Ground Level Branches, Horizontal Trees, Brooms, etc, NJ Barry Caselli
February 20, 2001

Today I took a hike in Wharton State Forest, something I have not done enough of. I've lived 6 miles or so from Wharton for 24 years, and have driven through it quite a bit, but hiking is another story. FYI, Wharton is the largest unit in the NJ state parks and forests system, at 115,000 acres. It contains over 400 miles of sand and dirt roads, plus a couple of paved roads go through it. It also contains some marked nature trails. Today I hiked part of the yellow trail. I believe I did a round-trip hike of 8 miles.
It was around 32 degrees and windy, but I like the cold. I took many digital photos, and shot a couple of minutes of video as well, just to add a personal touch. I plan on making a Windows slideshow with the photos, and add the video to it.
Usually I try and photograph every, or nearly every, witch's broom that I see. That's not always possible. But when hiking it's easier, definitely. I saw quite a few. There must be thousands of them throughout the entire Pine Barrens.
One other thing I see a lot of in the Pine Barrens is branches coming out of the Pitch Pines at or just above ground level. I also see branches come out of a tree and droop down to the ground. I find the ground-level branches to be quite interesting. In everyone's experience, have you seen this on other species?
Another thing I saw today is trees that fell over, all the way to the ground, and then one or more branches became new trees. Anyone see this before?
Once I get the slideshow/video made and uploaded, I will inform the group.


Continued at: