Patapsco State Park: Lowland to Midland Regions   Matthew Hannum
  Apr 29, 2007 14:24 PDT 


The weather here in Maryland has been excellent for anyone who enjoys
the outdoors, so today I decided to take my tape measure, notebook, and
field guide to trees out into Patapsco State Park to see if I could get
some actual numbers for the park. I focused on the lowland to midland
areas in the Avalon area today since I am most familiar with that
riverside_tulip_tree1a.jpg (97631 bytes)
The riverside tulip tree is the one that measure in at: 10'7" around.Larger tulip trees in the park seem to get up to about 10' or a bit more in circumference, but they generally are not much bigger at this point in time.But give them a couple more decades and we'll see!

General Measuring Notes: All circumferences measured at 4.5’ above the
ground. Heights are just estimates based on in part on what is typical
for the species and are probably understated since I’d rather not make
claims for exceptional height that cannot be backed up with numbers.
There was no effective way to measure the height of nearly all of these
trees without a laser, which I do not have.

1) Box Elder (ashleaf maple): cbh = 7’8” height estimate = 80’+
2) Box Elder (ashleaf maple): cbh = 7’9” height estimate = 80’+

leaning_sycamore1a.jpg (93286 bytes)
 The leaning sycamore is the monster that came in at: 14'10" incircumference. This huge tree clearly grows in a relatively open area notfar from the river, which is out of the photo to the left.

3) American Sycamore: cbh = 14’10” height estimate = 100’+ (huge,
significant lean)
4) American Sycamore: cbh = 8’1” height estimate = 90’+
5) American Sycamore: cbh = 9’6” height estimate = 80’ to 90’+ (squat,
heavy limbed tree)

6) Black Locust: cbh = 4’11” height estimate = 60’+
7) Black Locust: cbh = 7’7” height estimate = 70'+

8) Tulip Tree: cbh = 10’7” height estimate = 100’+
9) Tulip Tree: cbh = 8’5” height estimate = 100’+
10) Tulip Tree: cbh = 10’1” height estimate = 100’+

big_white_ash_trees1a.jpg (91677 bytes)
 The ash trees are the two that came in at: 10'4" and 12'8" in circumference with the larger one in the background, though the clear bulge on the trunk from injury increased its apparent girth at 4.5' above ground level. The even larger ash tree is out of the photo to the left of the two smaller ones in the brush and undergrowth.


11) White Ash: cbh = 10’4” height estimate = 80’+
12) White Ash: cbh = 12’8” (bulge at 4.5’ up) height estimate = 90’+
13) White Ash: cbh estimate = 14’+ height estimate = 90’+
(Grows near the other 2 large green ashes, but is guarded by poison ivy
and thorn-covered rose vines. Estimated cbh is almost 1.5 times next
closest green ash cbh.)

14) American Beech: Estimated cbh = 9’+ height estimate = 90'+
15) American Beech: Estimated cbh = 9’+ height estimate = 90'+
(These 2 twin beeches are very large for the area, but grow on a steep
slope above the river, so direct measurements of the trunks was not
possible without a fall into the river. Estimates come from comparing
their trunk size at a given distance to a nearby measured tulip tree at
the same distance.)

16) White Pine: cbh = 9’10” height estimate = 100’+
(Conifers of any size are very rare in the lowlands of the park based on
what I have seen. Supposedly, the park has some cypress trees and
hemlocks, but I do not know where they are located.)

17) White Oak: cbh = 7’1” height estimate = 80’+
18) Northern Red Oak: cbh = 9’3” height estimate = 90’+
19) Northern Red Oak: cbh = 9’6” height estimate = 90’+

20) Hickory (believed to be Mockernut): cbh = 5’0” height estimate =
21) Hickory (believed to be Mockernut): cbh = 7’1” height estimate =
80’ to 90’+
22) Hickory (Shagbark): cbh = 3’1” height estimate = 60’

23) Silver Maples: typical cbh = 9’ to 12’
(Accurate measurements of silver maples were very difficult because of
underbrush and the habit this species has of branching low or putting
out multiple trunks. The park has relatively few large silver maples
from what I have seen.)

24) Mystery nut tree: cbh = 9’1” height = 80’+ (suffering limb loss;
poor health)
(This tree was a mystery. It has mottled, rough bark similar to a silver
maple, but not as flaky, but its leaves are distinctly compound and are
leafing out at the same type as the hickories. However, the number of
leaflets is much higher than any other hickory I’ve seen. Most likely
match based upon the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees,
Eastern Region is: a pecan, a black walnut, or a butternut. Black walnut
is known to exist in the park based upon nuts I’ve found.)

General tree notes: Tulip Trees, Sycamores and Box Elder dominate the
lowlands, with American Beech common in the under story. Ash trees are
also quite common. Large numbers of young silver maples were seen in
some places. Also, a reasonable number of young hickories exist in the
park. Very few oaks could be located in the lowland regions of the park,
and almost no truly large ones have been measured or noted to date; the
upland regions may be different in this regard.

RE: Patapsco State Park: Lowland to Midland Regions   Matthew Hannum
  May 02, 2007 17:58 PDT 


- Upon further inspection of my photos of the ash trees, I think that
they are White Ash, not Green Ash. They have the distinctive
diamond-like, overlapping grooves that point to white ash vs. the blocky
plates of green ash. However, they do not turn purple in the fall, but
instead turn yellow - supposedly white ash turns purple, though I've
never seen that happen on known white ash trees.