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Curtiss-Gale Wildlife Management Area, Fulton, Oswego County

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:10 pm
by ElijahW

I’ve long put off a visit to Curtiss-Gale WMA for a couple of reasons: First, the only public access by foot is restricted to roadside parking on a busy county highway; second, previous surveys in search of old growth suggested that, while some old trees were to be found, most of the forest consisted of scrubby second growth and a Scots Pine plantation.

Following my survey, I concluded that while the descriptions given of Curtiss-Gale by the NY Old Growth team were accurate, the most productive of the second growth had been missed. In addition, the team was using just a clinometer to obtain height figures, and the reported heights were less than actual. At the time, finding old trees was the focus, not necessarily finding the tallest or biggest specimens.

Here’s what I measured at Curtiss-Gale on May 21st:


143.6’ x 9.56’
138.2’ x 9.90’
134.8’ x 10.62’

Cucumber Magnolia

115.7’ x 5.40’

Northern Red Oak

122.3’ x 12.04’ (appears to have significant age)

White Oak

118.4’ x 11.09’
110.4’ x 8.91’

Black Oak

90.0’ x 5.89’

American Beech

112.8’ x 10.50

Bitternut Hickory

116.8’ x 5.70’

Shagbark Hickory

114.0’ x 5.00’

White Ash

122.6’ x 7.85’
121.1’ x 6.95’

American Basswood

114.2’ x 5.23’

Black Cherry

122.6’ x 7.05’

Red Maple

122.3’ x 8.65’

Sugar Maple

110.7’ x 5.30’


76.4’ x 3.24’

Striped Maple

62.3’ x 2.38’

Eastern Hemlock

117.3’ x 7.54’

Additional species present but not measured were Yellow Birch, Common Serviceberry, and Witch-Hazel.

This site is significant in that it is close to the northern limit for both Tuliptree and Cucumber Magnolia. The original survey by the NY old growth team also found a number of small American Chestnut trees near the bank of the Oswego River, which forms the western boundary of the WMA.

Here’s some photos from my visit:
The old-looking Red Oak (note the dark bark)
The old-looking Red Oak (note the dark bark)
An old Beech
An old Beech
One of the larger Tulips
One of the larger Tulips
May apples in May
May apples in May
White Trillium in bloom
White Trillium in bloom

Re: Curtiss-Gale Wildlife Management Area, Fulton, Oswego Co

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:22 pm
by bbeduhn
That's one heck of a striped maple! The record is 77.8', in the Smokies. Not too shabby.