Cook Forest: Maple Drive old growth   Dale J. Luthringer
  Nov 10, 2004 16:57 PST 

I spent the day starting to document a newly discovered old growth
section at Cook Forest today in the vicinity of Maple Drive. The old
forest survey maps documented this area as ďovermatureĒ back in the late
1940ís. It is located on an un-named tributary of the Upper Tomís Run
watershed near the NW end of the park. You can actually drive through
the extreme western part of this area on small piece of park property
that crosses over Maple Drive. The majority of this area is located on
the eastern side of Maple Drive. The upper forks of this tributary
begin on the eastern side of Maple Drive which eventually drains into
Tomís Run.

It appears that this area had some selectively logging in the early to
mid 1800ís, probably for white pine or hemlock, but there were few stump
remnants to be found. The area mostly consists of very old white oak,
northern red oak, black cherry, and American beech with a few scattered
old E. white pine, E. hemlock, shaggy red maple, and cucumbertree.
There is evidence of an old road of sorts that comes in from the
northern side of the northern fork of the un-named trib and runs near
the base of the drainage to an undetermined destination. The northern
side of this fork is mostly a very nice 2nd growth stand with a few
select old trees. I would definitely call the southern end of this
un-named trib a secondary old growth stand or better. Iíd wager a
visual estimate on max ages of the following species:

Species            Est. Max Age    

White oak         275
N. red oak         250
Am. beech        250
Cucumbertree    225
Red maple         225
E. hemlock        225
E. white pine     200
Black cherry      200

The old growth staghead crowns of the hardwoods are most impressive with
an almost unbroken canopy for close to Ĺ mile. Most of the ancient
white oaks and N. reds are around 105-110ft with outliers that approach
the 120ft class. There are a number of white pine here in the 140ft
class that were quite a pleasant surprise. Iíd be surprised to break
145 though for pine. Hemlock heights are unimpressive all though they
have some age to them. 120ft class black cherries are like weeds in
here. Thereís probably a sleeper 130ft class black cherry in here
somewhere if I were to spend the time to tweak the entire standÖ Iím
sure Will would find one immediately.

The American beech in here are AWESOME. So far Iíve got one in the
120ft class. I feel Iíve got a new park height record for beech in here
somewhere, but itíll be like pulling a needle out of a haystack with all
these intertwined crowns. It would be an impossible task with all the
leaves still on.

The days stats as follows:

Species            CBH     Height   Comments

Am. beech        8.5        105.1+
Am. beech        7.4        110.4
Am. beech        11.4      111.1+ new park girth record
Am. beech        7.4        116.7
Am. beech        7.7        122.3    1 of the few documented to 120ft class

Black cherry      N/A       117.8
Black cherry      N/A       118
Black cherry      4.8        118.4
Black cherry      N/A       120.2
Black cherry      N/A       120.2
Black cherry      4.9        126.1
Black cherry      8.9        126.1+
Black cherry      8.5        126.2+
Black cherry      6.9        126.9
Black cherry      7.8        127.4+ ran out of daylight
Black cherry      8.7        128.5
Black cherry      N/A       129.2+ forgot to write girth down, aaaagggghh!!!! (~9ft CBH)

Cucumbertree    9.1        112.4

E. white pine     10.7      136
E. white pine     7.7        138.7
E. white pine     9.2        140
E. white pine     9.4        142
E. white pine     9.7        142.4
E. white pine     8.6        142.6
E. white pine     8.3        143.2
E. white pine     8.6        144.2

N. red oak         9.6        108.9    HOLY MOLEY!
N. red oak         10.5      108.9    what a bute!
N. red oak         12.2      110       gorgeous oak! new 12x100 class
N. red oak         8.4        112

Red maple         9.5        111.1+ shaggy
Red maple         7          114.7

White ash         5          114.9

White oak         8.5        102.9    white oak like this everywhere
White oak         9.5        103.7
White oak         8.7        105.1+
White oak         9.5        105.1+
White oak         7          105.6
White oak         6.9        105.7
White oak         7.7        106.1
White oak         8.3        108.3
White oak         10.3      116.2
White oak         8.8        119.5    

This site will HAVE to be one of our stops if you make it down here in
the spring.

