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HawksEye
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09/26/2010 09:10PM
What lakes/areas have the oldest trees?

I'm still trying to figure out my next trip- I want to include Kekekabic, or another lake with cliffs that are potential peregrine eyries (nesting sites).

I don't know much 'bout the northwoods, but was rather surprised on my first trip to BWCA - the trees didn't seem very big (Ensign area).

Ideally, I'd like to see both old growth and cliffs.

Suggestions?

helen
 
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Savage Voyageur
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09/26/2010 10:20PM
For cliffs I would go to Clearwater, Mountain, Rose, Pine, or Pike lakes. For old growth trees I think that there is still a small stand on one of the larger islands on Saganaga. Ensign had some blowdown a few years ago. Most of the old growth trees have been gone in Minnesota for at least 150 years. There is still a small section in Itasca state park that was overlooked by a survey team, and on the island above that was too hard to get to.
09/26/2010 10:47PM
Now why am I thinking of 'The lost 40' out by Northome when you say "overlooked by a survey team", SV?

Too bad it is nowhere near the BW.
bmaines
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09/27/2010 01:55AM
West side of Frank Lake has a stand of 100 plus yr old Hemlocks. Pretty impressive trees.
talusman
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09/27/2010 08:12AM
If you want a bit of a hike go to the Old Pines Loop off the Kekekabic Trail. It's most easily accessible from Alworth Lake northeast of Disappointment Lake.
09/27/2010 08:36AM
If you go up route two to ely, thru two harbors, stop at the rest area on the east side of the road pretty far up 2. Some way big pines in the rest area.
moosedrool
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09/27/2010 08:49AM
go in ep 69 little john lake, from there camp on west pike lake - then day trip on the trail system that is accessible from that lake (cant come up with the name of it right now. you will get scenic cliffs from the water view, and be able to look down them from the hiking trail. and there are some seriously old and large cedar trees. coolest scenery trip i've ever taken.
bogwalker
Moderator
 
09/27/2010 09:49AM
There is a large stand of old Growth Red and White pine between Stuart Lake and the Dahlgren River along the Dahlgren portage. Pretty waterfall at the Dahlgren River end too.

One of my favorite portages in all of the BWCAW due to the HUGE pines and nice waterfall.
Kevlar
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09/27/2010 11:39AM
The biggest white pine I have sever seen anywhere is in the cmpsite on the far west end of Gull Lake, off Gun Lake, north of Fourtown. And in the two lakes north of Gull there are some nice little cliffs.
Beemer01
Moderator
 
09/27/2010 12:59PM
Helen -

Most of the BWCA and most of Quetico was logged off a century ago, but some stands were spared.

Emerald Lake in Quetico has a fantastic stand of ancient Cedars that I can personally recommend, it also has a strikingly high cliff line on the Sorthern shore. Heck Emerald Lake's wonderfully green waters alone make for quite an attraction!

Fires are simply part of the ecosystem, but have also taken a toll.

In the old days, however the big Pines were actually enhanced by the small fires that went through as these quick fires eliminated the understory growth but were not hot enough the affect these trees due to their thick bark.

Sadly these giants were felled to build the cities and houses of the Midwest by our forefathers.
emptynest56
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09/27/2010 02:46PM
Hawkseye,

Along many places on the route of EP 16. Boulder Bay of Lac La Croix has some wonderful white pine specimens. All along many areas of the shorelines of south east LLC. Rocky and Green Lakes a portage north of Oyster have as close to a pure white pine forest as any in BW. I'll second Bogwalker's suggestion for red pine.
Another I've heard in BWJ but not seen personally is Shan Walshe Lake in the Q for old growth pine. It's on my bucket list.
HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
09/27/2010 09:11PM
Thanks, everyone! Lots of great suggestions and information. I'll have to sit down with this page and a map and figure out where all these places are!
Banksiana
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09/27/2010 10:49PM
Much of the southern half of Quetico was not logged -There are even some large stands of white and red pine on the border lakes (on the Canadian side).
tom m
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09/28/2010 01:21AM
Not quite the BWCA experience but Sylivaina Wilderness in the MI, UP has lots of big old trees. maple, hemock, white and red pine and if your into smallmouth bass..........tom
marsonite
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09/28/2010 06:14AM
A fairly large chunk of the far western BW wasn't logged. Out of EP 16, Moose River north, there's some old growth white and red pines--Ramshead, Oyster, Rocky, Green specifically. In the south central BWCA south of Winchell lake (Cliff Lake is very nice) there are some stands of old white pines.

