Maple Drive Gallery, Cook Forest State Park, PA  

April 12, 2005,  Page 2 of 2

Maple Drive Gallery Page 1 of 2

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Black Cherry Double - This image shows some of the classic bark pattern of a mature black cherry tree.  The total for the double was over 11 feet.

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White Oak bark - flaky white oak bark could be seen in this example from the area. Age variant patterns of bark could be seen on a number of different species in the area and could be useful additions to out Tree -ID project discussed periodically on the list.

The most peculiar tree of the day was a spectacular sugar maple that sported a flutelike bark pattern. It seemed to originate from its closest associated root flare that fanned into a unique buttressing system. Can anyone explain what's going on here? It is definitely the largest and oldest sugar maple I've found to date in the park - 10.4ft CBH x 116.6ft high. It's sitting just inside the park boundary and across from a recent cutting on private land, which explains why it is still standing today. 

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Sugar Maple - showing the prominent fluting pattern extending upward from root flairs along the trunk.

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Sugar Maple - overview of the tree demonstrating the pattern extends along the entire trunk of the tree well into the branches.  

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Sugar Maple - view looking upward from the base of the tree.

This was the most unusual tree in my opinion found on the trip.  I have never seen a fluting pattern as prominent and as perfect like this on any tree before.

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Detail of the base of the sugar maple showing roots and prominent fluting on the tree surface.

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The pattern extends to the corkscrew top of the tree.

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Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention that the yellow bellied sapsuckers appreciated the tree also. Their horizontal bullet like staccato drill pattern gave their presence away.

Overall, it was a great day in the woods and a nice break away from program planning. I'd also like to thank Ed for driving 45minutes over to help out today too. Not every park naturalist has the pleasure of having a resident geologist, computer tech, photographer, and spelunker (all wrapped up in one person) to go on a hike with... even if he does try to trip me up on the intricacies of cross-bedding on Pottsville sandstone... 

Dale and I visited a few other locations before the end of the day. I showed him the towering 15 foot high specimen of what I believe is an American Chestnut near the fire tower. Then we traveled down the River Road to measure two Sassafras trees at around 25 and 29 feet in height respectively. And finally we stopped by the picnic area along the river to add a couple of Shagbark Hickory trees to the park's database. shagbark02.jpg (67009 bytes)

Shagbark Hickory bark

There are only a handful of measurements of Shagbark hickory from the park.  The tallest of this trio measured 102 feet or so the others just under 100.  Another skinny one in the vicinity measured 96.  The tallest reported in the park previously is only 107 feet tall. shagbark01.jpg (110498 bytes)

Young Shagbark Hickories