Maple Drive Surprise   Dale J. Luthringer
  Nov 22, 2004 17:00 PST 

I had a couple of hours after lunch and paperwork today, to go back out
and take some more measurements of the new hardwood old growth area off
of Maple Drive. The old white oaks in here are the most impressive tree
species to me in this site, but then again, the ancient N. red oaks, red
maple, black cherries, Am. beech, and E. hemlocks aren't slouches here

The whopper of a find today was a small impressive white pine stand that
I didn't even know existed in the park. Yes, Bob, we have a couple of
very small "sleeper" white pine stands here. The white pine in this
area seem to have been left over from a select cut for the bigger ones
sometime back in the mid-1800's. I'd put the oldest white pine in here
to around 200 years, but most would be somewhere between 125-175.

The day's stats as follows:

Species            CBH     Height   Comments

Am. beech        4.5        114.1
Am. beech        6.5        115.9
Am. beech        7.4        117.2

Black cherry      8.7        114.1+ nice straight trunk
Black cherry      N/A       114.2
Black cherry      9.5        124.4    many in this height class

Cucumbertree    4          116       nice cuke' pole, probably my
highest HDR for the species at 91.06

E. hemlock        N/A       109.2
E. hemlock        N/A       118.9    porky was 90.7ft up in its trunk
(Will, what's your highest ever documented porcupine?)
E. hemlock        N/A       119
E. hemlock        11.2      119.7    very old, 350+
E. hemlock        N/A       120.2
E. hemlock        N/A       124.4

E. white pine     N/A       117
E. white pine     7.9        125.1
E. white pine     N/A       125.6
E. white pine     N/A       132.1
E. white pine     8.4        134.7
E. white pine     7.9        141.8
E. white pine     10         143.8
E. white pine     10.7      150.7    that's #72 for 150ft class pines
E. white pine     11.2      160.7    that's #25 for 160ft class pines
!!!!!!!!!!!!! (elicited multiple ENTS yells)

N. red oak         11.3      105.1+
N. red oak         7.8        113.2

Quercus sp.      5.4        102.6    velutina or coccinea (need to

Red maple         8.4        105.6

White oak         8.7        102.6
White oak         8.7        112.5    gorgeous old column
White oak         7.7        113.8    dieing back

This site is like a little gold mine. I've been expanding my eye for
old trees lately in marginal stature old growth in other PA sites. it
sure is nice to get back into the "good stuff". I believe I've found
most of the northern and western boundaries of the old trees, but still
haven't come to the end of this area to the east and south. At the
moment, my boundaries are about 0.8miles long x 0.5miles at its widest.

The new 150 and 160 foot class pines were quite the surprise for me
today. I really didn't think I'd find any in the 150ft class in the
Upper Tom's Run Valley, let alone a 160! Bob, that now puts Cook Forest
at 101 white pines in the 150ft class or better. Maybe there's another
150footer here, but I doubt it. I do think I can pull at least one more
150 footer out of the Hemlock Trail/RT36 area though.

RE: Maple Drive Surprise   Dale J. Luthringer
  Nov 23, 2004 17:38 PST 
Will, Bob,

Uh oh, maybe that porcupine is looking to grab a northeast mammal height
record. well, at least for Erethizontids anyway.

I got back in the site again this afternoon. I've refined the height on
that 160ft class pine to 161.1ft high. I've shot it now from two sides.
I'm not sure on the view yet from the north. There are a lot of candles
on that crown.

Found one more 150ft class pine also along with a few more 120ft class
Am. beech. I just can't seem to break the 125ft threshold for beech.
Black cherry are just shy of 130ft class, although there probably is one
in there somewhere.

This site is definitely a type of secondary old growth stand. It is
just starting to develop snags and large course woody debris. Staghead
crowns are common on white oak and N. red oak along with deep bark
furrows and balding. Other species over 150 years include red maple,
cucumbertree, E. white pine, E. hemlock, and black cherry. There is
evidence of old white pine stumps in select areas and a very old road of
sorts near the base of the drainage that appears to run out of the site
in a northerly direction. Private property on either side of this area
has been recently logged within the last 5 years. They must have got a

Today's stats follows:

Species           CBH   Height      Coordinates

Am. beech         5.3   103.1
Am. beech         N/A   108.8
Am. beech         8.2   110.4
Am. beech         5.5   111.7
Am. beech         N/A   112.6
Am. beech         9.8   114
Am. beech         7.6   118.7
Am. beech         6.4   121.1       41 21.233N x 79 14.418W
Am. beech         6.6   121.5       41 21.095N x 79 14.369W
Am. beech         6.8   122.8       41 21.170N x 79 14.377W

black cherry      6.4   121
black cherry      7.3   121.5
black cherry      6.2   122.5
black cherry      7.4   125.9
black cherry      8.7   128.2

cucumbertree      7.9   109.7

E. hemlock        8.6   114.1
E. hemlock        N/A   121.1

E. white pine     7.7   126.3
E. white pine     8     132.6
E. white pine     9.7   136.4
E. white pine     7.5   137.6
E. white pine     9.4   139.8
E. white pine     9.5   143.9       41 21.045N x 79 14.406W
E. white pine     8.4   147.8       41 21.171N x 79 14.382W
E. white pine     10.1 151.5       41 21.111N x 79 14.353W (that's #73!)
E. white pine     11.2 161.1       41 21.114N x 79 14.345W (sticking
w/this height on yesterday's tree)

