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Old 04-22-2021, 01:20 PM   #21
montcalm
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I found a map I was looking for. This is Oak genus distribution in NY.

I know we've talked about this before but Western/Central Adirondacks they are not prevalent at all.

Map from here: https://nysufc.org/wp-content/upload...018OakWilt.pdf
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:08 PM   #22
Tug Hill
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Nor are they prevalent on Tug Hill or Black River Valley. There’s a few small stands near Lyons Falls and Constablevile. Also as others have stated, that harvesting timber promotes invasive shrub and tree species. I have seen no evidence of invasive shrubs or tree species in our harvest areas on Tug Hill or western ADKs. Our harvest areas , once there is ground scarification, are quickly regenerated primarily with blackberry and raspberry , beech, yellow birch , Soft maple, red spruce. All indigenous species.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:36 PM   #23
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I've heard it said from people in the lumber industry that the Hudson Valley has the highest quality Red Oaks anywhere. Everytime I'm in Harriman State park I'm reminded of this; that dark green band on the map there is Harriman which checks out.
I believe the climate in the Adirondacks is just too harsh for Oaks.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:48 PM   #24
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I would think that the Adirondacks are too wet for oaks too. The oaks do ok in the dryer sunny slopes in the Lake George Wild Forest.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:46 PM   #25
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Nor are they prevalent on Tug Hill or Black River Valley. There’s a few small stands near Lyons Falls and Constablevile. Also as others have stated, that harvesting timber promotes invasive shrub and tree species. I have seen no evidence of invasive shrubs or tree species in our harvest areas on Tug Hill or western ADKs. Our harvest areas , once there is ground scarification, are quickly regenerated primarily with blackberry and raspberry , beech, yellow birch , Soft maple, red spruce. All indigenous species.
Yeah - this is the case in a lot of reclaimed fields in the west of the state. They repopulate with Beech, White Pine, Maples, various shrubs which don't live long.

Might be that the invasives just aren't in those areas to populate when the disturbance is there, or it's too harsh for them. PA and parts of NY have more issues, I'm learning.

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I've heard it said from people in the lumber industry that the Hudson Valley has the highest quality Red Oaks anywhere. Everytime I'm in Harriman State park I'm reminded of this; that dark green band on the map there is Harriman which checks out.
I believe the climate in the Adirondacks is just too harsh for Oaks.
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I would think that the Adirondacks are too wet for oaks too. The oaks do ok in the dryer sunny slopes in the Lake George Wild Forest.
I never knew downstate was so oak rich. Makes sense though. That's the overspill of the southern Appalachian forests into our political boundary.

I'm not sure about why though either. If we were to overlay maps of snow depth we'd see a strong correlation of where the oaks aren't. But that would also correlate to overall rainfall for the year. Might be too wet. Might be short growing season. Maybe a little of both. Maples and beech grow much faster, so probably easily outcompete them in harsher environments.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:56 PM   #26
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There are a good number of different oak species in NY. Some like well drained or even droughty soils, others like their feet wet, and others like it in between. The oak that I see in the Blue Line is primarily red oak, and they seem to be common in the transition areas, less so in the interior and higher elevations
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:21 PM   #27
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There are a good number of different oak species in NY. Some like well drained or even droughty soils, others like their feet wet, and others like it in between. The oak that I see in the Blue Line is primarily red oak, and they seem to be common in the transition areas, less so in the interior and higher elevations
This is true. But we have even less oak diversity than further south or west i.e. Ohio.

