Isle: new Erie County old growth area?
09, 2003 15:37 PST
My ankle and knee has been feeling much better lately, so I
decided to take a driving tour for old growth along the Lake
Erie Coast in Erie County, PA. I started just west of the Coho
Property near the Elk Creek Access Area and worked my way east
while searching the side roads and cliffs towards Presque Isle
I think I bumped into a possible small old growth area in Erie
County adjacent to Presque Isle Bay. It is located just east of
the proposed building site for the new state building at the
entrance to Presque Isle State Park. I wasn't able to get out
and take a closer look, but from about 80 yards out the gnarled
twisted crowns of old American beech had me reciting on of
Bruce's favorite sayings, "oh my gawd, oh mY GAWD!!!"
I noted at least Am. beech, N. red oak, and tuliptree over
The beech and red oak are probably just over, or very near 200
years old. The crowns of the beech trees were massively gnarled.
All I can say is that the trunks were big, easily over 9ft CBH,
maybe closer to 11, except that their bases dropped down over
the edge of the hill and were out of site from the vehicle.
There was no question about age for this small section of old
trees. I bet there'll be some old sugar maples in here as well.
I could only scan some of this area from my vehicle, but we're
looking at least at 1-5 acres of very old trees that cover the
cliff face, some on the top of the ridge, but most of it drops
down over the edge to some extent. Not being more mobile is
In the past I've measured some large N. red oak just west of
this site to over 10ft CBH and pushing close to 100ft. I'm not
sure yet whether the heights will be noteworthy, but there are
definitely some nice old trees in this area. This site overlooks
the extreme western end of Presque Isle Bay. This small area is
the best section of old trees I've come across so far in my
search of old growth in coves adjacent to Lake Erie.
The Lake Erie coastline is quickly being gobbled up by
development of various sorts. There are very small remnants of
very mature trees all along the coast, but most of these areas
are dotted with housing developments and rich estates. I believe
this small site, may be one of the best views into the past of
what the French, Indians, and British were looking at during the
1760's of the French & Indian War during their fight to
secure Fort Presque Isle and the portage south to the Ohio River
watershed at Fort Pitt.
new Erie County old growth area?
09, 2003 21:47 PST
There are some cottonwoods in the area, but very few will break
although there are a number in the 9-11ft CBH range. There might
worth mentioning in this new grove. There are some impressive
on private estates, but I've yet to see any decent ones in a