Tryon-Weber Woods & Conneaut Marsh old growth
   Feb 27, 2006 19:26 PST 

Gordon, Ed, Bob,

I was able to visit this site 2 times in January, both were very brief
visits. Regretably, I'm horribly backlogged in reporting a number of my
scouting trips throughout 2005. BUT, since Ed mentioned this
interesting little site, I thought I'd add a few cents...

My first trip to the area was on 1/6/06. It was mainly a quick cruise
of the site to get familiar with the lay of the land and search the
peripheral areas for significant old growth.

It took me awhile to find it with the directions listed. The change in
forest type from very young mixed hardwoods to mature hardwoods was not
easy to miss though. This is what really lead me into the site. Here
are some more in depth directions to the site:

From the Meadville I-79 exit head west on RT322
Take RT322 West to the town of Conneaut Lake to RT285W
Take RT285 West 1.8miles, turn left onto Greiser Rd by old barn
Continue ~0.7miles to right of way with white wooden fence in front of
park here

Walk west approximately 200 yards west on logging road, turn left at "Y"
Trail is now an old logging road, continue ~1/4mile on this road, now a
southerly direction, keep a sharp eye out for the sudden left turn town
into the shallow ravine on your left, cross the creek by the old
abandoned truck frame, the Tryon-Weber Woods sign is now directly in
front of you

The largest tree I found in this mature woodlot was an old boundary wolf
tree... a Northern red oak, 15.1ft CBH x 99.1+ft high. What was
interesting to me about this site was that it had 3 different hickory
species (shagbark, bitternut, pignut). I'm just not accustomed to
seeing that many in one site in many of my other NW PA travels.

Heights of trees were not significant, nor the general girths. There
was a nice species mix:

Sassafrass on the edges and more disturbed parts of the stand

Sub canopy co-dominant species:
Bitternut, shagbark, pignut, white oak, black oak

Co-dominant upper canopy species:
White ash, sugar maple, N. red oak, black cherry

Dominant upper canopy species:
Am. Beech, tuliptree

I realized when I left on my second trip in with my wife and her sister
on 1/16/06, that I failed to measure a black cherry to give me 10
species for a Rucker Index of the site (could have kicked myself). The
two day tally follows:

Species CBH Height Comments

Am. Beech 7.9 112.9
Bitternut hickory 5.5 105.1+
N. red oak 15.1 99.1+
N. red oak 7.8 114.6
Pignut hickory 5.4 105.1+
Sassafrass 3 78.1+
Shagbark hickory 5.8 102.1+
Sugar maple 5.7 115.1
Tuliptree 7.6 125.7
Tuliptree 9.3 129
White oak 5 99.1+

Black cherry N/A N/A ~105ft
White ash N/A N/A ~105ft


Directions to Conneaut Marsh old growth area 

Take I-79 exit 35 (one exit south of Meadville) to RT19N
as soon as you cross the marsh on RT19N, there will be a parking area on your
left, park here.  You should be able to see ancient crowns just off the road
and northwest of the parking area along the edge of the marsh.

This small and narrow old growth site (~0.3miles long x 50 yards wide,
about 3.7 acres with mapping software) lies entirely within SGL214. The
old growth is adjacent to the swamp and runs about 1/4mile from the
parking lot while extending up the adjacent ~20ft elevation ridge about
50yards. It appears this area serves as a buffer between adjacent
private land and the swamp. Old growth species include ancient black
oak, white oak, N. red oak, Am. Beech, cottonwood, and what I believe
may turn out to be swamp white oak. A number of the oaks will easily
surpass 200 years here, some may even approach the 300 year age class.

Heights were unimpressive (<100ft) due to crown damage from centuries of
high winds on the edge of this unique swamp oak forest. Ancient bark
characters abound such as balding, deep ridges & furrows along with
large dead downed and standing snags. Time was very limited, so only a
few CBH's were taken:

Species CBH Height

Am. Beech 9.9 N/A
Black oak 10.1 N/A
Black oak 13 N/A
Cottonwood ~7-8 N/A
N. red oak 11.4 N/A
N. red oak 12.2 93.1+
N. red oak 12.5 N/A
N. red oak 13.5 snag
Swamp white oak? 8.1 N/A
White oak 10.8 N/A

This was much more impressive to me than the Tryon-Weber Woods site.
After seeing this small little stretch of old growth, I can only wonder
if there are more similar small old growth remnants around the perimeter
of the Pymatuning Swamp.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edward Frank 
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 2:00 PM

Subject: Tryon-Weber Woods

Tryon-Weber Woods Natural Area is an 81-acre forested property owned by
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in Crawford County. Although there are
no official trails within the Tryon-Weber Woods, the small, rolling
woodland can be traversed easily in an afternoon. The property is named
for the late Dr. C. A. Tryon (University of Pittsburgh Pymatuning
Laboratory of Ecology) who conducted several studies on the ecological
interrelationships of the forest, and Dr. Robert G. Weber who previously
owned the property. A 40-acre stand of old growth beech-maple forest is
the highlight of this site...

Re: Tryon-Weber Woods & Pymatuning Swamp old growth
  Feb 28, 2006 07:27 PST 


The beech appeared to be in decent shape. I didn't notice any beech bark
disease here yet.


Quoting Michele Wilson:

How diseased did the beech seem to be? Also, thanks for adding that swamp
edge old growth to my list of must see places, someday, someday.
RE: Tryon-Weber Woods & Pymatuning Swamp old growth
  Feb 28, 2006 08:27 PST 


An estimated RI for Tryon-Weber Woods, including the estimated black cherry and
white ash would be 109.3:

Species            CBH Height

tuliptree          9.3 129
sugar maple        5.7 115.1
N. red oak         7.8 114.6
Am. beech          7.9 112.9
pignut hickory     5.4 105.1+
bitternut hickory 5.5 105.1+
black cherry       N/A ~105
white ash          N/A ~105
shagbark hickory   5.8 102.1+
white oak          5   99.1+

It may be possible to find black cherry and white ash in there to maybe 115ft,
but it would be a hard find. If so, then we might be looking at a max RI of
~111.3. I feel confident that I found the tallest tulip, sugar maple, N. red
oak, and Am. beech in the stand (all located near in or near the bottom of a
shallow ravine.


Quoting Robert Leverett:

    I noticed that you are one species shy of a Rucker Index, but
estimated two species at around 105. What do you think the site will
reach with more searching? When we are very close to a full 10 species
index, I wonder if we want to add it to Ed's website list with an "est."
after the index. All estimated indices would come after the verified
list members. My feeling is that it is worthwhile for us to show our
works in progress on the website. As people visit forest sites, but
can't complete full Rucker indexes, it would nonetheless be interesting
to see estimates of what the sites achieve -again as a continuance of
the main list that consists of the verified sites. Ed, what do you