The Northern Red Oak is the most hardy to my understanding but even they are kind of picky from what I've read. They seem to do real well in the highlands of western/southern NY. I actually found some maps that classify this part of NY as Appalachian Oak-Pine forest, but the map I posted from the DEC doesn't seem to support that. Lots of oak in the area, but probably fragmentation from past and current agriculture and logging led to the patchy appearance on the map. I'd assume those other areas are beech-maple and those probably repopulated abandoned farmland. I've seen paintings from the early 1900s of the area and I can't believe how much more forest there is now. Small farms and fields remain in the valleys but most of the hillsides were cleared as well, and those are all forested now. Most of the big stands of oak I see are at high elevations on thin, thin soil - probably where farming was never successful.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:09 PM   #28
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I did some quick looking up of ecology info for oaks, and based on what I saw it seems likely that the limiting factor for oaks in the ADKs is the cold more so than anything else. The numbers I saw show that oaks grow to about 1,500 feet in elevation in the ADKs and Whites, and are tolerant of areas with an average annual temperature of 40 degrees F at a minimum.

As a quick comparison, Lake Placid's average annual temperature is 40.4 degrees F, and the elevation for the village is approximately 1,800 feet.
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:27 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
I've heard it said from people in the lumber industry that the Hudson Valley has the highest quality Red Oaks anywhere. Everytime I'm in Harriman State park I'm reminded of this; that dark green band on the map there is Harriman which checks out.
I believe the climate in the Adirondacks is just too harsh for Oaks.
I think the highest quality Red Oak in the world, as far as lumber quality, comes from Randolph County, WV.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:02 AM   #30
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Here in the ST for oak they are getting big money for both White an red . Mills can;t get enough of it.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:37 AM   #31
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Given the current lumber market I think any tree you can get boards out of is going to be a valuable tree.

Maybe people will start taking timber salvage more seriously. Lots of good oak ready to rot away in old barns.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:52 AM   #32
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I went back and watched this again.

Brought up some questions about Oak in Eastern Adirondacks.

- I wonder how many of those are Scarlet Oak rather than Red Oak? Scarlets like really dry conditions/sites and are a smaller, and shorter lived species. They look very similar to a Red Oak.

(EDIT: Probably few. Maps on their natural range show Hudson valley up to around LG)

-According to that Red Oak prefers medium to wetter sites but Oak regeneration is very tricky and it seems because they gain their advantage from fire resistance. I wonder how many of those Adirondack specimens gained foothold from fires at the beginning of the 20th century?

(EDIT: Hard to find maps of pre-logging forest but it seems they were already there due to climate).

And random thoughts related to the rest of the state:

-All Oaks seem to prefer drier sites for regeneration. There's a good graph in that presentation showing their light tolerance related to site moisture and for Oaks to do best in full light or shade, they need really dry sites.

-There's a graph in the presentation of Oak-Hickory and Oak-Pine forest for most of the eastern US and no real prevalence in NY except the lower Hudson (dark, dark green on the DEC map). The southern tier Oak forests are not considered Oak dominant by some studies (really hard to generalize big areas). I've heard the chocolate chip cookie analogy for southern/western NY: The Oak forest are like the chocolate chips surrounded by a dough of Maple-Beech. Without fire though, Red Maple and Beech can really take out Oak stands.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-23-2021 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:27 AM   #33
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Some info I found related to Red Oak range:

Quote:
As with most other deciduous oaks, leafout takes place in spring when day length has reached 13 hours—it is tied entirely to photoperiod and will take place regardless of air temperature. As a consequence (see below), in cooler regions, northern red oaks often lose their flowers to late spring frosts, resulting in no seed crop for the year. The catkins and leaves emerge at the same time. The acorns develop on the tree for two growing seasons and are released from the tree in early October, and leaf drop begins when day length falls under 11 hours. The timing of leafout and leaf drop can vary by as much as three weeks in the northern and southern US. Seedlings emerge in spring when soil temperatures reach 21 °C (70 °F)
This map shows only West/Central Adirondacks as out of their range, and they have the biggest range of any Oak in NY.



From here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_rubra

But citations missing, so perhaps incorrect.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:21 PM   #34
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I do know that oaks benefited in the past by being favorited by Native Americans. Many areas were set ablaze to open up the forest for deer and oaks. More oaks mean more deer and turkeys. Oaks can tolerate fire. White oaks were prized for their acorns which have much less tannins. They are much easier to process into food.

