Gristmill Open Space, Shelton, Ct

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ryandallas
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Gristmill Open Space, Shelton, Ct

Post by ryandallas » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:54 pm

Recently I did some measuring at the Gristmill Open Space in Shelton, CT. While there aren't any superlative trees here, this place is still interesting because its growth, which is very young, is very vigorous. Many trees here display marked orthotropic growth, and many have achieved impressive heights in spite of their youth. This place is not remarkable now, but it could be in the future.

Here were some measurements:

TREE HGT CIRC

Red oak by multi-stemmed 98' 6'1"
red maple

Red oak just past the one 78.5' 5'5"
listed above


Further along the trail, past a small island, Betula lenta started to dominate.
Roughly 50% of the trees in this area were black birch. Most of these birch were in the 75' to 80' range (based on straight-up measurements) and less than one foot in diameter. These were the most impressive birch I found:


TREE HGT CIRC

Betula lenta by island ~81' (straight-up) 4'

Betula lenta, trail marked ~75' (straight-up) 3'11"
tree

Betula lenta on left side 81.5' 4'6"
of trail, before tall tulip

Just past the last black birch listed above, there was a young tulip tree. While its presence dominated the grove, it wasn't very large for its species. It was 113' to its top.

Further up the trail, sassafras started popping up along the river. They were skinny and quite tall. The largest of these was 81' tall and 4'6" in circumference.

A red oak growing nearby had achieved a respectable height, even though it was only 4'3" in circumference. This tree's upper crown was so obscured that I had to use a straight-up shot, but it was at least 84' tall.

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DougBidlack
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Re: Gristmill Open Space, Shelton, Ct

Post by DougBidlack » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:05 pm

How old do you think these trees are?

ryandallas
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: Gristmill Open Space, Shelton, Ct

Post by ryandallas » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:18 am

Doug, I am not really confident in my ability to answer that question.

Some of the red oaks had bark so smooth that I had trouble fixing my measuring tape to it. So very young, but an actual figure? I'm not sure.

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DougBidlack
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Re: Gristmill Open Space, Shelton, Ct

Post by DougBidlack » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:17 pm

I can completely understand. You are pretty sure that the trees are quite tall for their age (or at least they are showing characteristics of rather young trees) but you don't feel confident about throwing out actual numbers. I know a place like this in Waltham, MA which is where I work. The trees look really young and yet they are fairly tall. In addition, there are some rather large tall shrubs and small trees like common winterberry, spicebush and staghorn sumac. It just makes me think that this site is productive and will have some tall (big) trees in a relatively short time barring some major disturbance.

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