Mothers Memorial Forest, IN
30, 2005 10:46 PDT
I had big plans to visit some lower Michigan old-growth on a
northward, but unfortunately the weather and a family illness
to prevent this effort. However, on the return trip to Arkansas,
swung through southern Indiana and visited a research natural
the Hoosier National Forest called the "Pioneer Mothers
(or "Cox Woods", in a previous time).
Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest (PMMF, for short) encompasses 88
of virgin hardwood forest in the steep hills just outside of
hardwood-dominated forest of this part of Indiana grows over a
relatively thin layer of soil, beneath which lies various
materials (limestones and sandstones). Nevertheless, the under-
overstory flora suggest a relatively rich site, with species
bloodroot, wild ginger, mayapple, pawpaw, and greenbriar
areas (an many other intriguing herbs that I couldn't identify).
under- and midstory tree species of the stand are primarily
and American beech, with other shade tolerant hardwoods like
sassafras. The overstory is a rich mixture of hardwoods, with
areas dominated by American beech, black walnut, tuliptree,
oak, white oak, and various hickories and maples. A dense canopy
lack of time precluded me from spending much time on the site
heights, so I did not stray far from the main trail that runs
narrow spur towards the valley floor. All of the trees reported
were just off of the main trail, and I did see other big stems
ravines and ridges. I suspect the tallest of the trees would be
in the small drains, draws, and coves scattered across the
SPP DBH CBH sinHT
black walnut 44.8"
American beech 46.3"
12.1' 40' (estimated--broken)
tuliptree 33.9" 8.9'
northern red oak 45.9" 12.0'
bitternut hickory 29.7" 7.8' 108.1'
tuliptree 43.9" 11.5' 127.3'
white oak 39.4" 10.3'
black cherry 30.1" 7.9'
white oak 43.5" 11.4'
shagbark hickory 21.0" 5.5'
sugar maple 26.7" 7.0' 105-110' (vertical shot)
Unfortunately, my brief trip does not really do this stand
suspect that the Rucker Index (RI10) for this stand would easily
110 feet, and maybe even 120 feet, as most hardwood overstory
seemed to reach the canopy quite easily. I think the height I
the black walnut is a distinct underestimate, as I could not get
view of the full tree. Looking through the ENTS website, Will
reported a black walnut of 131' a few years ago at this site,
not sure if the walnut I measured was the same one.
Don Bragg, Ph.D.