Every creature in the forest LOVES white oak acorns best except squirrels. Squirrels like the red ones because they don't spoil as fast because they have more tannins. Squirrels mean more red oaks.

Because of fire suppression oaks are slowly disappearing.

I remember the difference between the red and white oaks as follows. Red oaks have points on their leaves so you can stab yourself with a red oak leaf and draw blood. White oaks have rounded leaves. You can not stab yourself with a white oak leaf and draw blood.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:56 PM   #35
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Scarlet Oak is in the Red Oak family, but the southeastern ADKs would be the extreme northern part of their range.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:48 AM   #36
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The two biggest Oaks I know;

Red Oak - Resides on the Village Green in Whitesboro, NY.

White Oak - Resides near Goose Bay, on the St. Lawrence River
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Old 04-24-2021, 06:51 PM   #37
montcalm
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There is a "great white" right up the road from me. A roadside tree actually. It has to be 5' in diameter or more at breast height, and it stays thick. It's probably 4' dia. or so at 20'. Maybe 70-80' high at best but man is it burly.

I was reading more about Oak forests in central Finger Lakes per the Cornell paper. Pretty much all "dry" upland forest here are dominated or co-dominated by Red Oak. But even what they call the "moist" upland forests, there still is a hearty presence of Red Oak. In the same sense, pretty much all the forests have some presence of Maple and Beech. And all those forests have some presence of Hemlock and White Pine.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-24-2021 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I did some quick looking up of ecology info for oaks, and based on what I saw it seems likely that the limiting factor for oaks in the ADKs is the cold more so than anything else. The numbers I saw show that oaks grow to about 1,500 feet in elevation in the ADKs and Whites, and are tolerant of areas with an average annual temperature of 40 degrees F at a minimum.

As a quick comparison, Lake Placid's average annual temperature is 40.4 degrees F, and the elevation for the village is approximately 1,800 feet.

Red oaks are common on the south facing slopes of the Crows and Jay mountain, including some huge old trees, over 2000 feet. They and red pines seem to like the same locations and exposure. I think moisture and soil are more important than temperature.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:11 PM   #39
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Red oaks are common on the south facing slopes of the Crows and Jay mountain, including some huge old trees, over 2000 feet. They and red pines seem to like the same locations and exposure. I think moisture and soil are more important than temperature.
From MMG:

Quote:
Oaks and pines are among the most drought tolerant of our tree species. Four of the five types that we describe occur most often
on slopes, sometimes steep ones, and especially on sites that face to the south or west...

...A few Dry Upland Forest species are near the
northern limit of their range, and their association with slopes that face south or that are adjacent to the large lakes may be due to the milder temperatures there.

Paraphrasing from another source but:

Blue Jays can populate Oak sites from a fair distance. 3 miles is what I remember... maybe it's ±? They often take can over a site after burn or extensive logging in this way. Even if they are getting hammered with spring frost and aren't producing many, or any acorns, those sites could have been populated that way even though it's at the extreme of the tree's range, and maybe isn't even sustainable.

Lake Champlain may be providing a warming effect for that area though. Maybe not up at 2K on those slopes, but the lowlands 3 or so miles away where the climate may be a touch milder, and sustainable for reproducing trees.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-24-2021 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:53 PM   #40
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So despite being able to convince myself (or not) of various reasons Oaks are not in (most of) the Adirondacks, I still think some piece of the picture is missing.

Wiki range data for reference here, but in terms of northern reach, there isn't much difference with Sugar Maple and Red Maple, and even more than Beech.

Red Oak (again):





Sugar Maple (which are prolific in the Adirondacks):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ange_map_1.png


Red Maple:




Beech:



Interesting that Beech are absent in the Chic-Chocs area as are the Oaks. All pretty much absent from Southern NJ (Pine Barrens) except Red Maple.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-25-2021 at 01:16 PM..
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