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Nature Sanctuary

Palisades, New York

PHOTO xx 00/00/00

Nature Sanctuary
Palisades, New York

Ancient forest found across Hudson River from Manhattan
Aerial Photo
Nature Sanctuary
Palisades, NY
click photo to enlarge

PHOTO www.nysgis.state.ny.us

Scouting Visit
November 9, 2002

Team Leader: Bruce Kershner
Assistant: Ned Barnard
Data Sheet

I had long thought that Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary must have old growth forest. It was once part of wealthy estates before the Palisades Interstate Park Commission acquired it in the 1930s. Still, it sits atop the Palisades cliffs, facing Manhattan. Could its old forest have survived?

A 1955 science report measured the ages of trees in the Preserve and revealed that many trees were old growth—nearly 50 years ago! So Ned Barnard and Bruce Kershner visited it on Nov. 9, 2002. As soon as we entered, its tulip trees and oaks were impressive in their towering heights. After only 30 minutes, we concluded much of the forest is old growth (40m acres?). We were able to count rings on many logs which had fallen across the trail. Ages of red, black and white oaks were 150 to 240 years old. Tragically, nearly all the hemlocks were recently dead from wooly adelgid infestation. Their trunks revealed ages of 175 to 300 years.

Greenbrook Sanctuary is also notable for its dizzying vistas from the top of the Palisades cliffs. New York City and the mighty Hudson River are spread out 500 feet below. The Sanctuary has several ponds and lacy waterfalls, and is an incredible scenic treasure so close to the big city. The Sanctuary has a locked gate, open only to members, though anyone can join.

Bruce Kershner
November 2002

Directions to
Nature Sanctuary

  • Go to xxx
  • Drive east on xx 00 toward xxx
  • Hike 000 yards south on
  • turn east, hike 000 yards

  • New York Old Growth Forest Associationwww.championtrees.org/NYOGFA/updated: 12/06/2002