A Hike to Hickory Hill

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 809
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by ElijahW » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:01 pm

NTS,

Last weekend, I spent a few hours on Howlands Island (now the Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area). My goals were to remeasure the Island's giant Red Oak and to do some more searching for a supposed Kentucky Coffeetree colony. I was successful in both endeavors, but I thought cataloguing every tree and shrub species I encountered along the trail and in the woods would be an interesting and educational exercise. So that's what I did. To anyone interested in trees and plants in general, I highly recommend doing something similar: pick any forest trail or tract and try to positively identify as many species as possible. No measuring equipment required; a good ID guide and/or a smartphone, plus maybe a good camera or pair of binoculars will suffice.

I've attached below a satellite image capture of my route. I started in a southerly direction from what's labeled as "Hunters Home Rd" along the trail (an old roadbed), and started my species list upon entering the "Swamp."
Hickory Hill Hike.JPG
From the "Swamp," my route took me through the "Gravel Pit," around the south side of "Hickory Hill," back to the "Gravel Pit," and eventually back to my car. If you look carefully, you may notice the changes in terrain as the tree species change. All trees are listed in the order I encountered them. Here's what I found:

1. Green Ash
2. Black Ash
3. Swamp White Oak
4. Northern Red Oak
5. Bitternut Hickory
6. Shagbark Hickory
7. Shellbark Hickory
8. American Sycamore
9. Blackgum
10. Black Cherry
11. Freeman Maple
12. American Hornbeam
13. Eastern Cottonwood
14. American Beech
15. American Basswood
16. American Elm
17. Tuliptree
18. Sugar Maple
19. Staghorn Sumac
20. White Ash
21. Pignut Hickory
22. Sassafras
23. Red Hickory
24. Eastern Hophornbeam
25. Hawthorn spp.
26. White Oak
27. Red Maple
28. Slippery Elm
29. Butternut
30. Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)
31. Chinkapin Oak
32. Willow spp.
33. European Buckthorn
34. American Bladdernut
35. Kentucky Coffeetree
36. Witch Hazel

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

User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 809
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by ElijahW » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:51 pm

NTS,

Some accompanying photos:
“Big Black” Gum
“Big Black” Gum
“Big Red” Oak
“Big Red” Oak
“Big Yellow” (Chinkapin) Oak
“Big Yellow” (Chinkapin) Oak
Bladdernut seed pods
Bladdernut seed pods
Elusive Coffeetree
Elusive Coffeetree
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

User avatar
bbeduhn
Posts: 1084
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:03 am

Elijah,
I like to see how many species I can spot at a site as well. I generally do it with leaves on, making it easier to identify the younger trees and shrubs. It's amazing how many species can be found at some very small sites and how few can be found at others, especially fairly recent clearcuts.
Brian

Llc
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:24 am

Re: A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by Llc » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:38 am

I do the same in the comments section of my eBird submissions, which are field reports with date/time/species/# of each species. If it’s predominantly non-bird I report any special bird species I did notice then submit it as an “Incomplete” checklist.
It would be better if it allowed for other species other than birds- which wouldn’t affect birders if you only needed to click a “+” for the non-bird species. Seeing how well it works for birds that would be extremely valuable as well as encourage birders to branch into other areas of natural history.

Llc
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:24 am

Re: A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by Llc » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:41 am

It also tracks your route (so that you have a map with your route in yellow) and calculates the distance if you use eBird mobile.

User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 809
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: A Hike to Hickory Hill

Post by ElijahW » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:44 pm

NTS,

This weekend, while doing some volume modeling work on the big Red Oak, I thought I’d conduct a small survey of the other large oaks on Hickory Hill. These trees were obviously growing in more open conditions for much of their lives. I believe they all are between 150 and 200 years old, but don’t know for sure. After finding a single Black Oak, which seems out of place, I think some of these trees may have been planted in the 19th Century. Here are the oaks:

Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra

104.2’ x 20.8’
x 15.61’
x 14.6’ (in poor health)
x 12.91’
x 12.54’ (dead)

Black Oak Quercus velutina

85.2’ x 12.84’

White Oak Quercus alba

x 10.25’
x 9.52’

Chinkapin Oak Quercus muehlenbergii

81.9’ x 13.35’
Newly found Black Oak
Newly found Black Oak
Another 15’+ deceased Red Oak is located nearby, but not on the hill itself.

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

Post Reply

Return to “New York”