The Great Trees of York State

Increasingly, the York State landscape is becoming defined by our forests. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, a product of the decline of agriculture in favor of other areas. However, there are a few remnants to remind us that this is the natural state of our region, our Great Trees. My favorite ode to the great trees of Upstate New York is the "Big Tree Register," a listing of the largest trees of each species found within the state's borders. A democratic institution, anyone can nominate a Big Tree, which the DEC will come around to confirm.

Does anyone have any reminiscences of Great Trees? Myself, I have been inspired to awe by our forests on several ocassions. My favorite trees are the mighty stand called Cathedral Pines, located just off of Route 28 between Raquette Lake and Inlet in the Adirondacks. I'm also somewhat parcial to the great oaks that are preserved out in fields across the Genesee Country, thanks to the stewardship of the Wadsworth Family back in the 1800s.

Posted by Jesse


vivaGeneva said...

Thanks for your site!

Natalie said...

It's interesting that while our for most of the really big trees you see aren't in forests (with Cathedral Pines being a notable exception) More often than not they are the lone giants along the edge of a field, whose cultivation has seen many years of the state's history.

I have two favorite Great trees... the first is a large sycamore in the field in front of Robbins dorm on the Bard campus. Unlike other collegiate big trees that would be surrounded by nicely manicured lawns and students contemplating philosophy, this one stands alone in a meadow surrounded by brambles and onion grass, the same open space that lent it's name to the first building near that site, the late 18th century estate "The Meadows" home to one of the Livingstons. I wouldn't be surprised if the tree was that old. The second is a montrous tree just inside the woodline behind Fayetteville Elementary (at the bottom of one of the best sledding hills in town) which has a plaque in front of it certifying that it was there during the revolutionary war. It's huge by any standards, but to an elemantary school aged kid, it's especially dwarfing.

Joseph Daniel Wormwood said...

MY favorite tree of all time still stands, i believe, in the park out past left field at don dutter memorial field, greenfield/north side park. I spent many a summer afternoon climbing it's maplewood branches, hiding from my mom and battling my friends to see who could get the highest without dying. I heart that tree like Echo hearts narcissus.

Jude said...

Great site!
I made comment about it at my Syracuse.com blog today. Good luck! I'll visit often.