AF Cadre Workshop - Landis Arboretum

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
Erik Danielsen
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:46 pm

AF Cadre Workshop - Landis Arboretum

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:00 pm

On Saturday October 15th Fred Breglia at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY (near Schenectady) welcomed Bob, Elijah, NYS big tree coordinator Erin Brady, the NYS Region 4 DEC forester (unfortunately I'm blanking on his name) and myself to hold a Cadre-level measurement standards workshop. All in all I'd say everything went very well and positive connections were forged with the NYS big tree program which hold a lot of promise for the future. Following the presentation we headed up the hill to the famous white oak whose silhouette forms the arboretum's logo. Unfortunately this venerable tree was badly damaged by hurricane Irene and succumbed to its injuries, but what's left of its form is still impressive and beautiful to behold. The tree exceeds 5'dbh and in life must have been at least 65-75' tall; my rough reading of its current height (missing most of its crown) was 56.9'. (all my photos in this post are from my phone, unfortunately my camera had a memory card issue)
The measuring demonstration at the great oak
The measuring demonstration at the great oak
The Great Oak at sunset
The Great Oak at sunset
Fred was kind enough to let me stay the night on the grounds, which was very helpful as I had plans to check out other tree sites on the way back down to NYC on Sunday. I managed to get a quick hike in before dark, down to the old-growth ravine that Landis preserves. Due to climate, soils, and topography the area Landis encompasses is not really "big tree" territory but I made some height measurements as I went. On a personal note, this little hike was especially meaningful to me due to the fact that I have not been in a hemlock forest in over 13 months. I'm sure I'm not alone here in finding a special sort of solace under a hemlock canopy; unfortunately the woolly adelgid has done a very thorough job within NYC and the immediately surrounding area.
Great old sugar maple in the old-growth ravine
Great old sugar maple in the old-growth ravine
Some height measurements from the old-growth slope area:

Red Oak
80.9
Sugar Maple
89.4
87.6
American Beech
77.3
Basswood
97.5
Eastern Hemlock
104.4
92.5
90.1
88.8
The tallest hemlock I measured is in the center of this photo behind the foreground trees, its tip just visible in one of the gaps
The tallest hemlock I measured is in the center of this photo behind the foreground trees, its tip just visible in one of the gaps
I don't imagine I found the tallest specimens of each species, but I suspect these are still pretty close to the best heights produced on this site. What this forest lacks in height it makes up for in beauty. One point of interest was that paper birch and bigtooth aspen, which I would both associate more with forests in early succession, were often present and in very mature form within the old growth. Perhaps the harsh climate, steep slope and proximity to earlier-succession forests give these species more opportunities to establish within the older forest. To see yellow birch, black birch, and paper birch all growing together was certainly novel.

In the morning before I left I went across the street to the Choice Conifers section of the Arboretum to have a look around. I measured the height of the Dawn Redwood overlooking the parking lot; this is the sole survivor of several seeds Landis received from that same initial collection of Dawn Redwood seeds that also includes the trees I measured at Bailey Arboretum at up to 127' tall last spring. The specimen at Landis has a much bushier form and manages 64' in height. I suspect the climate at Landis is nearing the edge of the species' hardiness.
The Dawn Redwood
The Dawn Redwood
There are many other beautiful trees in the conifer section, including some new to me such as Ernest Fir, Rocky Mt. Fir, proper Siberian Larch, and Oriental Spruce. I measured the Ernest Fir to 78.5' tall and the Oriental Spruce to 65.8.
The farmhouse at the arboretum
The farmhouse at the arboretum
Landis Arboretum is definitely a peaceful, beautiful place to visit and I look forward to returning in the future. Thanks again to Fred and his family for their hospitality.

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: AF Cadre Workshop - Landis Arboretum

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:49 pm

Erik- Nice post. I like your comment "What this forest lacks in height it makes up for in beauty". I feel the same it's not always about tallness! It is so relaxing to be in the Forest. I have not done so since last winter miss it. It's still in the high 80"s down here. Our first cool snap of the year with a 57 degree morning is this weekend- bout time! In early November for a week I'm headed to Bienville NF in Central Ms. Leaves are still on here till mid to late Nov. Look out trees here I come! :) Larry

Post Reply

Return to “New York”