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Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:45 pm
by ryandallas
The first place I visited was the Wildflower Sanctuary, which is on N. Porchuck Road. I'm sure that this place has wonderful flowers in the spring, and the diversity here was impressive, but from a big tree perspective, this place appeared to be a total dud. The terrain was very rocky, even by CT standards, and the trees looked undernourished. Still, this is a very beautiful place, and the forest was diverse. Hickories, ash, oaks, black cherries, tulips, maples, birches and tupelos all made appearances. The most impressive tree was a pin oak in the 3.5 foot DBH range.

The second place I visited was the Greenwich Audobon. When I drove by this location, I saw a huge, ash-grey tree, which I took to be a white oak. I knew I had to stop. I was able to track down the tree, which appears to have planted. It was a cottonwood, and there were no other cottonwoods in the vicinity.

P. deltoides

84.6' x 17'2"

Nearby was a small, man-made pond, behind which were some trails. At the start of one trail was this impressive tree:

L. tulipifera

136.2' x 13' 9"

An adjacent tulip tree was not as girthy but had a similar height, per straight-up measurements.

Moving on, I came across a massive log. Most of the bark had rotted away, but judging by the buttressed roots, it appears to have been a large red oak. I measured the log's girth at six feet above "ground level" and came up with 12'6". This was the lowest I could go, as the lower bole was resting on the ground. This tree may have been close to 14' in circumference when it was standing.

The forest in this area was a nice mixed forest, with many trees in the 9'+ CBH range.

From here the trail dipped down into a valley. The production also took a dip, and I'm not sure why. The trees in the valley were not all that big or tall.

I came to "Lake" Mead, which is tiny, and took a left. Here I saw a big tulip growing on a steep, high, well-drained, rock-free slope, the kind of place tulips love.


131.9' x 12'8"

A couple of trees in the background reached similar heights, though they were not as big.

After I had passed Lake Mead, I followed a small river and found a grove of tallish tulips that was growing beneath a rock outcropping. The largest tree in this grove was:


140.5 x 12'6"

After this I headed back.

Overall, I think that this park warrants further exploration. A path that breaks off at Lake Mead provides access to the rich, high slopes that border Riversville Road. These slopes might hold tulips in the 140+ foot range. This is the path I should've taken, but once I saw it, I was already running out of time, unfortunately.

Re: Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:15 am
by dbhguru

You are single-handedly putting Connecticut on the map. What we are seeing is the maturing of tuliptree across the landscape. Connecticut is the only New England state with a capability for 160-foot tulips.


Re: Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:03 pm
by ryandallas
Thanks, Bob! It does seem like there are tall tulips in quite a few places. Here's what I've found:

Southeastern Fairfield County (Trumbull, Shelton) is tall tulip country, of course.

However, Wilton may be the tall tulip center of CT, believe it or not. I ascribe this to the large ridge on the Western side of the town.

The Easton, Redding and Monroe areas have not looked too promising. However, I do know of a tree in Redding that might make the grade. Also, some young tulip trees at Topstone SP (Redding) were in the 125-130 range, so that's something.

A mild climate is definitely a plus, but I have measured 135-140' trees in New Fairfield, so we should write of the northern parts of the state yet.

Southwestern Fairfield County (Stamford, Greenwich) are very rocky, and (generalizing here) tulips won't grow tall on rocky soils, so that's a bummer. But there are few promising sites, like the one above.

Re: Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:47 am
by dbhguru

A worthy project for us could be to tell the story of the species in New England. So far, I have a single tulip over 140 in Massachusetts, but there probably quite a few over 130. We have two on our property just a few years from where I'm sitting. Regardless, the species would make a good story and possibly film. Might you be interested?


Re: Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:09 am
by JHarkness
I don't think we should write off the northern part of Connecticut entirely, I've been meaning to measure a few tuliptrees in Sharon which I believe are over 130' and likely still quite young with a lot more growing to do, which I find somewhat remarkable considering that they are growing on rocky soils over 1,000' in elevation. I also know of a number of taller tuliptrees along the Housatonic River in Cornwall Bridge, but I believe all are on private property. There's also a huge three-tree white pine fusion at this site which I have been wanting to measure.


Re: Greenwich, CT Sites

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:38 pm
by ryandallas
Bob, I would be interested. Can we discuss this via email when you get a chance?

Joshua, please update us on those tulips in Sharon when you get a chance. If they are over 130, then I don't see why Northern CT can't have a 145' tree, maybe even higher.

Recently I hit up Pootatuck SF (New Fairfield) and found some impressive trees. My notes from that day are pretty vague, but they say I found a 140-footer and a couple of 130-footers. These trees were growing at the beginning of Fire Road, an unpaved utility road that goes into the state forest. I also saw some impressive trees while driving on adjacent Short Woods Road, which goes through a deep valley. These trees were probably on private property.
Anyway, it does look like Northern CT can produce some tall ones.

Edit: I realize now that there was a typo in my first comment. I meant to say we shouldn't write off the Northern part of the state.