Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by Erik Danielsen » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:26 pm

Photographs from 4/13, mostly in order:
The lawn that greets you as you walk away from the 6 train. Trees on the lawn grow from 90-100. The forest in the background is the wet section with Swamp White Oaks.
The lawn that greets you as you walk away from the 6 train. Trees on the lawn grow from 90-100. The forest in the background is the wet section with Swamp White Oaks.
The 86.1/12.3'cbh Swamp White Oak. Lots of yellow Trout Lily on the ground.
The 86.1/12.3'cbh Swamp White Oak. Lots of yellow Trout Lily on the ground.
The 101.4/13.4'cbh Swamp White Oak- I'm there at the bottom trying to get next to the tree for scale before the shutter clicks, click the photo to enlarge.
The 101.4/13.4'cbh Swamp White Oak- I'm there at the bottom trying to get next to the tree for scale before the shutter clicks, click the photo to enlarge.
The parking lot on Hunter Island is so large it's developed its own hydrogeological features, like ephemeral ponds and this sinkhole. I propose we rename it the "Robert F. Moses Geological Park" and stop maintaining it. We can study it like the blast zone of Mount St. Helens as vegetation slowly reenters.
The parking lot on Hunter Island is so large it's developed its own hydrogeological features, like ephemeral ponds and this sinkhole. I propose we rename it the "Robert F. Moses Geological Park" and stop maintaining it. We can study it like the blast zone of Mount St. Helens as vegetation slowly reenters.
The 135.6/15'cbh Tuliptree
The 135.6/15'cbh Tuliptree
104.8/12.7'cbh (possible fusion) white oak in the foreground- 112.1/14'cbh white oak behind.
104.8/12.7'cbh (possible fusion) white oak in the foreground- 112.1/14'cbh white oak behind.
110.3/9.4'cbh white oak on the left, 91.3/6.8'cbh black birch on the right.
110.3/9.4'cbh white oak on the left, 91.3/6.8'cbh black birch on the right.
Old Black Birch among the stagheaded crowns.
Old Black Birch among the stagheaded crowns.

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Lucas
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by Lucas » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Wow, nice SWO's.

I don't think mine will ever look that good.

Is it SWO's in the fore ground of the first pic?
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon May 09, 2016 10:53 am

Lucas,

The trees in the foreground of the first pic are all sweetgum. There's a bit of SWO on the lawn but most of it's further back towards the woods and nature center. Also quite a bit of pin oak among the stems in this view.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by bbeduhn » Tue May 10, 2016 7:34 am

Erik,
Fantastic crown shots! I noticed a little meandering from the black birch as it searches for light. I'm surprised sweetgums are so prevalent that far north. Some are obviously planted but they also seem to be doing well growing naturally.

The tulip looks majestic. It has some pretty serious volume.
Brian

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ElijahW
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by ElijahW » Tue May 10, 2016 7:44 am

Brian,

Planted Sweetgum does well up here as well, above 43 degrees latitude, though I haven't seen it reproduce. Baldcypress also seems to have no problem with the cold.

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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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue May 10, 2016 8:39 am

Brian, Sweetgum is native here, as well as a touch further north in NJ, mainland NY, and just a tiny bit in connecticut, and reproduces like crazy- one of the most common, along with pin oak, in regenerating forests and sometimes to the point of monoculture. Much older specimens are also not uncommon, but reproduction seems to phase out as canopies get denser and further into succession (same for pin oak).

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Pelham Bay and the Granny Oak

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:34 pm

I made another visit to Pelham Bay Park on January 16. I was particularly interested in seeing if I could find any greater heights in the White Pine plantation (as I had in the Spruce plantation previously) and to see if I could find any new maximums in the old growth to continue compiling the RHI.
Some small oaks growing on the rock outcroppings over the Long Island Sound at sunset. The low one with leaves on at the bottom left is post oak; the taller leafless ones I did not identify, but white, black, and scarlet oaks also grow on the exposed maritime edges.
Some small oaks growing on the rock outcroppings over the Long Island Sound at sunset. The low one with leaves on at the bottom left is post oak; the taller leafless ones I did not identify, but white, black, and scarlet oaks also grow on the exposed maritime edges.
In the pines, I measured the following three trees:

113' tall/9.1'cbh
111.5' tall/6.9'cbh
111.5' tall/5.9'cbh

I believe the 113' tree is the tallest of the stand, it's rooted slightly downhill of the rest. There are some fairly large black locust trees around the edges of the pine stand that are probably the same age, and a couple nice-looking but not particularly large scots pine and sassafras.
The tallest of the pines is the one furthest to the right in this image.
The tallest of the pines is the one furthest to the right in this image.
Back into the old-growth section I was hoping some taller bitternut hickories might become apparent, but I was unable to find any. I was also quite sure there must be a red oak or two hitting 120', and this was at last validated by a nice specimen growing between some of the tallest tulips, at 122.1' tall and 8.1'cbh. The 117.5'/5.1'cbh hickory I measured previously is practically right next to this oak- I went right by it last time!
The new tallest Red Oak, alongside some tall tulips.
The new tallest Red Oak, alongside some tall tulips.
The tallest tulip (previously just shot from right below) proved to be difficult to measure due to the arrangement of brush and debris. I ended up standing on a boulder a ways uphill to measure the top of the crown relative to an external reference point attached to a tree down the hill, and then from another point to get the height from the reference to the tape on the tree trunk. The slight change in cbh probably has more to do with a more careful tape placement than growth, but it has been a year, so you never know. The final figures were 136.6' tall and 15.1'cbh.
The tallest tulip.
The tallest tulip.

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