Scouting the Perkiomen Creek

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George Fieo
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Scouting the Perkiomen Creek

Post by George Fieo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:37 pm

ENTS,

The Perkiomen Creek is a tributary of the Schuylkill River and runs through Berks, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties. It flows through wooded ridges and floodplains, agricultural fields, residential developments, and industrial parks. The Perkiomen Trail is situated along most of the creeks bank. The 19 mile multi-use trail mostly follows a former railroad bed from it's junction with the Schuylkill River upstream to Green Lane Park. The trail is owned and maintained by Montgomery County and connects more than a dozen county and municipal parks.

On 2/21/10 my son and I wanted to locate and measure a large tree I had seen years ago. It's located approximately 200 yards upstream of the Rahns Trailhead (Route 113) parking lot 20 yards off the trail. The tree is a white oak with an open grown form surrounded by much younger trees which suggest that the oak has grown most of it's life in an old pasture or agricultural field. It measures 16'4" x 85.4' with a maximum spread of 126'.
Large white oak
Large white oak
P1010854 Stitch.jpg (104.41 KiB) Viewed 1436 times
Base of the white oak
Base of the white oak
Opposite the trail of the white oak is a 2-3 acre grove of mature trees that are likely more than 100 years old consisting of ash, hickory, maple and oak. I'll return at a later date to document this grove. More to come.

George

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edfrank
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Re: Scouting the Perkiomen Creek

Post by edfrank » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:02 pm

George,

A nice account of a great tree. I am always impressd by the size and character of old field trees, especially white oaks hidden in our woods.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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George Fieo
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Re: Scouting the Perkiomen Creek

Post by George Fieo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:18 am

ENTS,

There was another large tree I wanted to check out that is growing along the Perkiomen Creek. The tree is visible from Route 29 only during the dorment season. I've seen it a hundred times while driving along this route but never gave it much thought until now. It has the form of an american elm but I could not confirm this from the road.

On 3/7/10 my family and I , dogs included, decided to hike along this stretch of the Perkiomen Trail where this tree is growing. We started our hike at the Central Perkiomen Valley Park off of Plank Road and headed downstream. The tree is a few minutes walk from the parking lot and is just above the newly constructed trail bridge that crosses the "Perky", that's what us locals call the creek. My thoughts were confirmed and the tree is in fact an american elm and is much larger than I had originally thought. The elm weighs in at 14'6" x 91.1' with a maximum spread of 98'.
Base of the 14'6" x 91.1' American elm.
Base of the 14'6" x 91.1' American elm.
Looking up the elm.
Looking up the elm.
Entire view of the south side of the elm.
Entire view of the south side of the elm.
We continued our hike downstream crossing the bridge where we found a lone sycamore. It's a respectable 13'2" x 110.8' tree with great form that has recently died, likely from construction of the trail and bridge. We continued a mile or two passing a half dozen or more sycamores with girths over 12' and a very nice forest grown black walnut that is 8'5" x 115.8'. We are now at the second bridge that crosses back over the Perky. It's also where the Skippack Township Trail mets the Perkiomen Trail. We followed the Skippack Trail for another half mile or so. This portion of the trail is very wet. Ash, elm, maple, and box elder dominate with a few oak, hickory, and basswood here. I measured a 10'11" x 97.5' pin oak and a two silver maples with girths just over 12'. This was our turn around point.
Dead 13'2" x 110.8' sycamore
Dead 13'2" x 110.8' sycamore
8'5" x 115.8 black walnut.
8'5" x 115.8 black walnut.
12'1" x 87.2' silver maple
12'1" x 87.2' silver maple
Still more to come.

George

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James Parton
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Re: Scouting the Perkiomen Creek

Post by James Parton » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:33 am

George,

That is one big elm. I rarely ever see ones that big around here in the North Carolina Mountains. Also that Silver Maple has a nice tall straight form. Most of them around here are spreading bushy, often multi-trunked trees.

James
James E Parton
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