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  • Please WAIT! Then SCROLL DOWN to VISIT OUR TREES!    [ Are you in this picture? ]
    CLICK HERE for fullsize photo 'Visiting Our Trees.' Visit Our Trees.
    A pleasant focus for a visit to any natural place--is the trees. Full time residents on the land, these major woody plants adapt themselves to soil, water and conditions of competition for space and light in a way that can provide good objects for study and maybe lessons for our human life. Here is a brief introduction to some year round Fourpeaks residents. CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   About Fourpeaks Sugar Maples,   Popple (Quaking Aspen),   Eastern Pine,   White Cedar,   Black Spruce,   American Beech   and Eastern Hemlock.   (On the next page.)  Adirondack Letter #11: "A Trees Story."   Trail Map with Locator Symbols.  

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    Sugar maple. Acer saccharum.
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    Maple leaves.
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    Maple fruit.
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    Maple trunk.
    Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is longest lived, the climax tree of our area. Settlers cooked the sap for maple sugar. It provided shade for cattle. Excellent firewood. Whenever there was a choice in clearing land, the maple was spared wherever possible. The oldest maple on the property is just behind the Old Sugar House (near Sugar Camp) and there are many (30 or more) 200 year old maples at the Logging Camp just above. See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "M" for the maples.
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    Popple. Quaking or Trembling aspen. Populus tremuloides.
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    Popple identifier.
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    Young popple.
    Popple, the local term for Quaking or Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides.) is a tree that needs no help from man, just lots of sun. It is a poor wood for any purpose, and in a forest situation is very early overtopped by longer living species like maple and pine. See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "Q" for the popples.
    Here's what we said about it in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    When I first got the land here, old pasture was already thick
    woods and the forest was fast closing in the haying fields and
    garden plots. I got to know popple, that aggressive sun-loving
    volunteer species. Ed Boynton cleared a young stand of them just
    below Camp Rock. We bought our first farm tractor and spent
    weekends mowing down the yellow-green shoots, pushing the field
    edges back to the original lines. I spared five of them in the
    open meadow by New Camp, but they're short-lived and today there's
    just two of them left.

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    White pine identifier.
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    White pine. Pinus strobus.
    Eastern or White Pine (Pinus strobus) was prized for building and is today the "cash crop" for an Adirondack woodlot. It grows to majestic heights and it's the most common major tree at Fourpeaks. It's no good for firewood, but then who would burn up such noble and useful wood.
    See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "P" for the pine.
    Here's what we said about it in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    I liked the fragrance of pine and the feel of the needles
    underfoot. We cut out the hardwood growing in between them and
    made a pure pine grove by Camp Barn.

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    White Cedar. Chamaecyparis thyoides.
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    White cedar foliage.
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    White cedar foliage.
    White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) grows in pure stands for the most part. Most of them are in a sizeable swamp 1/4 mile or so in back of Gypsy Camp and Sugar Camp. It's dark and pretty and totally different from other forest places here. There's also a smaller stand farther uphill in the direction of the Logging Camp. See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "C" for the white cedar. Note that White Cedar is a major tree achieving some size at full growth. Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), a more numerous species that grows within the pine and maple forest, is a much smaller tree, just good for fence posts and the like.
    Here's what we said about White Cedar in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    Exploring around by Sugar Camp we found a road that dead-ended in
    a considerable cedar swamp. Great roots were exposed in many
    places and small streams of water moved between them. It was so
    pretty and cool in Summer I got some help moving Gypsy Camp into
    it and we built a privy.


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    Black spruce identifier. Picea mariana.
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    Black spruce at Halsey Straight farm.
    Black spruce (Picea mariana) at Fourpeaks is a major tree that achieves an even, attractive shape (unlike the White Pine, its neighbor) even in open, sunny places. It was often chosen, along with maples, for a large decorative tree at Fourpeaks backcountry farms. In the 70's we transplanted five of them from the old farm on Stonehouse Road to New Camp field. Four survived and are doing well. The lower limbs had to be pruned as they don't fall off naturally like the White Pine. There's a big natural stand of them at the high point on Stonehouse Road by "2nd Driveway." See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "S" for the spruce.
    Here's what we said about it in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    Halsey Straight planted four black spruce by his farmhouse years
    ago. Today he's gone but they're giants with a healthy progeny.
    We've transplanted a number of them in different places and they
    do very well always maintaining a regular shape in sun or shade.


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    American Beech. Fagus grandifolia.
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    American Beech Identifier.
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    Beech leaves remain all winter.
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    Young beech growth.
    American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a large tree with grey smooth bark and small pretty leaves you can still see on Beechnut Gum wrappers. The leaves (like the oak) don't all fall off the tree, especially on the young saplings, but turn bright orange and flutter in the wind for most of the winter. It's good firewood. There's a pure stand of them just below Ridge Camp. See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "B" for the beech.
    Here's what we said about it in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    There was some worrying about the beech blight in the 80's. A pure
    stand of them below Ridge Camp made it through with very little
    damage however.


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    Hemlock grove. Tsuga canadensis.
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    Hemlock foliage.
    Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is not very common at Fourpeaks, but there's a fine stand of it high up on the ridge between Rattlesnake and Ebenezer. It's very dense and dark and there's more of it that's not very accessible on the steep north side of Ebenezer. See the Trail Map, "Visit Our Trees," with location symbol "H" for the hemlock.
    Here's what we said about it in the Letter, "A Trees Story."

    The salvage cutting we did after the ice storm in '98 improved
    access to the outlying sections of the property. Willy knew a
    hemlock grove by the notch between Rattlesnake and Ebenezer. We
    cut a trail to it and cleaned it up. We plan this Fall to set up a
    picnic table and benches.


    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
    Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all.    Are you in this picture?  CLICK HERE to find out!    [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]

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