was the last day of our expedition.
Beautiful weather, it was going to be another absolutely
gorgeous day. I got up
early to measure a few
at the Buckaloons before we broke camp.
This national forest recreation area is loaded with nice
specimens. Edís eagle
eye for noteworthy
rang true again. First
came to 4.6ft CBH x 40ft high on site 23.
This WAS the current state champ dotted
Second one came to 3.1ft CBH and a lofty 45.4ft high on site
16. Easily a new state
height record, possibly a new Northeast U.S height record as well.
Bob, what do you have for
up your way? Will B.,
Will F., Jess, what do you guys get for
down there? I didnít
get any crown measurements on these trees since we found a number of
better specimens throughout the trip.
then packed up and headed down river to set up vehicle shuttle
weíd start from the
bridge and pull out just upstream from Tionesta, a total of 5.2
miles. We were looking
forward to having extra time to spend exploring King and
Only one problem, I
didnít anticipate weíd make it this far down river and didnít
have an updated sticker for my canoe since we were going to use an
agency controlled boat launch.
To make a long story short, we spent about 2hrs dodging the
Fish & Boat Commission Nazis, before we could launch and pick up
Tony was on board, it was just a short hop to
I didnít want to spend a lot of time here, since I had
fairly well saturated this island earlier with measurements, but I
did want to show Tony & Ed some of the exceptional sycamore and
silver maple on the island. We
re-measured the old bulbous 6 stem silver maple I first measured
It now stands at 20.8ft CBH x 103ft tall x 79.5avg spread.
Also re-measured a sweet single stem silver maple to 18.1ft
CBH x 104.3ft high x 70.5ft avg spread for a total of 339 AF Points.
a previous sycamore that only grew 1tenth of foot in over two years.
In June of 2005 I had it at 14.1ft CBH x 119.5+ft high, two
years later it came in at 14.2ft CBH x 120ft high.
Sure would be interesting to see how fast sycamore
grow throughout its life compared to different soil types and
competition. Iíve yet
to count rings or core any sycamore, so I have virtually no feel for
how fast they can grow on certain sites.
A number of the sycamore here have the potential for great
age, but Iíve yet to core or count rings on any large trees of
Large Hawthorn -
ft tall, 43.5ft avg crown
122 AF Points
and Tony spent a good bit of time tracking down
and measuring butternut. Ed
& I ended up coming back to
a couple weeks later, more to come on this in a future post.
then packed up and headed to the last island on our list,
To say the least,
was a complete surprise to me in terms of tall sycamore and
bitternut hickory. Previous
descriptions stated that
was hit by the major category IV or V tornado that swept through the
state in 1985. Now that
I think back, I remember riding the high water that was associated
with this storm on a canoe race two days after the storm had passed.
We made record time due to the high water, but barely made
the race on time due to being re-routed around blocked roads from
storm damage. The towns
of West & East Hickory and Tidoute
had major damage with homes and lives lost.
Baker was definitely hit hard, pretty much the entire bottom
half of this island was devoid of any intact large trees, and
dominated by a sprawling grassland with
young butternut coming up like patches of staghorn sumac.
The up-stream half of the island was much more impressive.
landed at the top of the island and worked down the west side.
Tony was coming in on the right, and Ed was covering the left
flank. It wasnít long
before we got into an impressive stand of sycamore.
I glanced to my right and noticed a fat sycamore, then slowly
looked up the trunk, it just kept going.
Turns out it ended up being a new state height champ at
12.1ft CBH x 145.5ft high. I
just find this height amazing since it was growing on completely
flat terrain. I believe
sycamore, growing in the right location with the right competition
for sunlight, should be able to grow to even more impressive heights
There were a number of sycamore
here that wouldíve made it into the 130ft class interspersed with
110ft class bitternut hickory.
Had a nice hackberry in the center of the grove that went to
9.7ft CBH x 81.6ft high. By
the end of the day we were able to add three more sycamore into the
12x100 club, one of which also being the new state sycamore height
tall, top ripped off by 1985 storm
Sycamore shoots on a partially fallen tree.
Dale among the Hawthorns
did a thorough search of the island while wading through a foot
snagging grassland coming back up to the top of the island on the
east bank. Ed had
point, but was taken out by a gramanoid
booby trap that wrapped around his ankles. I
almost disappeared down a sizeable woodchuck hole.
Tony had our ď6Ē, and was the only one left unscathed. It
was definitely difficult walking.
Terrain soon tapered back into a shorter stand of silver
maple and fat sycamore as we got closer to our starting point.
dayís stats follows:
(Frank, Kelly, Luthringer)
43.5ft avg crown
79.5ft avg spread, 1st measured in
avg spread, 339 AF Points, 1st measured in 2005
1st measured in 2005
top ripped off by 1985 storm
girth taken at 1.5ft up from base due to multi-stems at
4.5ft, 30ft avg crown
new PA height champ
present but not measured = black willow, staghorn sumac, vitus sp.,
= multiflora rose
Multi-trunked Silver Maple on King Island
the time we finished the entire four day expedition, we had
documented a number new
state champ and height records, a slew of personal largest species
measures, and a new state sycamore height record.
We explored 6 different islands in the wilderness area, and
noted trees on 7 of them. In
all, we canoed a total of 17 miles along one the most picturesque
rivers in the state while being blessed with absolutely exceptional
weather. It was truly
an incredible trip with great friends, and one that I will cherish
for quite some time.