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Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:18 pm
by ElijahW

I thought I’d share a preliminary report on this site because it shows tremendous potential for diversity of tree species, overall forest age, and of course, tree size. Due to the main gorge trails being temporarily closed, I made all measurements from the parking lot. The cacophony of nearby jackhammers made the experience delightful.

Topographically, the area I’m referencing is a steep hillside (south-facing, I believe) at the mouth of a gorge. Hickories (Red & Shagbark) are dominant here, along with White Oak. The shelter provided by the high gorge walls give the feeling of a southern cove forest.

Anyways, here’s what I found today:

White Pine




American Basswood


Red Hickory


American Sycamore


White Oak


Eastern Hemlock


Northern Red Oak


Shagbark Hickory


White Ash


Black Oak


Rucker 10: 124+


Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:35 am
by Erik Danielsen
You got all of that just from the parking lot?! I thought that park looked interesting from aerial images but wasn't expecting that! Seems like a definite 130+ RHI10 potential site. Awesome first report!

Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:24 pm
by ElijahW
Thanks Erik. Mounted on a stable surface, the Trupulse performs incredibly well at a distance. As long as you can clearly make out tops and bottoms of the same trees, you’re good to go. I don’t know what the rest of the park looks like tree-wise, but this is a good start. Supposedly, Red Pine grows at the top of the gorge, similar to Letchworth. We’ll see.


Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:02 pm
by ElijahW
NTS, Erik,

I made a second trip to Treman this weekend, looking to measure a few more trees I didn't have time for. The sign at the entrance to the closed gorge trail stated that it's not expected to re-open until the end of May, so I don't think I'll return until then. This area next to the parking lot may be the best for tall trees anyway, though there's no way to tell until I see the remainder of the park.

Additional trees measured:

White Oak


Bitternut Hickory


Bigtooth Aspen


Black Walnut


Elijah Whitcomb

Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:54 pm
by ElijahW

I returned to Robert Treman SP this afternoon, and was able to finish the survey I started a while back. While I didn’t find any life-changing lunkers, I was rewarded with a wonderfully diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers within the gorge.

As with other similar Finger Lakes gorges, oaks (White, Black, and Chestnut) and hickories (Red and Pignut) dominate the upper rims. Tuliptrees, Hemlocks, White Pines, Shagbark Hickories, and Red and Sugar Maples are common on the steep slopes. The gorge bottom is loaded with Sycamores, Black and Yellow Birch, and to a lesser extent, White Ash. Red Oak and Basswood are found at every level of the ecosystem.

The wet, cool walls of the gorge provide shelter for Hornbeam, Witch hazel, Striped and Mountain Maple, and Maple Leaf Viburnum. Aside from the abundant trilliums, Mayapples, and Blue Cohosh, I couldn’t tell you what herbs and wildflowers I saw, but there’s quite a few. I really should have brought my guidebook with me.

Back to the trees. Here’s what I measured today:

*NY Height Maximum

Eastern White Pine

148.3’ x 9.4’
144.8’ x 8.55’

American Sycamore

140.3’ x 5.63’

Eastern Hemlock

134.6’ x 7.44’

White Ash

131.6’ x 7.19’
131.1’ x 7.93’

Bitternut Hickory

129.8’ x 5.45’

Cucumber Magnolia

127.1’ x 8.4’*

Eastern Cottonwood

121.0’ x 5.85’

Black Cherry

118.3’ x 5.91’

Chestnut Oak

114.2’ x 6.99’

Black Birch


Current Rucker Average: 133.5’

Eastern White Pine: 148.3’
American Sycamore: 140.3’
Tuliptree: 140.2’
Eastern Hemlock: 134.6’
White Ash: 131.6’
American Basswood: 130.1’
Red Hickory: 130.0’
Bitternut Hickory: 129.8’
Cucumber Magnolia: 127.1’
White Oak: 123.1’

A couple of notes: Some trees (especially the Bitternut) are taller than listed, due to the difficulty I had in seeing tree tops in the closed canopy; also, many of the larger hemlocks have been tagged and treated for the HWA, which are present in the area.

I was able to count the growth rings on a fallen and cut up White Pine that seemed contemporary with those I measured, and arrived at approximately 160. That age seems appropriate for the majority of the oldest trees in the park, though many are obviously much younger, and a few are probably somewhat older.

Some photos of the park:
Maple leaf viburnum
Maple leaf viburnum
Typical forest floor on one of the small terraces
Typical forest floor on one of the small terraces
Sycamores in an abandoned channel
Sycamores in an abandoned channel
The tall Cuke
The tall Cuke
Same cuke
Same cuke

Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:35 am
by dbhguru

Do you have a convenient list of NY sites by Rucker index? I'm losing track of where all the hot sites are. If we could clone you and Erik, we'd know every great site within a year. You guys are unstoppable.


Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:05 pm
by ElijahW

I’ll see what I can put together in a separate thread. I’m sure I’ll leave a few out, but Erik would know the rest.


Re: Robert H. Treman State Park

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:07 am
by bbeduhn
You found a very rich site with excellent topography. It has a serious herb layer and some impressive height to girth ratios. This winter, you'll likely find a few state records.