So to get right to the point of your question, if you want a lake with rocks AND big pines, I'd suggest rocky or cliff. Unfortunately, both are pass through lakes.

Other places with old growth pines not in the BW are Bass Lake park in northern Itasca County, the lost 40 also in Itasca county, lower Lester Park right in Duluth (along Amity creek), Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, Scenic State Park, and of course Itasca State Park.

I know there are some in the Ely Area (Talusman mentioned some) but I haven't been.

emptynest56
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09/28/2010 10:08AM
Lac La Croix
Basser
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
09/28/2010 10:28PM
"Most of the old growth trees have been gone in Minnesota for at least 150 years".

Are you kidding me!? Those seedlings would now be "Old Growth"

There's a tremendous old pine along the portages on the Man chain.
Chilly
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09/28/2010 10:51PM




Is this big enough or do you want bigger?
I-Hawk
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09/29/2010 09:15AM
Thomas has some monster trees.
myceliaman
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09/29/2010 02:41PM
I stand to be corrected but on the North side of Clearwater there is a trai head that has some old growth trees or so I thought.
snakecharmer
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09/29/2010 08:30PM
My understanding of the term "old growth" forest is that it's an ecosystem, not necessarily the size or age of the trees in it. These are areas that were undisturbed or untouched by the saw. There are a few pockets of old growth in the Boundary Waters, but very few.
TuscaroraBorealis
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09/29/2010 09:08PM
There are several areas that have large trees. Pines, cedars etc. Not entire stands, but a few old "sentinels" scattered about. Here's a few examples.



Generally speaking large trees can be found all throughout the BWCAW. Virtually all of these were found on or very near portages & campsites. Perhaps left behind from the logging days to easier identify these areas?

I'd recommend a route up Moose river then over to Oyster lake & finally up to Lady Boot bay on LLC.

TB
tobiedog
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09/30/2010 09:13PM
I had always heard that the BWCA was logged over but figured that the big trees I saw before me had just been missed. I thought, really, how could the loggers get in here? Then, I had a job interview in Atlanta at a town near the airport this week and was amazed to find myself driving through neighborhoods of giant pine trees. They were easily bigger than the ones I see in the BWCA. It was only then I realized that there was a time the BWCA was stripped and that, in forest terms, it's not that old.
HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2010 09:15PM
quote Banksiana: "Much of the southern half of Quetico was not logged -There are even some large stands of white and red pine on the border lakes (on the Canadian side)."
quote Beemer01: "Emerald Lake in Quetico has a fantastic stand of ancient Cedars that I can personally recommend, it also has a strikingly high cliff line on the Sorthern shore. Heck Emerald Lake's wonderfully green waters alone make for quite an attraction!"
quote EmptyNest56: "Another I've heard in BWJ but not seen personally is Shan Walshe Lake in the Q for old growth pine. It's on my bucket list."
My passport just came in the mail. Now I'll have to put Quetico on my bucket list.
HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
09/30/2010 09:27PM
quote tobiedog: " ...It was only then I realized that there was a time the BWCA was stripped and that, in forest terms, it's not that old. "
quote SnakeCharmer: "My understanding of the term "old growth" forest is that it's an ecosystem, not necessarily the size or age of the trees in it. These are areas that were undisturbed or untouched by the saw. There are a few pockets of old growth in the Boundary Waters, but very few."
I'm just starting to learn 'bout BWCA, but here is what I've concluded from my brief readings:
Recovering from a clear cut or massive fire takes a very long time. In the classical model of succession, the first trees to grow are typically fairly fast growing, sun tolerant species. But they create a canopy (shade), so their seedlings don't survive. They are replaced by more shade-tolerant species, which may be replaced as well, with new species eventually forming a "mature" or "climax" forest. I suppose it could take 3-4 generations of trees to get to that point. I'm guessing that is when it turns into "old growth".
In some BWCA areas, aspen and jack pine are two early species. After they form a canopy (which can take 50+ years) the jack pines can't reproduce successfully. More shade-tolerant seedlings like black spruce, white cedar, & balsam fir sprout in the understory and replace the jack pines as they die. If a fire or blow-down occurs, the conditions favor the jack pine, again.

