Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park, PA

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George Fieo
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Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park, PA

Post by George Fieo » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:47 am

NTS,

I made a road trip up to Salt Springs State Park on 11/12/2012. The parks main attraction is the Fall Brook Natural Area that features a steep gorge with several small waterfalls surrounded by old growth eastern hemlocks. Hemlocks 8' in girth and 90' in height are common. Hemlocks above the east side of the gorge are repeatedly battered by the elements. Dead falls, snags, and blown out tops with reiterations create large canopy gaps where hemlock recruitment is high. Unfortunately the largest hemlock I saw was down and had a girth of 11.1'. The tallest hemlock grows on the east wall of the gorge at mid slope and measured 10.6' x 125.6'.


The main purpose of this trip was to see and document these old hemlocks. Some are more than 300 years old. I did take lots of photos but they are locked in laptop that no longer works. Sorry. There were not enough species within the natural area to do a RHI10.


Species GBH Height Comment
A Basswood 7' 89.4'
A Basswood 6.3' 110.2'
A Beech 6.4' 96.9'
Bigtooth Aspen 5.5' 78.3'
Bigtooth Aspen 4.2' 79.3'
Black Cherry 8.1' 92.3'
Black Cherry 9.1' 112.9'
E Hemlock 11.1' Stump
E Hemlock 10.6' 90.7' Top out
E Hemlock 10.4' 91.1'
E Hemlock 8.7' 100.7' Top out
E Hemlock ~8' 100.7'
E Hemlock ~9' 110.8'
E Hemlock 9.6' 112.3'
E Hemlock 8.4' 122.6'
E Hemlock 10.6' 125.6'
E Hophornbeam 1.8' 48.6'
E Hophornbeam 1.2' 52.5'
Red Maple 7.1' 102.2'
Striped Maple NA 47.4'
Striped Maple 1.7' 58' GBH @ 4.5' of largest stem

George

fungi
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Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by fungi » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:41 am

Nice work George! Keep up the good work!

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dbhguru
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Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:30 am

George,

That stripped maple is huge. I mean really huge. I've measured them up to 3.6 feet in girth. That must be at least a state champion.

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

Joe

Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by Joe » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:08 am

dbhguru wrote:George,

That stripped maple is huge. I mean really huge. I've measured them up to 3.6 feet in girth. That must be at least a state champion.

Bob
Bob, I'm amazed that they can get that big- I've never seen one in western Mass. bigger than 12" DBH.
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:42 pm

Joe,

Yes, that is larger than our largest, but consistent with what other tree species can reach, size wise, in southern PA relative to Massachusetts.

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

Joe

Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by Joe » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:46 pm

dbhguru wrote:Joe,

Yes, that is larger than our largest, but consistent with what other tree species can reach, size wise, in southern PA relative to Massachusetts.

Bob
it's just that striped maple is by nature, a short lived species, like grey birch and pin cherry- can you also find huge grey birch and pin cherry in PA?
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: Fall Brook Natural Area, Salt Springs State Park

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:30 pm

Joe,

These days, we are accustomed to see species underperforming in our forests. There is a variety of reasons for the underperformance. We both know some of those reasons. What happens, though, is that we lose sight of what different species evolved to be down through the millennia under the conditions that were right for them.

I've seen lots of stripped maple in the 2 to 3-foot girth range, and a few slightly larger. I've measured moose wood to 68 feet in height in Massachusetts (MTSF and Bryant Homestead). The largest specimens are always in mature forests. The tallest develop in our older white pine forests. There the maples reach their greatest heights because they have long vertical corridors to grow up into. These corridors don't exist in younger, cluttered white pine stands.

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

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