Schall's Gap, PA Anthony Kelly
 Nov. 29, 2007 

My trip to Massachusetts and Adirondacks was a success, despite some car problems.  I was able to visit a number of the Adirondack old-growth areas mentioned in Bob's book.  Oh,  did the guy who had taken the pictures of the Wanakeena white pine that I mentioned in last week's posts ever post them anywhere or send them to you.  I haven't been able to devote much time to the ENTS list this last week.  I looked over the list for any posts about the photos and didn't see any, but I might have missed something.
Last Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) I visited Schall's Gap near State College.  That's the place Ernie Ostuno talked about having the 540 old hemlock.  I visited the site briefly with Jacqui back in September (I think) and measured what I think was the tree he was talking about, but I didn't get to see the whole place.  This time I went alone an stayed for about 3.5 hours.  It's only a couple of acres and I'm pretty sure that I've seen most, but not quite all of it.  I found no obvious giants.   I measured about ten trees.  They averaged about 117ft tall, the tallest being 120.8ft.   There are probably a few taller ones, though.  They are nice old hemlocks in any case. 
The next time I'm in the State College Area, I'll go back to Schall's Gap and do some more measuring.  It won't be a high priority for me, though.  It's just not that great of a site.  It's a cool little area, though, with a nice, high rock outcrop along one of the streams with the hemlocks.  I hope to get back to that area sometime before the rattlesnakes come out in May.  It's really perfect rattler habitat.  The trees grow on the edge of and just down from a huge talus area. 
The adelgids are definitely there on the younger trees.  No signs of their damage, yet.  No brown needles or denuded trees.  As I walked through some small hemlocks, I noticed that the white "dust" from the adelgids was sticking to my coat.  I'd just washed it the day before, but I guess that I'll have to wash it again along with my boots, before going into the woods again.  I don't know if that white powdery dust (what you see beneath the needles) is eggs or larvae or whatever that is capable of carrying the pest to a new area or not.  What do you know about this?