Clifton Gorge (OH)

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Matt Markworth
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Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Matt Markworth » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi All,

In Southwest Ohio there is a small dot on the map for Tsuga canadensis and Thuja Occidentalis. Today I visited that dot. It was a real treat to see both species in a native setting so close to home.

Tsuga canadensis Range Map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ge_map.png

Thuja occidentalis Range Map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ge_map.png

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, with the Little Miami River flowing through it, is a good example of interglacial and post-glacial canyon cutting. It's quite a scene. House-sized slump blocks from the surrounding cliffs are scattered about the valley floor and in the river itself. Most of trees I measured were on the north-facing slope. That particular side of the river is off limits without written permission, so I was limited on the girth measurements that I could take. None of the girths were exceptionally large for their species. The 91.4' Thuja occidentalis was an exceptional height for this site, as the rest of them that I saw were mostly attached to the side of the cliff and much shorter. Thuja occidentalis was located on both sides of the canyon. All of the Tsuga canadensis were on the north-facing slope, so it seems that it is much more particular on its habitat than the Thuja occidentalis at this location.

Robert Duncanson painted this setting in 1851. It's called "Blue Hole, Little Miami River" and is housed in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Here is the digital image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _River.JPG

I think that Clifton Gorge, when paired with the contiguous John Bryan State Park, is the best hike in this area. Glen Helen Nature Preserve is next to John Bryan, and the village of Yellow Springs is next to Glen Helen. Yellow Springs is a neat, eclectic little town that is lost in the 60's. One could easily spend a couple of days here and still want to come back for more. I've been hiking here for at least the past 18 years and I will definitely be back.
clifton gorge.PNG
Trees database: http://treesdb.azurewebsites.net/Browse ... 98/Details
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja occidentalis
Tsuga canadensis
Tsuga canadensis
Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana
Matt

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Jess Riddle » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:26 pm

Matt,

That sounds like a fascinating site. The big block in the river with cedars growing on it makes a neat scene.

Were the chinkapin oaks forest grown? If so, they will be new girth records for forest grown individuals. I think the cedar height is even more impressive; it's also a new species record. Having numbers for hemlock at the edge of their range should help down the road also.
The little green dot in the middle is Clifton Gorge
The little green dot in the middle is Clifton Gorge
Jess

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Matt Markworth » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:04 pm

Jess,

Cool map. The Chinkapin Oaks are forest grown. The largest one is down in the valley, and the smaller one is up top above the gorge. I'll get some photos the next time I'm there. I also measured another forest grown Chinkapin Oak with a girth of 11' 3" that I didn't put into my original post.

Here are some photos of the tall Thuja occidentalis. It has a lean to it and it has two tops. The top on the left is the tallest . . .
Thuja occidentalis - tall b.jpg
Thuja occidentalis - tall a.jpg
Thuja occidentalis - tall g.jpg
Thuja occidentalis - tall c.jpg


Here's another block with cedars on top of it . . .
thuja occidentalis 7 a.jpg
Matt

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Steve Galehouse
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Steve Galehouse » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:20 pm

Matt-

Great post--I've never been to this area, beautiful location. I'll have to make a point of going there now. The white cedars are really cool, and I've never seen them in a native state in Ohio. It's interesting that, as seemingly always, tulip-tree is present and tallest. Why didn't you get a cbh for the Thuja on the slump-block? :)

Steve
every plant is native somewhere

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bbeduhn
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:09 pm

Awesome thuja! It's in a remarkable location. Good, strong heights, all around.

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Matt Markworth » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:21 pm

Steve Galehouse wrote:Matt-

Great post--I've never been to this area, beautiful location. I'll have to make a point of going there now. The white cedars are really cool, and I've never seen them in a native state in Ohio. It's interesting that, as seemingly always, tulip-tree is present and tallest. Why didn't you get a cbh for the Thuja on the slump-block? :)

Steve
Steve, If you make it down this way, we'll have to meet up at Clifton Gorge. It's a great place to visit in any season. I thought the same thing about the Tuliptree, omni-present and omni-impressive!

