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Green Lake
Green Lakes State Park
Fayetteville, New York

PHOTO FBreglia 5/4/02

Green Lakes
State Park

NY Route 5, Fayetteville, New York

Seventh Survey Team Visit
November 9, 2002

Leader: Tom Howard
Data Sheet

Saturday, November 9, 2002, I returned for a further survey at Green Lakes State Park, which has at least 1000 acres of Old-Growth Northern Hardwoods (Sugar Maple-Beech-Basswood-Hemlock-Tuliptree), and at least 40 acres of Old-Growth White Cedars along the shores of Green Lake and Round Lake.

I walked along the west shore of Green Lake through a grove of White Cedar that is old-growth (trees estimated over 150 years old, with pit and mound topography). Then I walked to the trail junction at the southwest end of Green Lake, and then climbed up the spur trail to the trail that runs from Pine Hills Campground to Round Lake.

I found more old-growth going up the steep hills above the southwest shore of Round Lake, but the old-growth does not go far toward the campground, as trees soon become smaller and younger. The boundary of old-growth appears to be a little ways past the stumps of three very old trees (see Age Data below), and right near a large three-trunked coppiced Red Oak. Near the boundary between old-growth and second-growth are several large (up to two foot dbh) Chinkapin Oaks on the steep slope leading down to Green Lake. Closest to Green Lake, the dominant species are Sugar Maple, Tuliptree, and Basswood, with a few rather thin, platy-barked White Pines. This section just above Green Lake is also old-growth, but the trees are not extremely large due to the instability of the slope, poor light, and steep, rocky soils. Farther back and up from Green Lake, Beech becomes dominant. In this old-growth section, ancient treefall pit and mound topography is extremely well-developed.

Then I walked to Round Lake, and followed the trail along the west shore of that pristine lake in the midst of old-growth forest. I then took the spur trail from Round Lake to the most glorious part of Green Lakes' old-growth: the Tuliptree Cathedral that was much studied in the past year, and contains the tallest trees accurately measured in central NY. I then returned to the beach at Green Lake by following the trail along the east shore of Round Lake, spur trail to Green Lake, then back to the beach by the trail along the west shore of Green Lake.

Most large Beech trees above the SW shore of Green Lake appear healthy.

I noticed a fairly large number of trees have fallen since the Oct. 5 survey. All these fallen trees are in rather steep areas, and all seem to have fallen across the trails. The unstable slopes may cause large old trees to become top-heavy and fall over. In the more level Tuliptree Cathedral, there was no recent tree damage.

I measured a Sugar Maple that fell about 2 years ago using "D" tape intervals to come up with a length of 111 feet as the tree lay on the ground; it was an average tall tree for this stand, and the Tuliptree Cathedral has many Sugar Maples like this. The 111 foot Sugar Maple had a diameter 3 feet above the ground (stump too shattered! at dbh height) of 23.6 inches (or cbh 6.2 feet).

This survey further confirms that Green Lakes State Park contains the largest and most outstanding old-growth site in Central New York.

Tom Howard
Central New York Survey Team


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