French Creek, Ohio Steve Galehouse
March 29, 2009


Spent a couple of hours this morning exploring the French Creek area in
Lorain County, Ohio. Not many really large trees were found (Cottonwood at
125.5" tallest measured), but certainly some interesting ones. The
topography is a combination of steep shale cliffs, with wide floodplains at
their bases. The floodplain forest has an interesting combination of
species, including: white elm, black walnut, hackberry, paw paw, Ohio
buckeye, black maple, white ash, and of course red maple, sycamore, and
cottonwood. The naturalized osage orange was the most unusual find. They are
frequent around here along roadsides near farms, and were once grown to
provide post timbers for the local vineyards, but this is the first time
I've encountered them in a "forest" situation.

Osage orange, ht. 68', cbh. 10'6''

Osage orange crown

A good size Ohio buckeye was also found, ht. 63', cbh. 6'10''        Usually
buckeye is much smaller and shorter.

Near the osage orange was a nice hackberry, ht.87.5', cbh. 8'3''

A good sized white oak, with very unusual bark characteristics was also
found. The lower trunk had what I would consider normal bark, while the
upper trunk and major branches had heavily plated, almost exfoliated bark.
I've seen this on one other individual in the general area.

April 1, 2009 - I returned to the same area and measured the pawpaws--the tallest was 39.8',
22'' cbh.--much taller than the ones I first saw!  Also measured and
photographed a nice white elm, ht. 93', cbh. 8'10''. 

Ohio's champion pawpaw is 42'' cbh. x 34', so the one I found is at least
taller. I think there might be larger ones in the vicinity. I've attached
another photo of a red maple from the same area with an unusual branching
pattern-the two smaller branches arise from the main tree, and it's far
enough removed from the trails to have been "manipulated".  X marks the

White Elm

White Elm

White elm



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