Carl Harting and I (Ed Frank) met up in the parking lot of the Log Cabin
Cook Forest State Park on Tuesday Sept 06, 2005 at 11 am. Carl
to check out an area along the Bridal Trail. The Bridal Trail
along Browns Run, a tributary to Tom's Run, the largest stream
through the park into the Clarion River.
the Woods Fungus along Browns Run
We began by ascending the Bridle Trail on the west side of
The trail begins in dense second growth hemlock but the trees
older second growth as you move upstream. This valley lies below
Deer Meadows Old Growth Area that ENTS visited several years
measured several trees near where the Bridle Trail meets the
Species CBH Height
Black Cherry 9.6' 123.2'
Black Cherry 8.6' 131.7'
White Pine 6.7' 115.0'
Cucumber 6.9' 121.9'
We were not having much luck finding big cherry trees in this
There were some decent sized ones, but nothing really big. We
looking at one cherry tree when Carl noticed a tree with big
behind it. As we walked up we could both see it was a cucumber.
was definitely the most exciting find so far. I knew it was over
100 feet tall, and that Dale had been excited about finding a
tree along the Paved Trail last year. So we set out to find its
Carl looked on one side and I explored the crown with the
the other. There were several tops, unbranched leaders
sticking up from the mass of the crown covered by large leaves.
tree was entangled with a black cherry and a hemlock which made
difficult to find an opening large enough to see these well, let
use the rangefinder. Carl got just under 115' perched on 2
trees, while I managed to get one of the tops at around 110
feet. As I
swung around the tree I sighted a taller one, eventually finding
location where I could shoot it through a crotch in a fronting
tree. After Carl punched in the numbers we came up with a height
121.9 feet. There were other tops, some of which may be higher,
couldn't clearly see them through the canopies.
Cucumber tree along Brown Run
I was feeling pretty good as we continued on. Carl took a photo
site so that we could find it easier the next time. One skinny
cherry tree maybe 8" in diameter had a burl twice that size
adjacent to the large cucumber. A short distance further along
crossed a bridge and headed back downstream along the Brown's
There were numerous colorful toadstools, and fungus decorating
landscape, the weather was good, a nice walk in the woods. When
arrived back at the cars I looked up the numbers for the biggest
cucumber tree in the park -123.5 feet - slightly
taller than this one.
Fungus along Brown's Run
From here we went to measure a large white oak tree in a
along Lencer Drive. I had taken pictures
of this tree last fall, but
didn't have instruments to measure it.
White Oak along Lencer Drive
The owner wasn't home,
construction workers were doing
repairs in the back of the
after getting their permission we
went to measure the tree. It
beautiful form and large girth, even
if it is not that high. We measured it at 77.9 feet in height. Clearly it
is a picture of a stereotypical open grown tree. We stretched
around to find a girth of 18.2 feet. Next we measured the spread
of the branches - it extended out from the trunk further than
of my tape. From the bark surface it reached out across the dirt
distance of 68 feet - a maximum lateral spread of nearly 71
measured another branch at right angles, and eventually
average crown spread of 126.6 feet .
Chippie on stump
Our next stop was the Paved
Trail. It is located in the Sawmill
Center area. The cucumber Dale and I measured last year was
the new tree, but the height measurement we took then was just
approximation. Alas, although we spent some time exploring the
the tree, the best height we could find was only 112.2 feet. At
entrance to the road to the Sawmill center are some planted
trees - an
apple and a couple of American Hornbeams. We stopped to measure
because the apple was clearly bigger than the only other one on
list, and we weren't sure if American Hornbeam had even been
Apple tree at entrance road to Sawmill Theatre
Am. Hornbeam at entrance road to Sawmill Theatre
Cucumber 8.9' 112.2 Paved Trail, previously measured to 110+.
Apple 9.5' 36.5' entrance to Sawmill Theater
Am. Hornbeam 22" 27.8' entrance to Sawmill Theater
Am Hornbeam 22.8" 26.7' entrance to Sawmill Theater
From here we drove to River Road to measure a Black Willow. When
arrived I found my rangefinder missing. I searched the truck - a
quick trip back to the sawmill center - no luck. Then I found it
the truck of course. We headed down the River Road past the
launch to measure a larger Black Willow in a small patch of
pointed out some thin 100 foot high shagbark hickories and the
foot high sassafras - park record - along the way. The willow I
to measure had died, so back toward the office. We wanted to
some miscellaneous trees on the way.
The first stop was along the River Road at Troutman Run, just
from where it drains into the Clarion River. Here was a large
Sumac I had often seen, but never measured. There were numerous
forming a mounded clump. We measured the largest of these stems
feet cbh (at 4.1 feet height). There was no good way to see both
top of the tree and the bottom at the same time, so we opted to
to a crotch in the tree. I stepped up into the sumac and
point to be 8.8 feet above the ground. This point and the top of
tree were easily measured
from the road.
Sumac being strangled by Virginia Creeper
Detail of strangulation
The most interesting feature of the sumac were
entwining it. One branch 6 inches in diameter was tightly bound
vines that formed spiral indentations as it coiled around the
The largest vine was perhaps an inch in diameter, but was dead.
examples of the vine - Virginia Creeper - were strangling
limbs. We also measured a Bigtooth Aspen growing at the road
intersection a short distance away.
Staghorn sumac email@example.com 28.5' River Road at Troutman Run
Bigtooth Aspen 1.9' 65.0' River Road at Troutman Run
From here we continued back along the River Road. We drove
looking for some larger Devil's Walkingstick I had seen
Here was one! I parked the truck and scrambled up the loose
slope to the
tree. Just as I got to its base, Carl, also after scrambling
the bank said, "Isn't that a beech?" I looked up and
he was right. I
had concentrated on climbing the bank and hadn't looked at the
until then. Oh, well. We continued down the road, but did not
tree I was looking for.
The final stop at Cook Forest was in the office parking lot.
several Black Willows growing in the mouth of Tom's Run. The
actually isn't on park property, but overhangs the stream from
property on the far bank. The tree was shot from several
we eventually concurred on a height of just over 39 feet. We
want to wade across the stream to measure the circumference, and
couldn't trespass on private property, so we'll estimate the
approximately 1 foot.
Black Willow n/a 39.1' Park Office in Tom's Run, on Tony's side
Fungus on Carl Harting Property
From here we left the park and took a quick tour of property
Carl owns a
few miles away. I posted some comments about epiphytes
growing there a
few days ago.
Ed Frank & Carl Harting