Superior Municiple Forest

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Will Blozan
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by Will Blozan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:48 pm

Larry,

Holy crap that is a huge spruce! I am a bit surprised it is on a slope though. I am not really familiar with them but think of black spruce being in wet, boggy areas. Same for black ash. Seems like your feet should be wet when taking dbh! I agree with Jess about the ash; the ones I have seen have bark very different. But again, I am not super familiar with the north woods.

Will

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ElijahW
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by ElijahW » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:45 pm

Larry,

Great report. The species makeup of this forest is very similar to the area of northern NY between the Adirondacks and the St. Lawrence River, though your trees are much larger. You didn't mention tamarack, or larch, but I'm guessing that's present, also. I, too, wonder what giants grew in Wisconsin and northern Michigan before the large-scale logging began. I have a book on logging the woods of the Great Lakes, but it isn't very helpful in painting the old-growth picture I'm looking for. From what history I've gathered, timber companies pretty much devastated the whole area, and much of it really hasn't recovered to this day. I'm glad that so many people have changed their thinking and are interested in preserving what old growth is left; but wow, how much we have lost that we may never see restored.

In regards to your picture of the black ash, I agree with Jess and believe it to be a bigtooth aspen. I'll attach a couple of pictures I have of the species growing here in central NY. I blew up your photo and could make out what appear to be fairly rounded aspen leaves, along with some other leaves that resemble ash, though they're hard to make out at low resolution. My guess is that both black ash and bigtooth aspen are present. As has been pointed out by others in the past, a telling characteristic of any ash is opposite branching. Hopefully this is helpful for your return trip. By the way, I am getting better at separating the ashes one from another, but still struggle very much, especially finding differences between white and green ash.
Bigtooth aspen leaves
Bigtooth aspen leaves
Bigtooth aspen bark
Bigtooth aspen bark
Bigtooth aspen trunk & partial crown
Bigtooth aspen trunk & partial crown
Thanks so much for sharing.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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DonCBragg
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by DonCBragg » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:41 am

Larry--Bob is right that you would need tribal permission to wander through most of the forest, but you can certain experience it to some degree by driving through it--there are a number of state highways and public roads that cross the reservation; you could also take one of the float tours of the Wolf River through parts of the reservation. The Wolf River can be pretty intense whitewater--a gorgeous river flowing through an amazing place!

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:20 am

Don- Thanks. I'll check it out next year when I go up and I have some places with Old Growth in Minnesota in mind also. I have some stuff for the NTS Magazine if you need some articles. Sweetgum Natural Research Area in Ms. Larry

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DonCBragg
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by DonCBragg » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:38 am

Larry--Definitely send me any materials you can for the Bulletin!

DennisCrowe
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Re: Superior Municiple Forest

Post by DennisCrowe » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:34 am

Thanks for an interesting report. We've driven past this many times as we've driven north to the Twin Ports area along Wisconsin 35. We'll visit the forest for sure on a future trip from where we live about a hundred miles to the south. I am curious to see some large black spruce; they grow so slowly, and by roadsides they are often pretty small, especially in the transition zone to the boreal forest south of Superior on 35. Just for the sake of geographical accuracy, all the rivers that are part of the St. Louis River estuary flow into Lake Superior. In fact, all rivers along the shore of Lake Superior flow in; the only outlet of the big lake is at the far eastern end at Sault St. Marie, MI.

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