N. red oak        10.3 108.1+

red maple         9.7   108.1+

The Quercus sp. I posted yesterday is definitely Quercus velutina at
5.4ft CBH x 102.6ft high.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!


Re: Maple Drive Beech Trees   Edward Frank
  Dec 15, 2004 19:56 PST 


How old do you think are the Beech's in the Maple Drive section of the
park? You indicated in the first description of the area that it was an
old growth area with trees maybe 250 years old? Are the beech's in that
section as old as that, or do they represent a younger regrowth? They are
of similar in size to the younger ~100 year old Beech measured by Bob.
This isn't much of a size differential if the trees vary in age by 250%,
and 150 years.

Four of your newest measurements would best the number 9 beech on the
current tallest trees of the east list, it may not be completely up to date, 
but that is pretty good.

Maple Drive, Cook Forest, PA

Am. beech         7.7    122.3 
Am. beech         6.4    121.1       41 21.233N x 79 14.418W
Am. beech         6.6    121.5       41 21.095N x 79 14.369W
Am. beech         6.8    122.8       41 21.170N x 79 14.377W


Anyway Dale, keep on measuring.

Ed Frank


  All the hardwoods noted above are all over 150 years in age, accept
maybe the Am. beech you measured (~100?). I just haven't been able to
find younger representatives that will surpass the height of these older
ones... then again, maybe I need to retrain my eye for a different scale
Re: Maple Drive Beech Trees   Dale J. Luthringer
  Dec 16, 2004 05:46 PST 


I'd say some of the beech will reach great age in Maple Dr., but most
seem to be ~150-175 year range. The 120ft class beech in Maple Dr. are
all ~150-200 years. I've even measured some younger (~75-125 years) and
spindlier ones but to no avail. The younger ones will go to the upper
110ft class, but can't seem to put them over that 120ft mark. The
really old ones (>200)are usually of decent girth (>10ft CBH), but have
experienced crown damage over the years and are usually either just over
100ft, or just under 120ft.

Maple Drive, Cook Forest   Dale J. Luthringer
  Dec 29, 2004  

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 17:23:00 -0500
From: "Luthringer, Dale J" 


That old growth area off of Maple Dr. keeps giving me surprises. The
section I did today is just off the western side of the road. I measured
this stand previously, but had to delete my data because I surveyed the
stand with a busted rangefinder. It's been 2 years since then, but I
finally got around to it. There are some NICE oaks in there, plus a couple
new park height records:









Am. beech




Am. beech




Am. beech




Am. beech



HD = 94.03 (new park record)

Am. beech








black oak



new park girth & height record





N. red oak




N. red oak




N. red oak



new 12x100 club

N. red oak




N. red oak




N. red oak




N. red oak




N. red oak



new 12x100 club

N. red oak



new park height record





red maple




red maple



maybe taller





shagbark hickory








white oak




white oak




white oak




white oak




white oak




white oak




white oak




white oak



getting dark

The new red oak height record was the REAL kicker today... multiple ENTS
calls! I could only shoot it from directly underneath. That now moves
Cook Forest's Rucker Index up to 135.9. It bumped out the old
"Diggings/Leverett" red oak record (122.9ft) by over 3ft. Look out Zoar
Valley! Here's a quick run down below:

E. white pine



3rd tallest E. U.S.

E. hemlock



tallest NE

black cherry



3rd tallest E. U.S.





white ash




white oak



tallest NE

N. red oak




red maple




Am. Beech








Cook Forest Rucker Index:  135.9

Looking forward to showing you this spot come spring. I found a couple of
chestnut stumps in here today also. It has experienced some type of
logging in the past, but there still are N. red oaks, white oaks, E.
hemlocks, red maple, black cherry, cucumbertree, and E. white pine that
will go over 150 years in here. The staghead crowns are really what catch
the eye. I've had ring counts on downed white oaks that have surpassed 225