Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

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ThursdayHiker
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:21 am

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by ThursdayHiker » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:45 am

Over the past couple of years I have taken a real interest in discovering old growth remnants in the Middle Fork Valley. I was just wondering if there are others out there who share this interest. The new Middle Fork road has made access pretty effortless.

Most of the Middle Fork was extensively logged in the 1930's and 40's. There are however some very cool remnants of old growth groves and individual trees that can be discovered. I start most of my explorations by studying satellite images. Most of the old growth is on steep slopes above the valley floor but some groves are surprisingly easy to access. Many of the old growth groves are pure Hemlock trees (climax forest). These Hemlocks are nice but don't grow to huge dimensions. Often times buried deep within these Hemlock forests are the best giant old Red Cedars and Doug Fir that are remnants of old forests that have gradually been taken over by shade tolerant Hemlocks (climax forest). Most of the groves that I've explored have been described by others but at least 2 of the groves (Treen Cedars and Rooster Grove) don't seem to be on the radar.

The Taylor Beast in the Rooster Grove is an 11 foot diameter Doug Fir. It may be the girthiest Doug Fir in this part of the Washington Cascade Mountains. It appears to be quite tall also but I have not advance to the tree height measuring stage yet. If you know of a bigger Doug Fir please post it.

Brad Allen used have a website call Middleforkgiants.com but that was taken down in 2014. Information regarding old growth groves is sparse at best.

Below are links to WTA trail reports that I've posted under my pseudonym Maddy that include images of big trees. Most of the most sensitive groves don't include specific directions so as to avoid trampling of the delicate understory.

Taylor River Rooster Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 5847676724
Bessemer Spuces:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 5930444623
Pulpit Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 8630560845
Treen Cedars:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 5176354040
Bessemer Toe Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 1929597351
Burntboot Creek Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 8248991035
Burntboot Mountain Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 1826827182
Taylor Cliff Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 9586631305
Big Cedar Flats:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 3108497408
Blownout Creek Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 9284181211
Marten Creek Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 0265532963
9 Hour Giant:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 6136541084
Dingford Bridge Grove:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-repo ... 1459924929

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2017
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:25 pm

The trees out in Washington are so awesome. Huge Cedars, Spruce, Fir and Ponderosa Pine. Dr. Bob Van Pelt is the man to talk with in your region. He has probably measured more trees in that area than anyone and is the leading expert of the Mountainous Forests. Thanks for sharing. Larry

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Ranger Dan
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:45 pm

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by Ranger Dan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:53 am

"Maddy"-
I wanted to let you know that your contribution is very much appreciated! I personally would like to see more reports like yours on this site, with emphasis on sharing your experience of the thrill of discovery, and aesthetic appreciation. I enjoyed all the descriptions and photos of the awesome giant trees and waterfalls in the Middle Fork watershed.

I have done a lot of crosscountry exploring all over the Cascades myself, during the years I was a Wilderness Ranger, out of Packwood. The main reason I traveled there from my home in Virginia every season for 18 years was to see awesome forest. During my early years there, I made an old growth guide for our District.

I would be asking to join you exploring today if I were still traveling back and forth to Washington! Please do continue to share your trip reports with us!

ThursdayHiker
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:21 am

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by ThursdayHiker » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:16 pm

Does anyone have a contact email for Bob Van Pelt? I would be very interested in comparing notes with him.

stephencobert@comcast.net

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dbhguru
Posts: 4519
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by dbhguru » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:11 pm

Hi Stephen,

I tried to send you BVP's email address at stephencoburt@comcast.net, but the message would not go through.

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

ThursdayHiker
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:21 am

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by ThursdayHiker » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:53 pm

Cobert with an "e"

Matt Stewart
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:37 pm

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by Matt Stewart » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:07 am

Greetings All!
First time post, but I've been following the site from time to time for the past couple of years. I'm gonna try to attach a couple of picture files, hopefully it works!

I felt compelled to reply to the first post as I do a lot of 'schwacking up in the Northern section of Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State. Lots of awesome forest still left to explore.

There are at least a couple of really big (known) Douglas Firs scattered about the Cascades - over 12' dbh. Fairly well documented online and in guide books.
12' Doug Fir
12' Doug Fir
If and when you decide to take the plunge into height measurement, consider the Leupold RX-850i. It's marketed to hunters, but works well for tree measurement; It's relatively inexpensive, seems to catch the small branches/leaders pretty well, seems to be accurate, and to top it all off it has 'trophy scale' mode - which gives a rough estimate of width. Setup and changing modes is a bit cumbersome and confusing at first. But over time I got the hang of it. I take the darn thing everywhere nowadays - tree hunting or just on a little family hike.

Here's a few pictures of what I've had the privilege of visiting recently:
11' Cedar
11' Cedar
13' Cedar
13' Cedar
14' x 205' Cedar
14' x 205' Cedar
When I spotted this one from a couple hundred feet my heart probably skipped a beat. But, alas, it was just a snag... Gives hope of what is still out there tho!
Attachments
Giant Cedar Snag
Giant Cedar Snag

ThursdayHiker
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:21 am

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by ThursdayHiker » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:04 am

Matt,
Those trees are spectacular!
I just purchased a Nikon Forestry Pro for measuring tree height and plan to journey out to the Middle Fork with my friend Monty this am for a test run. There's a 13 foot dbh Cedar that I'm eager to measure height on.
If you ever want to share some tree location specifics just send me a email: Stephencobert@comcast.net

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Rand
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Old Growth

Post by Rand » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:15 pm

Beautiful photographs. I makes me sad that we couldn't, as a society, get our act together and figure out how to use these forests sustainably before the giants were all but gone.

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