'

Hobblebush Viburnum lantanoides

9.4'
8.6'

Red Trillium Trillium erectum

Stem height: 19"
Crown spread: 15"

I include the Trillium because I came across quite a few large ones, with the Reds consistently appearing larger than the Whites.
Red Trillium 19" tall x 15" across
Red Trillium 19" tall x 15" across
The uplands above the glen are a combination of second growth Red/White oak forest and Red/White pine plantations. At the edge of the ravine, the old growth starts with White pine and Hemlock, transitioning quickly to northern hardwoods (Sugar maple, White ash, and Basswood). Beech is also present, but likely had a much bigger role in the past due to beech bark disease. The dominant species near the stream itself is Yellow birch, and the understory is a combination of Mountain maple, Witch hazel, and Hobblebush. The only two mature Tulips I found are represented in my opening summary. My belief is that though the surrounding land has seen some disturbance, the heart of Fillmore glen is an intact old growth ecosystem.

I ran into an interesting phenomenon walking the streamside trail, which was a Witch hazel, while having a nearly horizontal main stem, was putting branches over 20' both above and below ground level. I'm curious about how you all would approach measuring this tree. Growing on a steep slope, the end of the top limb was at least 43' in vertical separation from the end of the bottom limb, with the main stem roughly in the middle. This is the tree in question:
Weird witch hazel
Weird witch hazel
DSC00926.JPG
Some more photos from Fillmore Glen:
Hobblebush
Hobblebush
Canada yew
Canada yew
False Solomons Seal
False Solomons Seal
Elijah
Attachments
Older Mountain maple bark
Older Mountain maple bark
Mountain maple leaves & young tree bark
Mountain maple leaves & young tree bark
"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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