Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
Steve Galehouse
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:50 pm

Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by Steve Galehouse » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:11 pm

ENTS-

Today I stopped at a park area I hadn't visited before, in western Lorain County, Ohio. The Vermilion River flows through the park on its way north to Lake Erie. The woods is a floodplain forest with sycamore, cottonwood, walnut, hackberry, tulip, pin oak, white & green ash, and red maple achieving canopy height, while the understory is mainly Ohio buckeye and box-elder. Big trees were rather scarce, and aesthetically the forest was not so impressive-----except for the very rich herbaceous layer that was truly luxuriant( I hit it at just the right point in the season, I think). Virginia bluebells were extremely frequent, often in colonies of 1/4 acre or larger, and sessile and nodding trilliums were very common as well:
Virginia bluebells.jpg
Virginia bluebells stand.jpg
Sessile trillium.jpg
Nodding trillium.jpg
Ostrich ferns were also abundant, with their lush fronds unfurling:
Cinnamon fern.jpg
Ohio buckeye brightened the woody understory, with its fully developed foliage and pale yellow flower spikes:
Ohio buckeye.jpg
As I said, big trees were rather scarce, but I did manage to find one really nice pin oak, at 122.4' tall and 14' 2'' CBH. This is a beautiful healthy tree with a thick, slow tapering bole, and a great buttressed trunk (which is quite unusual for the species as i know it). This is the largest forest grown pin oak I have encountered.
Pin oak.jpg
Pin oak top.jpg
Pin oak trunk.jpg
Other trees measured included a sycamore at 119.1' x 12' 11'', and a white ash at 111' x 8' 10''. Sadly, most of the ash trees in the park have succumbed to EAB.

Steve
Last edited by Steve Galehouse on Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
every plant is native somewhere

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4500
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by dbhguru » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:26 pm

Steve,

Gorgeous pictures of wild flowers. Sooooper doooper pin oak. That beats any I've measured for the combination of height and girth. It is apparent to me that Ohio grows monsters. All those rich soils. I can't even image what the Buckeye State once had. Please keep the field reports coming.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
Jess Riddle
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 am

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by Jess Riddle » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:08 pm

Steve,

Sounds like a very rich site. Do you think lack of age is the main thing limiting tree size?

Were there ostrich fern mixed in with the cinnamon fern? Some of the fertile fronds from last year appear to be visible in the photo. I associate ostrich fern with more calcereous sites and cinnamon fern with more acidic sites, or at least acidic microsites.

Very impressive pin oak. I believe it's the tallest ENTS has on record beating out a 117' tree from Kyle Woods State Nature Preserve, OH.

Jess

User avatar
Steve Galehouse
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by Steve Galehouse » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:56 pm

Jess-

They were ostrich ferns, Matteuccia; somehow I had cinnamon ferns(Osmunda) on my mind, but I was mistaken---there were some fertile fronds remaining from last year.

I'm not sure what limits the size of the trees at this site, but likely it is from violent flooding and washing away. The big pin oak was on marginally higher ground. The sycamores and cottonwoods were tall, but not wide.


Steve
every plant is native somewhere

User avatar
Tyler
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by Tyler » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:25 am

Steve,

Huge Pin Oak! I've never seen one that big before.

Tyler

User avatar
gnmcmartin
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:16 pm

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by gnmcmartin » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:41 am

Steve:

Love the pin oak. The first really big tree I focused on when I was a small boy was a pin oak that grew in a bottom land area behind our house in NJ. I am not a big fan of pin oaks and believe they are much overplanted at the expense of other oaks. But Occasionally they can be very ice trees as yours here shows. The one I knew as a boy was perhaps not so large or tall (it was very big), but it was absolutely beautifully shaped. It was some time before I learned that pin oaks are not usually so nice.

--Gaines

User avatar
Steve Galehouse
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Bacon Woods, Vermilion River valley

Post by Steve Galehouse » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:53 pm

Gaines-

I agree entirely that pin oaks are way over-planted in the landscape, but when retained from the native woods to be included in the landscape, they can be very beautiful. They are the commonest native oak in my town, and lose the rigid symmetry quite quickly. Unfortunately most pin oaks in the nursery trade come from a southern provenance, and are prone to chlorosis, a problem virtually never seen with the local population.

Steve
every plant is native somewhere

Post Reply

Return to “Ohio”