Island, PA silver maple
21, 2005 20:00 PDT
I spent today 'reconning' Thompson Island on the Allegheny
the next island downstream from Anders Run Natural Area.
Island is where I have a number of 130ft class sycamore,
yet to be able to set foot on the island. Today was no better.
Since I strained my back last week, I was unwilling to put my
on my car. So, I thought I'd try to find a shallow spot to make
amphibious assault. Needless to say, I didn't mount the attack.
water was just too high and fast on the west side of the river.
checked for possible entry from the east side of the river, but
no avail. There is either no parking on the narrow berm highway,
private property, or deep water. The only real safe way to
island is by boat. Hence, I'll plan an attack for another day.
Not to be thwarted, I decided to recon King Island (or what I
be is King Island). King Island is another island in the
River Island Wilderness Area. According to signage, it is
have "many trees 3-4ft in diameter". It is the first
island down river
from the West Hickory Bridge over the Allegheny River. I think
have to plan another amphibious assault, this time to King
tomorrow. Why, may you ask? Found a dandy silver maple that I
out from the rarely traveled road on the river's west bank. Two
shots put it at a steady 123.3ft high! I'd estimate the girth to
least 9ft CBH, single stem. Gorgeous tree. Is your 11.1ft CBH x
118.9ft silver maple on 2/23/02 still the highest you've found?
I'm really anxious to see what the rest of this island will
guess you could call it an island, although the west side of
is mostly wetland. lilly pads and bullfrogs galore. Looks like
have to break out the cammo again for tomorrow.
King Island silver maple
22, 2005 04:23 PDT
Yes indeedy. You have the champ silver maple.
Wow. I'm envious. I've measured many silver maples. I do not
expect to break 120 in southern New England. PA Rules.
King Island silver maple
22, 2005 21:16 PDT
Yeh, I could here you and Jess telling me to get in there and
the whole time!
Dude, there’s not even a ditch, just a guard rail. The locals
of unique in this area too and tend to frown on trespassers....
them had an old Yamaha motorcycle on a noose strung up in a tree
sign on it that said something like, ‘Japanese Junk’. I felt
I reconned King Island today, talk about some monster silver
The sycamore were very nice too. That tall silver maple turned
be on a peninsula that juts out into the river just downstream
Island. Access is best from a very secluded road on the west
the river a couple of miles downstream from West Hickory RT127
County, PA. This road actually turns into Jamison Run Rd., but
currently closed when it turns uphill and away from the river.
Beavers have this narrow peninsula dammed up in various places
good ¼ mile. Wildlife abounds here. I had turkey on the road
even got out of the car. Saw a wood duck with 10 ducklins once I
the tall silver maple. Soft-shelled turtles were busy laying
on the river gravel bars. I just about stepped on the same fawn
times throughout the day, and brushed past a heron rookery too.
were “cooing” to each other as I went past their dens in the
some of the more massive silver maples and sycamores.
It really was quite the mission. Ofcourse, I thought I
wouldn’t need my
bug spray… hate the stuff. The bugs were just starting to be
annoyance (no-see-ums, black flies, mosquitos, deer flies, horse
Black flies in my eyes were the worst, but they really weren’t
hungry yet. I’ll give it about 2 weeks and it’ll be ‘hell
on earth’ in
there. I would’ve loved to have gone in with just my shorts,
poison ivy, stinging nettle, multiflora rose, halbred leaved
and shoulder high ferns and grasses made it a virtual jungle in
Most of the time I couldn’t even see where I was putting my
fawn I kept kicking up almost gave me a heart attack both times.
almost stepped on it the first time and couldn’t even see it
when it was
first ran off. I didn’t know if I had a big raccoon, little
bear, or a
deer on my hands.
The peninsula and King Island both have a nice river bottom
would be characteristic of much of the Allegheny River watershed
directly along its banks. The most abundant and canopy dominant
was silver maple, followed closely by sycamore, along with a
of white ash, American basswood, bitternut hickory, and black
that occasionally made it to the upper canopy level. Slippery
Crateagus sp. could be found sporadically under the canopy
with butternut out in open field like settings.
King Island floods periodically. The peninsula gets flooded too,
not nearly as often. The peninsula is more like a long series of
lake wetlands from floods and turns in the river of long ago.
rich and depositional in nature throughout with a cobble
base. Literature states that the island is 36acres in size with
numerous 3-4ft DBH trees. I was NOT disappointed.
