Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

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greif
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:03 pm

Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

Post by greif » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:58 am

I was hiking in IBM Glen (NY state- fingerlakes) which has a nature preserve and says that the Hemlocks are old growth. Many trees were marked for cutting before a last minute reprieve and conversion to a preserve. These trees seem a bit small for old growth (typ. 20" diam).
Question: do hemlocks in a climax forest typically grow that slowly? I did see a couple larger diam hemlocks down in the gorge. I hope to do a proper trip report soon.

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Will Blozan
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Re: Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:08 pm

Without photos of crown architecture there is no way to "guess" with reasonable accuracy. I have personally cored 400 years old hemlocks less than 8" diameter, so yes, they can grow really slowly. Can you get some photos? Several NTS are quite skilled at aging from tree architecture.

Will

Joe

Re: Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

Post by Joe » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:42 am

they can grow so slow because they are extremely shade tolerant
Joe

greif
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Re: Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

Post by greif » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:52 am

Here are some photos of trees at IBM Glen. The biggest Hemlock in the woods at the top of the gorge seemed to be around 20" diam (lots of them). In the gorge I saw 2 or 3 that were much larger.
GR
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IBM Glen, tree on side of steep side of gorge- 41" diam.
IBM Glen, tree on side of steep side of gorge- 41" diam.
IBM Glen, typical Marked Hemlock
IBM Glen, typical Marked Hemlock
Fallen Hemlock at IBM Glen, seems to have approx. 10 or more rings per inch.
Fallen Hemlock at IBM Glen, seems to have approx. 10 or more rings per inch.
Marked trees at IBM Glen typ. 20" diam, and what appears to be logging road?
Marked trees at IBM Glen typ. 20" diam, and what appears to be logging road?

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adam.rosen
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Re: Typical age of 20" diam Hemlock in climax forest?

Post by adam.rosen » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:47 pm

My little experience with old growth hemlock is that they are often larger, I don't know from crown architecture, but the growth patterns of those trees indicate that they did not grow up in an open field. If they are old growth, then they didn't get cut when the larger trees did. More likely, second growth in a forest that is second growth, at least 80 and more like 120 years old.

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