Re: Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

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ElijahW
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Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

Post by ElijahW » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:02 pm

NTS,

I got a wild hare Sunday morning (4/18) and decided to make the 3 1/2 hour drive south and east to Hyde Park, NY. My intention was to remeasure some of the trees originally reported on by Bob Leverett and his indefatigable crew in 2004: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... estate.htm). I visited this National Park Service property for the first time in 2016, I believe, and didn't report on it at that point. Erik Danielsen and I had hoped to make a trip together while he was in New York City, but that also didn't materialize. Hopefully we'll be able to do it at some point, because Vanderbilt really requires a group effort.

This outing was focused on the tallest trees, which I believe I found, but my scope was rather limited. Here's what I measured on Sunday:

*NY height maximum
Tuliptree

158.1'
155.8'
152.0'
149.8'
148.9'

Eastern White Pine

144.0'

American Sycamore

134.5'

Red Hickory

124.3' x 6.09'

Northern Red Oak

118.0'

Sugar Maple

116.7'

Norway Spruce

116.5'

Bitternut Hickory

116.0'

American Beech

113.3'

Chestnut Oak

113.3'
113.0'

White Oak

110.1' x 11.48'

Grand Fir

107.0'*

Tree of Heaven

106.3'

Shagbark Hickory

103.9'

Horse chestnut

100.3'*

Black Birch

99.5'
86.5'

Sassafras

93.5' x 4.42'

Pignut Hickory

82.3' x 3.09'

Kentucky Coffeetree

80.0'

The Horse Chestnut, Kentucky Coffeetree, and Tree of Heaven were escapees growing on the hill behind the mansion. The Norway Spruce obviously was planted, as was the Grand Fir, near the park's auto entrance. The White Pine grows in a planted stand opposite the firs and spruces near the entrance. The tallest of the naturally-growing trees seem to be collected in a ravine running down the hill on the west side of the mansion, towards the Hudson River; this would include the Tulips, Sycamores, Maples, and Oaks, but perhaps not the Hickories. Taller Hickories of several species might be found on the west-facing hill south of the mansion. I didn't have time to verify this, however.

As Erik's post on the champion trees of Dutchess County implies (http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=105&t=8017, this site, along with other former estates along the Hudson, is rich in very large, though not always old, trees. The size of forest-grown Sycamores is amazing. Please check out Bob's original post for much more detail.

After my time at Vanderbilt, I stopped at another NY-owned estate just to the north. This site impressed in a smaller way, but impressed nonetheless. I'll try to finish that report later this week.

Enjoy the evening,

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: Re: Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:35 am

Were those tall tulips large or relatively svelte? That's now 3 sites in southeastern NY with tulips over 157', and the other two trees (both on long island) are definitely still rising. Taking this together with the fast-growing Hancock white pine, now that we've finally got 160s measured it looks like a whole rash of sites are lining up to join the list with impending growth on known trees.

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ElijahW
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Re: Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

Post by ElijahW » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:58 am

Erik,

The tulips are probably all over 10’ CBH, and I would guess some are closer to 15’. I barely got into the woods, so I can’t say for sure. The soil in the area seems to be of very high quality. Southeastern NY may end up comparing very favorably to Southwestern NY in terms of tall-tree potential.

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: Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

Post by ElijahW » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:33 pm

NTS,

After a more thorough follow up survey this Sunday (2/10), I have a number of exciting new measurements and updates to share on the Vanderbilt Estate forest. Combining finds from my most recent survey with NTS’s 2004 numbers, Vanderbilt’s current Rucker Index stands at 131.0’. Those trees included in the average are as follows:

Tuliptree: 157.6’
Eastern White Pine: 147.0’
American Sycamore: 142.8’
Northern Red Oak: 128.1’
Black Locust: 127.3’
Sugar Maple: 125.0’
Red Hickory: 124.3’
Bitternut Hickory: 122.0’
White Oak: 121.6’
American Beech: 115.1’

The tallest Tuliptree’s height reported last year was around 1’ higher than it should have been because I got the mid slope location wrong. The tallest White Pine has indeed added 3’ since last year’s measurement. I did look carefully for taller hickories, but didn’t find any. Below is a list of trees measured Sunday:

Tuliptree

157.6’ x 11.82’
156.7’ x 11.12’
156.2’ x 10.48’
155.1’ x 10.91’
154.8’ x 9.55’
153.3’ x 12.08’
152.6’ x 12.49’
151.8’ x 11.48’
151.1’ x 15.01’
150.3’ x 12.79’
148.3’ x 13.5’
147.5’ x 14.06’
146.7’ x 9.02’

Eastern White Pine

147.0’ x 9.4’

American Sycamore

142.8’ x 17.1’

Northern Red Oak

128.1’ x 16.77’

Black Locust

127.3’

I believe that I found all of the 150’ Tulips (10), but can’t say for sure. I didn’t document anything less than 145’ tall, and definitely missed some between 145 and 150’. All of these trees except the White Pine grow on the slope behind the mansion. Some of these trees combine girth and height in an incredible way; the Sycamore is off the charts huge.
The Big Syc
The Big Syc
D297B202-BE98-47B1-9301-0D441C09FB1C.jpeg
Sycamore on left, Tulips on right
Sycamore on left, Tulips on right
Tall tulips
Tall tulips
I also took a closer look at the tree listed last year as a Grand Fir. I’m pretty sure now that it’s actually a Nordmann Fir. I’ll have to confirm that on a future visit.

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: Re: Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:13 pm

Wow. I know some of these were reported back in 2004, like the sycamore, but that doesn't make the update any less impressive. The sycamore, tulips up to 15x150, and that red oak amount to a lot of trees that are both big AND tall for a single site. Maybe when we finally both get there at the same time we can see if we can hit 1500 ft3 for any of these.

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