The tall silver maple about 80 yards from the road fleshed out
9.7ft CBH x 123.3ft high. Not bad, but couldn’t find any
would go into the 120ft class the rest of the day. Near the tall
maple was a nice sycamore that went to 13ft CBH x 117.1+ft high.
silver maples were fused trunks. I initially got excited with a
CBH x 114.1+ft high silver maple, but at closer inspection found
fuse line. I soon had to put my blinders on and zero in on the
stuff’… 9-10ft CBH sycamores were common as were 10-11ft
CBH silver maples.
I crossed over a shallow channel in the river and gained access
Island. Whoever named it, named it well. This island is full of
size” river bottom trees, at least for northwestern PA. I
get excited when I found a full single stem silver at 12.1ft CBH
102.1+ft, then another at 12.5ft CBH x 106.2+ft. I thought it
here… then found a whopper single at 16ft CBH x 114.3+ft. This
ofcourse, warranted a few ‘ents’ calls.
That had to be it, right? Wrong. The next silver I almost walked
because it was an obvious multi-stem fuse, but as I got closer
size of this bulbous, fused, burly mass deserved closer
fuses were above DBH. There were at least 6 stems, 4 large ones,
all appeared to originate above the heavily burled base. The
this thing looked like a plant bulb from all the damage it had
over the years from ice flows and flood damage. I could actually
up the side of this thing. I ran out of DBH tape measuring this
21ft CBH x 84.1+ft tall!
The fused was silver maple was nice, but still wasn’t as
the huge 16footer a couple dozen yards away. Then I found a true
monster single about 60 yards away, 17.7ft CBH x 101.5ft high!
Absolutely unreal. Felt like I was on another planet. I can
Ed’s voice in my ears, “Did you take any pictures? You
didn’t?!” No, I
didn’t. I still haven’t found time to fiddle with the
digital camera. The center of the tree was hollow. I could’ve
inside it if I wanted to.
After this, I found another nice sycamore at 14.1ft CBH x
a dandy bitternut hickory at 10.8ft CBH x 105.9+ft high before I
island. The day’s tally follows:
Species CBH Height Crown
Spread AF Points
Am. basswood 7.2 90.1+
Bitternut hickory 10.8 105.9+
Silver maple 21 84.1+
fused tree, 6 stems fused high on bulbous trunk
Silver maple 17.7 101.5 88.4 336
Silver maple 12.1 102.1+
Silver maple 12.4 114.1+
Silver maple 16 114.3+ 96.4 330.4
Silver maple 9.7 123.3
Eastern U.S. record?
Sycamore 12.6 105.5+
Sycamore 12.5 106.2+
Sycamore 13 117.1+
Sycamore 14.1 119.5+
Bob, that’s 8 more for our 12x100 list.
Scott, what do you have for the Pennsylvania silver maple champ?
King Island silver maple
24, 2005 05:08 PDT
the champ silver maple was measured in 1968 at 282 CBH 93 tall
113 avg spd. It probably isn't around anymore, although it is
near me in Chester county, I should go check it out. One I found
in Bryn Mawr at a residence was 238 CBH 106tall 36 avg spread.
That one was a single trunk, I don't know about the first one,
but the spread makes me think it is coppiced. Get us another new
champ!!! Western Pa rules! I wish I was out there, sounds like
unexplored champion tree land to me.
King Island silver maple
28, 2005 12:29 PDT
The silver maple is a species that I ignored for a long time. I
I was unconsciously influenced by the opinions of several
it. They described the silver maple to me in pejorative terms:
is not well suited to lumber; it tends to be a messy street tree
frequent limb loss; it has a short life; grows where the
ticks, and poison ivy all flourish; has a fall color that is not
spectacular; and has wine-colored spring flowers that are not so
as those of the red maple. I must have unconsciously adopted the
attitudes toward the silver maple of my friends about what is
Well, thank goodness, I've discovered
the err of my ways and am now
bullish on silver maples. I'm also darn jealous of the brute
on Dale's island. Once again, Pennsylvania trumps Massachusetts.
28, 2005 13:03 PDT
A few more things. Silver maple has finely cut leaves that give
sense of elegance. The leaves are silver on the underside, so
the wind (especially with dark storm clouds behind)it shimmers.
fall color is subtle, but can be decent enough, and picturesque
black waters. They are fast growing and can become huge. The
out boles provide homes for wildlife. The scaly bark can be
The flowers bloom earlier than red maple. The spring sap can be
into syrup similar to that of the Sugar maple. I think they were
overplanted in the past and planted in some locations where they
not have been.