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Old 10-18-2009, 08:47 AM   #1
geogymn
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American Chestnut

Rereading Paul Schneider's "The Adirondacks". Talking about the trees in the Adirondacks he includes buckthorns and tupelos. Has anyone ever come across either of these trees in the park? I'm not questioning the veracity of the information, I love the idea of coming across one of these species whilst walking the woods. He also states "there some surviving American chestnuts". I repeat my query, has anyone come across said species? Imagine bushwhacking along some remote area and bumping into a giant American Chestnut that miraculously survived the onslaught of mice and men.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
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Buckthorns are common where I live, 30 miles south of Albany. They are a small shrubby tree with thorns that grows everywhere, particularly hedgerows. By any chance do you mean buckeyes? Buckeye would be uncommon anywhere in NY; I'd love to see one.
I've never seen a tupelo in NY. There are lots of American chestnut trees in the Catskills. They sprout in clusters out of old stumps and generally they only live a few years, growing to a height of 10-15 feet.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
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There is tupelo in central New York and in the southwest Adirondacks, same as buckthorn. I have not come across any American chestnut in my travels.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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"By any chance do you mean buckeyes?" The book states buckthorn.
"They are a small shrubby tree with thorns that grows everywhere, particularly hedgerows." Sounds like what I always considered Hawthorn. Each are a distinct Genus.
Maybe the American Chestnut will become resistant to the blight before they die out. One can only hope.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Black Tupelo is generally considered to be the most ubiquitous species of Tupelo. While generally considered to be a southern tree, it does have a range that extends as far north as New York, New England, and southern Ontario. The USFS Silvics page doesn't show its range extended in to Adirondacks, but it is listed as being associated in the North East with Black Ash, American Elm, and Red Maple, all three of which can be found in the Adirondacks, so it seems likely that there probably are some isolated pockets of it in the Adirondacks.

American Chesnut is generally considered to be an Appalachian species, but there were certainly some on the Adirondacks and there probably still are a few. Before the blight, Chestnut's accounted for a full 25% of the trees in the Appalachian Mountains.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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There are tupelo's (also called Blackgum) and chestnuts in the ADK's! Tupelo's can be found at Log Bay (Lake George); but only 3-4 of them that I've seen. They also grow in a state forest outside Saratoga. The name of the forest escapes me, but I will check and provide a link. There is an upcoming field trip to visit them and they are reported to be 800 (yes, 800) years old!

Chestnuts don't completely die from the blight; only from the ground up. The roots still live and will sprout as said above. The problem is that few reach the age of reproduction and there is little genetic mixing to produce a chestnut that is resistant to the blight. However, a few chestnuts exist on Log Bay and in other areas around lake George that are producing nuts, so some genetic mixing is happening.

Chestnut and Beech are in the same family, and the beech blight is similar to the chestnut one; both kill the tree above the ground, but not below. We all see globs and globs of young beech in the woods that sprouted from the infected parent. Like the chestnut, most beech do not reach the age of reproduction. We'd have woods thick with chestnut, but we're on the northern edge of their territory.

As far as Buckthron, which is the correct common name, which one do you mean? One is native, Rhamnus purshiana, and grows in the Pacific NW. Rhamnus cathartica, has been introduced from Europe and can be found in central NY. I'd be surprised to see either in the ADK's.

Vince Walsh from the Kawing Crow Awareness Center will be leading a trip to the Tupelo's this winter. His email is: vcrow@verizon.net. There is a fee for the trip, Vince runs it as part of his business. Lincoln Mt. is the state forest and you can read this:http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...of-north.html#


Also, the science guys have hybridized an American Chestnut with a Chinese variety and it (so far) has the size and wood qualities of the American, but the disease resistance of the Chinese. They are planting these hybrids in Ohio (?) and are giving them a few years to grow before letting them out into the real world. All is hopeful.

Last edited by dundee; 10-07-2016 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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it's also good to note that the hybrid American chestnut has a 99.5% pure genome or something close to that.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:23 PM   #8
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Thank you for that information about the Tupelos, Dundee. It is fascinating. Good link, I will check out Vince Walsh's trip. An 800-year-old tree in NY? That is something I have to see.

