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Shackelton Point
Oneida Lake, Madison County, NY
July 25, 2002
Team Members:
Dean Fitzgerald, Robert Henry, Tom Howard

Shackelton Point is the Cornell University Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake north of Bridgeport in Madison County. The Central NY survey team of NYOGFA explored this historic property in the evening of July 25, 2002. This property covers 420 acres, and is centered on the Charles Brown estate. Its main area consists of many buildings in lawns with over 50 (at least) huge old Sugar Maples. This main area is a stand of old-growth trees, not a forest.

The Sugar Maples appear to be from 150 to well over 200 years old, and they have somewhat open-grown form. It looks like the area was cleared in the early 19th century, very likely as early as 1820, or even earlier. Many of these huge, impressive Sugar Maples are almost certainly from the original forest.

The site is known to have been a sugar bush in the 19th century. Property owners would have cleared out almost everything except Sugar Maple. These great old Maples shade Brown's mansion and other buildings, including a Greek-style temple with many columns. Nearby, in overgrown area, are several large Pin Oaks planted over 150 years ago.

Tree Data
SpeciesLocationcbh (feet)Comments
Sugar Mapleby dormitory15Bob Henry measured height at 55 feet, tree looks same as 100 years ago
Sugar Maplenear Greek temple10.3
Sugar Maplenext to Greek temple10.4
Sugar Mapleon lawn11.85shaggy old-age, dying, all others healthy
Sugar Maplenext to 6-car garage9.5stump; Dean counted 145 rings
Sugar Maplenear above tree180 rings, stump, tree downed by 9/7/98 storm
Sugar Maplein dense brush dotted with moderate-size White Ashlarge, craggy, dying; Dean estimates 300 years old
Sugar MaplesBob Henry measured at 70, 90 and 88 feet tall; average height about 80 feet.
Along a road by lake are 3 huge open-grown Red Oaks
Red Oak13.6Dean said tree looked same in 1900 as today; age estimated 250-300 years
Red Oakin thick brush13.9

Tom Howard
New York Old Growth Forest Association

New York Old Growth Forest Association www.championtrees.org/NYOGFA/ updated: 9/4/2002