Steve, Jess, Brian, All,

Here are a couple more measurements and photos . . .
thuja.PNG
thuja.PNG (3.56 KiB) Viewed 7419 times
The 11' 6 1/2" girth Chinkapin Oak.The third photo is taken from on top of the gorge . . .
11.54 ft girth chinkapin oak 1.jpg
11.54 ft girth chinkapin oak 2.jpg
11.54 girth chinkapin oak 3.jpg
Here are the 79.2' and 69.3' Northern White Cedars. These are also on the north facing slope, therefore off limits to be able to get a girth measurement . . .
Height: 79.2'
Height: 79.2'
Height: 69.3'
Height: 69.3'
Here's a video showing the 69.3' Northern White Cedar . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUNxo7GhRrs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUNxo7GhRrs

Matt

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Matt Markworth » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:57 pm

Jess Riddle wrote:Matt,

That sounds like a fascinating site. The big block in the river with cedars growing on it makes a neat scene.

Were the chinkapin oaks forest grown? If so, they will be new girth records for forest grown individuals. I think the cedar height is even more impressive; it's also a new species record. Having numbers for hemlock at the edge of their range should help down the road also.

Jess
Jess, All,

I located some bigger forest grown Chinkapin Oaks in Clifton Gorge. They are farther down the river in John Bryan State Park. The biggest one has broken off at 20' up the trunk. The other two are very close in size and should have plenty of years ahead of them.
chinkapin oaks.PNG
chinkapin oaks.PNG (10.53 KiB) Viewed 7357 times
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 14'7"
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 14'7"
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 14'7"
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 14'7"
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 12'7" - Ht: 103.3'
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 12'7" - Ht: 103.3'
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 12'5" - Ht: 102.3'
Chinkapin Oak - CBH: 12'5" - Ht: 102.3'
12' 5" girth Chinkapin Oak with 12' 7" girth Chinkapin Oak in the background
12' 5" girth Chinkapin Oak with 12' 7" girth Chinkapin Oak in the background
Matt

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Rand
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Rand » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:45 pm

Check out the campground at John Bryan State Park. It has two large , open grown Tuliptrees growing at its southern end. I'd guess they are 12'-15' cbh, big crowns:
jb-t.jpg
Also, Glen Helen preserve next door has a small patch of old growth at the top of the bluff. It fills the triangle demarcated by the Oak Triangle Trail and the red trail on the map below. It's a fairly dry site so the trees aren't too spectacular, but nice nonetheless. Helen's tree (#6 on the map ~12' x ~100' white oak) is the nicest one, but last time I was there ~5 years ago it looked like it was suffering from some top dieback. Also, the raptor center is worth a walk through.
J-glen helen.jpg

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Rand
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Re: Clifton Gorge (OH)

Post by Rand » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:02 pm

So I went back to the John Bryan Campground and measured the two big Tulips. Looks like they got a little tattered from an ice storm since the last time I saw them. The terminal leader of the taller tree was broken ~ 110'. I'm guessing it slightly exceeded 120' at one point.
14' 0" x 108.0'
14' 0" x 108.0'
14' 6.5" x 118.0'
14' 6.5" x 118.0'
14' 6.5" x 118.0' Closeup, 25' to first limb
14' 6.5" x 118.0' Closeup, 25' to first limb
There is also a very large sycamore on Grinnel Road, just a few hundred yards from the old Grinnel Mill. The first time I visited John Bryan, ~10 years ago the mill was still a dilapidated old wreck. The second time it was under renovation and one of the locals told how much money they were pouring into it to restore it. It's now a bed and breakfast.
19' 10" x 96.5'
19' 10" x 96.5'
Big Sycamore Closeup
Big Sycamore Closeup
Lastly a big beautiful American Elm I saw just NW of London, OH. As is typical, the only ones you see this size are isolated trees. I'm guessing at the dbh, but I shot 57.5' in height from a long distance away, hitting the edge of the crown, so it's probably a bit higher than this.
~ 5' dbh x 58'
~ 5' dbh x 58'

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