Hemlock Island   NR, Cook Forest
  Jun 26, 2002 22:44 PDT 

Finally got 2 hours to measure trees today, actually it was after my work schedule. I just couldn't take it anymore. I hadn't been able to measure trees since I think the ENTS Rendezvous!

I took the 6-wheeler about 4 miles out in the park to a point on the Clarion River where I could wade across to Hemlock Island. It's about 3/4 mile downstream from the Seneca Point Overlook. I'm pretty sure it had to have been stripped clean of trees by the mid 1800's. This was a huge hub of activity during the logging boom days. They made flat bottom boats and log rafts from this location. It was a whole settlement until the late 1890's. Since then, the only real disturbance has been from periodic floods and campers who canoe down the river. I'm not one for soils, but it was of the sandy-loam-mud type if that makes any sense... general deposition that you would expect along an island in the middle of the river.

I was tipped of to a "fat ash" that was on that island about 25 years ago, so I thought I'd go check it out. I believe I found the ash in question. It had been dead and down for at least 2-3years. I estimated it's CBH at about 12.5. It's height would probably not went much over 100ft. It was a good tip. I think I'd be hard pressed to find an ash larger than that which wasn't multiple stemmed along the Clarion. Here's the tally for the more significant trees on the island:

specie CBH Height Designation

yellow birch 9.45 77.1 fattest found in park
yellow birch 8.09 90.4 2nd fattest found in park

sugar maple 11.13 71.1 fattest found in park
sugar maple 10.85 79.1 2nd fattest found in park

white pine 12.19 125.1 one of the few 12ft CBH white pine in the park
white pine 10.12 112.7

cucumbertree 9.2 97.1 2nd fattest found in park

Nothing really out of the ordinary, but just a great day to be in the woods and on the river. Starting to get a comparison for open grown trees with fairly easy access to water, vice the tough fight for nutrients in the Forest Cathedral. The fattest white pine I've found so far is 16.9ft CBH at about 115ft located on River Road up-river from the Clarion River Lodge.