The tallest trees come down
Last year’s October snowstorm damaged the red maples, cucumber magnolias, and other small trees in the Lehigh Experimental Forest. However, Hurricane Sandy was a very different beast. The high winds generally left the small, understory trees alone, but took down some of the biggest, tallest trees in the forest. The ecology class surveyed the damage in their plots this afternoon. Several large tulip poplars, the tallest white pine, a norway spruce, and a black oak were all tipped over by the high winds. All of these were trees were among the original those originally planted in 1915. When these large trees fell, they took down several others including some black birches and black oaks, and a few understory trees like sassafras and red maple. Next year’s class will be able to observe and document the changes in these newly created canopy gaps.
And there is still time to help Michelle Spicer crowdfund her research on this fantastic forest! Go here to help or spread the word!
Addendum: Stumbled into this interesting article exploring what makes some trees susceptible to falling during storms.
Posted on November 19, 2012, in Ecology (EES-152), Fieldwork, Original Posts and tagged Biodiversity, Ecological succession, Ecology, Forest history, Lehigh Experimental Forest, Nature, Plants, Science. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.