23, 2006 22:43 PDT
Thanks for the info about those areas. I'm kind of in the mood
tromping around in some of those really wild and remote areas
even if the
big tree finds turn out to be minimal. I've been hankering to
get out of
McConnells Mill and into a really big area. McConnells Mill is
but is somewhat of an oasis being surrounded by flat boring
I've been able to explore a few more areas these past two weeks,
the flood plain where I found the 137.5 sycamore and the 142'
(Remember that I first measured them from high up on the other
side of the
river). I was hoping to find more giants, but didn't. I doubt
area is old growth. It's probably just a good growing area.
There was a
nice silver maple with about 3 or 4 huge trunks coming out of
the ground and
over the river. It's not very tall, though.
Back at Walnut flats, I was able to measure another one of the
elms I found
with Carl. I think now that they are almost surely slippery
of the thick undergrowth I had to estimate where the bottom of
the tree was
with the clinometer, so I probably didn't get the most accurate
possible. I got 126.3' and 9'0"CBH. I will only put the
height accuracy at
+/- 2ft at this point. Next time I'll attach a white ribbon
trunk at some height above the surrounding brush so I can get an
I was upset to see that the 121.7' sugar maple lost about 1/2 of
A huge branch of the top section came down recently. There
goes the Rucker
Index, I thought. I remeasured it carefully and got 122.7', so
it must not
have been the highest part that came down. It appears to have
put up some
nice sized twigs this spring.
I found two more lower 140's poplars (that makes about 8 or 9
now) and a
120.9ft beech. That's about it.
As far as the Rucker goes, with the new elm and the extra 1ft
for the sugar
maple, it now stands at 130.62. This assumes that the elm
Here's the list:
As of 5/13/2006
Slippery Rock Creek Gorge Rucker Index:
(?) Ash 6'7" 137.7'
Bitternut(?) Hickory 5'10" 132.7'
S. Elm 9'0" 126.3'
N. Red Oak 9'7" 123.1'
E. Hemlock n/a 122.8'
Rucker Index = 130.62
I think it is getting to the point where it is going to flatten
I stumble on another walnut flats type of area with a bunch of
I kinda think this isn't going to happen. I'm still hoping for a
Red Oak. I found one on Walnut Flats on my way out last time,
have time to measure it. I haven't seen very many hemlocks that
will top the one you found, but I think there is still some hope
I'm also hoping that some of the other 135+ ashes that I found
will turn out
to be a different species that the one on the list, which I now
be a black ash and not a white one like I'd first thought. The
them were not far enough out for me to tell. Hopefully, they
will be next
time. Another 135+ft tree would be a good boost for the Rucker,
the last big one we'll see, though. I am confidient that it will
pass 131 and hope that it will break 132, but I doubt it will go
that barring some extraordinary find in a new area.
I was hoping to put all of this together for a post to the ENTS
I'd like to wait till I get some surer measurements of the elm
and a few
other trees that I only have rough straight up shots of. Maybe
There's some really bad news for the park in general. A mining
started work strip mining right up to the park property and the
It will go about 1/2 mile or more down along the rim from the
climing area clear down to Eckert Bridge. An entire waterfall
will be lost.
Who knows what kind of damage will result, but the EPA,
approved the whole thing.
The land that borders right on the big woods old-growth area is
sale I noticed. If I could afford it, I would jump at the chance
to buy it.
Not possible, though. I just hope that the
strip miners don't get ahold of
it. It would spell the end of the buffer for that area. What
damage the loss of water drainage to the trees in the big woods
I shutter to think about.
I'm thinking we'd better get those trees on the map and fast. I
keeping them a secret is probably no longer the best option.
Looking forward to the 7th.
mcconnells Mill Update
24, 2006 10:41 PDT
Super!!! McConnells Mill breaks the 130 RI mark! That's the 3rd
130 RI site
for PA, and a solid 5th place in the RI standings for the
If your ~126ft slippery elm measurement stands, it could be the
known for the northeast! The tallest we have right now is a
6.7ft CBH x
124.6ft specimen located in the Walnut Creek Gorge in Erie
Definitely looking forward to getting out of the office on 6/7!
mcconnells Mill Update
24, 2006 11:34 PDT
Oops. My last post was intended to be just a quick update to
didn't realize that it was the ENTS address in the
"to:" window. No big
I started to write up an ENTS post last week, but thought I'd
wait until I
had a chance to go back to McConnells Mill and get some more
measurements of a lot of trees that I've recently found. There
are also a
few questions as to the species of certain trees, some ashes and
in particular, that need to be cleared up. I'm still waiting for
a few trees.
Most of my recent trips to the park and the Slippery Rock Creek
including one with Carl Harting a couple weeks ago, have been
exploratory trips to new areas. I did careful double sine
only the biggest trees and made just quick straight-up laser
measurements of a lot of others. (The measurements of the trees
Rucker Index are all double sines.) When I get back to certain
get proper double sine measurements and good identifications,
another more thorough post.