Chittenango Falls State Park
Madison County, NY
Surveys: August 17, 2002
Team Members: Robert Henry, Dean Fitzgerald, Tom Howard
Chittenango Falls State Park was first visited by the NYOGFA Central NY survey team on Saturday, August 17, 2002.
The forest is quite diverse, and includes: Sugar Maple, Black Maple, Red Maple, Striped Maple, Mountain Maple, Norway Maple, Hemlock, White Cedar, Red Oak, Basswood, Slippery Elm, Shagbark Hickory, Butternut, Hornbeam, Hop Hornbeam, Beech, Yellow Birch. Deep in the gorge there is a patch of Canadian Yew.
All the forest, except for steep c1iffsides, is second-growth. A sawmill at the base of the falls in 1859 apparently took care of all accessible old-growth. The site has been mostly undisturbed since 1887, when a local group acquired it for preservation. The only old-growth is on the steep cliffs; all else was logged in the 19th century.
However, small stunted White Cedars and Hemlocks clinging to nearly vertical cliffs around the falls, and in a few other places have been confirmed to be Old-Growth. These c1iffside trees are a stand of Old-Growth Trees. Some of these Cedars even grow upside down! Several of the c1iffside White Cedars were cut long ago to provide views of the Falls; these stumps provided us with age data.
|Falls gorge, cliffs and nearby areas|
|Hemlock||6.7 feet||biggest tree in gorge|
|Basswood||105 rings||stump in picnic area above falls|
|Cedar||80 rings||stump above falls|
|Cedar||120 rings||stump above falls|
|Cedar||85 rings||stump above falls|
|Red Oak||125 rings||5.5 inch radius cross-section of branch 40 feet up old shattered tree, on top of far side of falls|
|Cedar||150+ rings||1.5 inch radius stump c1iffside|
|Hemlock||98 rings||.7 inch radius branch from c1iffside; estimated 120 rings per inch!|
|Cedar||3.8 inch||157 rings||stump; next to this tree, ancient daredevil White Cedar grows upside down out into the air|
|Cedar||1.8 feet||155 rings||stump growing on solid rock|
|Cedar||60 rings||extremely tight on mostly hollow, tiny stump|
|Red Oak||9.9 feet||60 feet tall; on top in 2nd growth|
|Butternut||10.7 feet||massive open-grown in day use lawn|
|White Ash||10.4 feet||massive open-grown near just above|
|Basswood||90 rings||.6 foot radius stump part of coppice in lawn|
|Second-growth forest in campground area|
|Hemlock||40 rings||.6 inch radius log shattered, branch stump 25 feet above base; tree estimated 120 years at most|
|White Ash||75 rings||5 inch radius fresh-cut stump|
|White Cedar||90 rings||3 inch radius stump|
New York Old Growth Forest Association
New York Old Growth Forest Association — www.championtrees.org/NYOGFA/ — updated: 9/4/2002