Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

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greif
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Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

Post by greif » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:18 pm

I just ran into reference to old growth in a bog, about halfway between Rochester and Syracuse (near Newark, NY). Anybody know anything about this one?

Map at; http://www.bergenswamp.org/Maps/Zurich_ ... ctions.pdf


http://web.co.wayne.ny.us/wayne-county- ... y-12-2003/
Zurich Bog

In early deeds, known as Big Swamp
Native Americans referred to it as Devil's Lake or Bottomless Pit
Today it is known as Zurich Bog or Mud Pond
9 miles northeast of Newark
Approximately 3 miles long and 1 mile wide
It is a designated Registered Natural Landmark since 1974
Owned by Bergen Swamp Preservation Society since 1957


http://www.lifeinthefingerlakes.com/new ... ent-trees/
Another excursion into old growth
My second trip into old growth was under the guidance of Dr. Rob Wink. I tagged along with Wink and 15 students on a trip to Zurich Bog near Newark. About 35 acres of old growth remain here, safe from past logging practices due to the bog that borders it on three sides.

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ElijahW
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Re: Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

Post by ElijahW » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:51 pm

Greif,

I've not heard of this forest, but it's not far from me and I'll check it out when I get a chance. Thanks,

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: Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

Post by ElijahW » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:57 pm

NTS, Greif,

I walked the main loop through Zurich Bog near Newark, NY, today, and thought I'd share some observations and photos.

First, though the elevation remains fairly constant except for a small drumlin (knoll, really) in the middle of the property, the trail is kept in relatively primitive condition, and will be difficult to navigate if you have any trouble walking. I'm not complaining on this point, just giving advance notice to any potential visitors; I like a rough, lightly used trail, and think this type of trail is the most appropriate in this location.

The "Life in the Fingerlakes" article Greif linked to seems to reflect my thoughts on the amount of old growth in Zurich Bog, which is probably around 35 acres. The peat bog itself I would not characterize as old growth, but a good portion of the hardwood forest on the drumlin and the transition between bog and drumlin I would. Respecting the owners' rules, I stayed on the marked trail, and was only able to measure carefully a handful of trees, though I did get a pretty good idea of what species were present.

Beginning at the eastern edge of the bog, I walked through a typical northern swamp mixture of tree species, including Green and Black ash, Freeman maple, Yellow birch, and Hemlock, with an occasional White pine. Other than Speckled alder, I was unfamiliar with most of the understory shrubs, but the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society (the property owners) lists Winterberry, Highbush blueberry, and Mountain holly as being present, along with other peat bog-loving plants. In the middle of the bog is a nice example of a Tamarack-Black spruce stand, which is unusual for the area and nice to see. The tamarack seems middle-aged, probably less than 100 years old, and I assume the spruce is in the same age class. The one tamarack I measured was around 70' in height, and the spruce didn't seem to exceed 60'.

Approaching the drumlin from the east, I walked through a dense stand of hemlock, which averaged around 80'. The odd White pine emerged above the hemlock canopy, but struggled to reach 100'. The core of the drumlin itself was a classic Beech-Hemlock climax forest, with plenty of Sugar maple and Black cherry and Basswood filling in the canopy gaps. This forest looks to be transitioning into more of a Hemlock-Basswood-Black cherry stand as the Beech become diseased and slowly die out. I came across several large fallen Beeches, and many more are showing signs of decline. On the drumlin edge, I measured a White pine to just over 130', and a Tulip tree not far away to about the same height. These were the two tallest trees for the day, though Black cherry also exceeded 120', and Beech and Hemlock may as well. To obtain more accurate heights, permission to go off-trail will be needed, and I may try to get that at some point. Below is a list of tree species observed:

White ash
Green ash
Black ash
Paper birch
Yellow birch
Sugar maple
Red maple
Freeman maple
Black cherry
American basswood
Tulip tree
American hornbeam
Tamarack
Black spruce
Northern white cedar
Eastern hemlock
Eastern white pine

Here's some photos of bog plants encountered (if you can help with ID, I'd be very appreciative-please excuse my lack of knowledge in this area):
Nice old Black ash
Nice old Black ash
DSC00860.JPG
Northern pitcher plant
Northern pitcher plant
Highbush blueberry?
Highbush blueberry?
Same plant as above
Same plant as above
Not sure of ID
Not sure of ID
Not sure of ID
Not sure of ID
Not sure of ID
Not sure of ID
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: Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:37 pm

I'd confirm that as highbush blueberry in images 4 and 5. The plant in image 6 looks most like Bog Labrador Tea (one of our rhododendrons). The rising foliage in the 7th image looks like wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens, as opposed to winterberry which is an Ilex) while the groundcovers are partridgeberry and goldthread. The lonely berry could really be either Winterberry or Mountain Holly, both of which are deciduous Ilexes (or it could be something else).

Sounds like a really interesting and unique site. How do you distinguish Freeman Maple in the winter?

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ElijahW
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Re: Zurich Bog old growth? (Newark NY)

Post by ElijahW » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:25 am

Erik,

Thanks for your help. Labrador tea was another plant listed as being present, and it definitely has the appearance of a rhododendron, very similar to mountain laurel, though much smaller. The ground-growing red berries were prolific in the dense hemlock stand, but I had no clue what they were. The pitcher plants were easy to find, but when I return, I'll be looking more closely for sundew, which should be there as well.

I was still able to use leaves to ID the Freeman maple, as plenty were still visible on the ground. It also normally has a bark color intermediate between the light gray of Silver maple and the dark gray-to-brown of Red maple. Freeman maple doesn't seem to mind occasional, or even regular flooding, while Red maple seems more comfortable on the swamp edges, in the riparian zone. At some point I should probably do a species comparison with photos, as Red, Silver, Freeman, and Sugar maple are all fairly common in this area.

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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