Cabin 5 ain't no dive (MTSF, MA)

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dbhguru
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Cabin 5 ain't no dive (MTSF, MA)

Post by dbhguru » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:36 am

NTS,

On Sunday and Monday, Monica and I were at MTSF working on the trail guide series we're doing for the Mohawk Trail Park and State Forest. We usually stay at Cabin 6 when we remain overnight, but this time, #6 was taken. So, we opted for Cabin 5, up a steep hill from #6. Cabin Five is small compared to #6, so most people choose #6 or #7. However, it turned out that we actually like #5 better than #6. Five is the most out of the way all all the Mohawk cabins, and has the added advantage for me of looking down into both the Tuscarora and Pocumtuck Pines from a greater elevation. This allows me to take new measurements from a more distant and more commanding perch. The new found capability gave me a view of the Cabin Pine that I had not previously had.

The Cabin Pine has been featured in numerous postings. I had it listed as 158.9 feet based on continuous measurements taken from behind Cabin 6 at a lower elevation. Going up the hill to get a more commanding view is problematic because cabin occupants aren't likely to want a stranger camped in from of their cabin peering off into the canopy. In addition, in summer, there is no view. Way too much intervening clutter. But this time it was different. I found a peephole where the top and bottom of the Cabin Pine were just visible. So set up my tripod with the TruPulse 360 on it. I shot the angles repeatedly with a consistency of 19.8 to the top and -9.8 to the bottom. These were long shots. I then shot the distances repeatedly with the Nikon Prostaff 440. There was consistency in the distances. I found the change-over point to top and bottom. It was a tedious measuring session, but well worth it. I can claim with confidence that the Cabin Pine is 160.0 feet in height, making it #14 within that height class for MTSF. The image below shows Cain #6 from near where I set up my tripod in from of #5.
MTSFCabin6.jpg
Monica wanted to see the impact of Irene on the Cold River and the lower campground. We walked down to the campground and while Monica surveyed the damage, I used the opportunity to check on the lone 150-footer in Campground, and also a large 12.2-foot girth, 140-foot tall pine. Well, the 12.2-footer is now 12.3. There is also a large double white pine that measures 14.6 feet around. It is definitely a double, and as a consequence, I failed to give it respect. I measured it 3 years ago and it was almost 149 feet then. Well, not any more. It now measures 150.8 and becomes #119 to reach the 150 foot threshold. Here is a photo of it with Monica in for scale.
MTSFNew150.jpg
When we walk through the upper meadow, Monica always likes to stop and reflect on her old growth white pine growing up on the side of Todd Mountain. Here is a look at Monica's pine.
MTSFMonicasPine.jpg
For the trail guide, we plan to include discussion of planted black locusts in the upper meadow. Here is a view of some.
MTSFBLCTS.jpg
There is a 1930s CCC plantation of red pines at the north end of the lower meadow. The pines are the subject of frequent photos. It is a handsome stand. They have grown to heights of 100 to 110 feet in one cluster and 110 to 116 feet in a second. An isolated pine is now 121 feet. Because of the slender trunks, narrow crowns, and the regular spacing, the geometry of the stand is widely appealing. Here is a view from within the stand.
MTSGRedPines.jpg
So a new 150 and a new 160 (#14) made this trip a success. Several years ago, I took on the responsibility of inventorying the Mohawk pines. It was a self-appointed mission, so I have no right to feel put off if others don't clap for me. However, I am pleased to report that perseverance is paying off. DCR and many others recognize the special nature of Mohawk, not as a convenient camping spot, or for access to the Deerfield River, but for the pines.

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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ElijahW
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Re: Cabin 5 ain't no dive

Post by ElijahW » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:52 am

Bob,

Very nice piece of work, and an eye-catching title, to boot. Three questions: First, is red pine native in that area of the park (or in MTSF, for that matter)? Second, what do you expect them to top out at, height-wise? Third, are any of the black locusts impressive (height, girth, or by any other metric)? I know others have said that black locust isn't native up in central NY, but they sure do grow well, and quite often are part of the canopy in young forests.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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dbhguru
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Re: Cabin 5 ain't no dive

Post by dbhguru » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:22 pm

Elijah,

Red pine is native to the area, but only sparingly. Some native red pine grows nearby at High Ledges. However, I haven't found any native red pine in MTSF.

The largest black locust has a girth of just over 13 feet - large. Heights are not exceptional. The best only make it to 85 to 90 feet maximum. By contrast, I'm blown away by the black locusts in New York. You're absolutely right, they love NY. So do I.

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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Will Blozan
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Re: Cabin 5 ain't no dive (MTSF, MA)

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:25 pm

Bob,

Clap, clap, clap! Great finds as usual. I do love those red pines, too.

Will

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