As to whether a tree might be in the buckthorn or hawthorn species, that is very hard to say. Buckthorn is a name assigned to 15 native and 3 naturalized trees; the hawthorn in North America is represented by 77 native and 9 naturalized trees. Enough to make your head spin, and the characteristics of both are similar.

This is only a generalization, but hawthorns usually have red fruit, while buckthorns have black. Buckthorns keep their berries into the winter; they are bitter and contain a poison. And one way to tell a buckthorn is to take your pocket knife and peel back the outer bark. The inner bark is a bright orange.

I like all trees, but the common buckthorn (rhamnus cathartica) is my least favorite. They are considered invasive and are destroyed in many states.

Last edited by Deb dePeyster; 10-19-2009 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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evasive
"invasive"
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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Trees are considered "evasive" if they are hard to catch!

Good info on buckthorns. Yes, hawthorns being in the apple family would have red fruit. Thanks, Deb.

The orange bark may have something to do with Native Americans using it as a laxative. It was known as sacred bark. It was also called bitter bark.

Are we off-topic here? Has the thread been stolen?

BTW, Tupelo is in the Dogwood family. You can tell by the....bark
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #11
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Thank you all kindly for the info. Very interesting. I've planted a number of Chinese Chestnuts, more or less as an experiment, along with numerous other varieties of trees. I have been doing such since the early 70's at different locations. My current stand is an eclectic collection with a fairly good survival rate but alas I have not put much effort into identifying these youngsters either through laziness or hesitatingly to qualify any of my "children". But someone in the next generation is going to walk along this motley hedge and wonder what became of the madman tree planter.
Down here just South of the Little Apple (Utica) there is and always has been an invasion of scrubby trees with nasty irritation causing thorns. with BLACK berries, which I always called Hawthorn. Now my confidence has been shaken , I must pull out the field guides. thanks again, might have to check out these aforementioned field trips.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #12
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Good info on buckthorns. Yes, hawthorns being in the apple family would have red fruit. Thanks, Deb.
rose family- apples are a genus. The family Rosaceae has apples, cherries, and number of other fruit trees.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #13
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Down here just South of the Little Apple (Utica) there is and always has been an invasion of scrubby trees with nasty irritation causing thorns. with BLACK berries, which I always called Hawthorn. Now my confidence has been shaken , I must pull out the field guides. thanks again, might have to check out these aforementioned field trips.
Those will be rhamnus cathartica- the European Buckthorn. Where are you in CNY? I'm in Morrisville- the stuff is everywhere. Look for the dark green leaves with arcuate veniation.

http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrolo...eet.cfm?ID=559

Last edited by PatGreen; 10-18-2009 at 09:01 PM.. Reason: spelling error
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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My latest grove is in Sauquoit. I will have to acquire some specimens next time afield but right now I am in denial as I called this scrub a hawthorn for so long, hate when that happens. Thanks for the link and the correction.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:23 AM   #15
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rose family- apples are a genus. The family Rosaceae has apples, cherries, and number of other fruit trees.
Quite right! I used the apple family as a loose term. I need to be more careful as I is a forestry grad. Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:27 AM   #16
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There are (at least) 4 apple trees in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. I challenge you all to find them.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:02 PM   #17
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Near the old ranger stations or old lumber camps I would guess. Apple trees are not native and are/were generally planted.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:06 PM   #18
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Near the old ranger stations or old lumber camps I would guess. Apple trees are not native and are/were generally planted.
Or from some hiker's discarded apple core.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #19
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Near the old ranger stations or old lumber camps I would guess. Apple trees are not native and are/were generally planted.
Interesting side note- the only Cedar Trees on Cedar Lakes were planted there by one of the outpost caretakers- there's a row of 8 of them down by the shore near where the outpost was.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:30 AM   #20
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Yes, I've seen those. Funny how names get put on locations. There's a hill/mt. in Harriman State Park called "The Pines". Guess what, ain't no pines there!
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