Fort Hill (OH)

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Fort Hill (OH)

Post by Matt Markworth » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:32 pm

Jess,

Yep, you're exactly right. I believe that Rand is going to take it out of the Rucker 10 for the site. Rand, botanist Daniel Boone, and I stopped by the tree in October and we were in agreement that it's northern red oak.

Matt

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sradivoy
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Re: Fort Hill (OH)

Post by sradivoy » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:05 pm

Rand wrote:Fort Hill State Memorial is an unremarkable rumple of hills on the north eastern edge of the unglaciated area of southwest Ohio. LIDAR surveys turned up an abundance of 140' hits in corridors shading the stream courses that crease the bottoms of the coves, with a few hits in 145'-150' class. Accustomed to the masses of young skinny tulip trees found in other sites in southern Ohio, I wasn't expecting anything different here. I was to be proven very wrong.

- The areas in blue are roughly the areas we surveyed (Red areas also have overall high LIDAR presentations but were not surveyed) The general plan of the day was to hit the locations with the very highest LIDAR hits. With the GPS coordinates of these locations programmed into the Trimble navigation app of his fish-in-a-barrel-shooter/iphone Mark lead the way. The first area we hit was an east-west orientated cove in Pike State Forest. Marked in # 1 in the Overview Map:
Fort Hill-overview.jpg
The higher slopes of this area were dominated by chestnut oaks, mixed with a few white oaks, pignut & shagbark hickory. The lower slopes and stream bottoms were dominated by towering 140'-150' tulip trees, with a smattering of red oaks, beeches, white ashes, and sugar maples sandwiched in between on the midslopes. A lucky few of these less common species managed to fight their way through the tulip trees on the cove's lower slopes and reached their best development there:
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FH-survey-1.jpg
After a steep climb out of the Pike Forest Cove we traversed the sloped saddle between it and the flat ridge top that contained the old earthworks (#2 on the map). We found a few nice shagbark hickories in the generally dry looking forest here. On the inside of the earthwork there was a shallow moat, perhaps 5' deep and 20' across. A few inches of water ponded here and there in the moat, and a few fat red maples found the area to their liking. A number of fat, old looking black gum were found on the exterior of the earthworks as well. A fallen and cut red oak gave a ring count of ~175.
FH-survey-2.jpg
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Next we joined up with the Gorge Trail that headed downhill toward the mouth of the gorge. A few black oaks finally made their appearance here, but were not notably large. The trail next lead us straight through the middle of what can only be described as a super cove (#3 on the map). The cove was orientated due north-south, and relatively wide and flat bottomed, and it was this aspect that I'm assuming allowed it to be dominated by oaks instead of tulip trees. Three oak species reached 140' within a hundred yard stretch of the valley bottom. A variety of other species also reached their best development here:
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SH-survey-3.jpg
As we headed downstream, the valley steepened and narrowed. A few large but not particularly tall tulip trees overshadowed the stream here, suppressing any stream side trees. Gradually the deepening ravine pinched down into a small gorge with short, shaley cliffs on either side. Mark noticed a carpet of canada yew clinging to these cliffs, and few Eastern red cedar were seen colonized the cliff tops.

Lastly we entered the Gorge proper. This is the area pictured in most of Mark's pictures. We did spot one deep alcove in cliffs with an overshadowing oak that was the source of a spurious 157' LIDAR hit. In general the gorge bottom was too narrow to support any large trees, but we did find one nice sycamore:
FH-survey-4.jpg
Unfortunately at this point it began to get dark and we could only look up at the large tree filled coves above the gorge and promise to return another day:
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Finally on the way back we saw a massive sycamore on a flat on the opposite side of the creek. Not terribly tall, but it had a massive towering bole, heavy limbed, spreading crown, with huge buttressed roots sprawling out from its base. It was easily the largest either of us has ever seen. It was at least 20' cbh, more likely in 25' range. Chased by the gathering darkness, we scurried on, and barely made it back before full dark.

Finally the Rucker Index (Beats hocking hills by two feet)
FH-survey-Rkr.jpg

I'm interested in that leaning red oak (aka why Lidar lies) tree. Any chance I can get the GPS coordinates for that tree? There may be a way to eliminate these false hits from Lidar. I need a real life example. Thx.
Last edited by sradivoy on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rand
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Re: Fort Hill (OH)

Post by Rand » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:19 pm

No, sorry. I don't.
+++++++++++

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sradivoy
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Re: Fort Hill (OH)

Post by sradivoy » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:46 pm

Bummer. I'll work around it.

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Rand
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Re: Fort Hill (OH)

Post by Rand » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:24 pm

I made a trip in december that was largely disappointing from a big tree standpoint. However I did find a tree community more characteristic of wet clay flats of NW Ohio perched on a limestone bench just below the summit of Ft. Hill proper. It consisted of a mixed community of green ash, blue ash, elm, hackberry, and black walnut. Generally the trees were taller, but skinner than the typical mix in NW Ohio. Only a 127' tall green ash stood out. The rest was largely an interesting curiosity. Unfortunately I did find a colony of Ailanthus as well. It had two mature trees, the largest being ~ 8" dbh and ~64' tall surrounded by a cluster of root suckers. A new stem in the colony had a truly mortifying one season growth of 11.5'!
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Finally I went to the large south facing cove on the other side of the ridge in search of large bitternut hickory. I did find some, but this part of the forest looked like some of the youngest on the property. A 126' specimen shows promise but it will be awhile before it catches up with the older hickories deeper in the park.
fh-dec.png

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