White pines have interesting needs, too. Surface fires (quick & mild at 20-40 year intervals), would kill the undergrowth trees in a white pine/paper birch stand and prevent those successional trees from invading and taking over. These mild fires were necessary for white pines to maintain their dominance.

interesting stuff...
10/01/2010 06:57AM
Along the Sioux-Hustler Trail near Hustler Lake, is the 3 Sentinels, as you head towards Range Line Lake. They are 200+ year old white pines, and there's actually a number of old growth trees in the area.
marsonite
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10/01/2010 07:54PM
Hawkeye, if you haven't yet, read "Lob trees in the wilderness" by Cliff Ahlgren. It's about the history and ecology of the canoe country forests.
HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
10/01/2010 08:47PM
quote marsonite: "Hawkeye, if you haven't yet, read "Lob trees in the wilderness" by Cliff Ahlgren. It's about the history and ecology of the canoe country forests."
THANKS! I'll look for it at my local library.
HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
10/01/2010 08:48PM
quote Benutzer: "the 3 Sentinels ... 200+ year old white pines...
"

that is one big tree!
jamotrade
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10/02/2010 09:20PM
We found a bunch of nice old growth White Pines on the north side of Bog Lake. They have to be at least 150 -200 years old. Also nice because there's never anyone around on that lake...
paddlefamily
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10/04/2010 12:55PM
quote Kevlar: "The biggest white pine I have sever seen anywhere is in the cmpsite on the far west end of Gull Lake, off Gun Lake, north of Fourtown. And in the two lakes north of Gull there are some nice little cliffs."

And if you take the portage from Gull to Home Lake (or other way around), there are some massive pines as you get closer to Home. We felt like elves.

jamotrade
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10/04/2010 02:50PM
Here's one of the Bog pines...

Soledad
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10/18/2010 03:15PM
quote Benutzer: "Along the Sioux-Hustler Trail near Hustler Lake, is the 3 Sentinels, as you head towards Range Line Lake. They are 200+ year old white pines, and there's actually a number of old growth trees in the area.
"


Benutzer, I found this pic from my SHT hike, I wonder if they are the same three trees?
10/19/2010 08:17AM
Not sure. There's a number of big ones in the area. If I recall correctly though, one of the 3 Sentinels was in relatively poor health. I seem to recall thinking that one of these days there's be 2 Sentinels. The ones in your pic look pretty awesome and pretty healthy. Never know though. They do stand out.
lundojam
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10/21/2010 07:18AM
Lac La Croix has lots of big old pines and rocky cliff features, as do the lakes around there. The picture was taken from the biffy on the wetern side of LLC.
HawksEye
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10/22/2010 08:11PM
that looks/sounds like a neat area.
what is a biffy?... never mind... just looked it up. :-)
gutmon
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10/23/2010 09:37AM
Here's a beauty on Gaskin

HawksEye
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10/23/2010 11:38AM
quote gutmon: "Here's a beauty on Gaskin "

nice photos. Interesting- in the background i see a few scattered large sentries standing guard over a much younger (shorter) forest.
mocha
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10/24/2010 09:35PM
i thought Adams and Boulder had some nice big cedars.
10/24/2010 10:45PM
quote tom m: "Not quite the BWCA experience but Sylivaina Wilderness in the MI, UP has lots of big old trees. maple, hemock, white and red pine and if your into smallmouth bass..........tom"

Also not BW, but two other places I know of in Wisconsin.

- The Mt. Pisgah nature trail at Wildcat Mountain State Park goes through areas of virgin hemlock forest. The place was too hilly for loggers.

- Cathedral of the Pines is a small area that was never logged. It's two miles WSW of Lakewood, between Archibald Lake and Little Archibald Lake. There's a nice trail through it. Bring your camera in case you see great blue herons in the trees - there's a rookery waaaay up there. If you go in May you'll see their big blue eggshells on the ground.

HawksEye
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
10/25/2010 06:09PM
Wildcat MT? Thats hill country fo sure. It would be neet to see a hemlock forest. I can't believe I didn't get there while I lived in WI. GUess I was busy...

Apparently there are lots of places in WI I'd like to see. Maybe I need a tour guide. ;-)

PineKnot
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10/26/2010 08:29AM
There are some nice old growth stands in Lady Boot Bay and some of the islands near 41st island on LLC.

Old growth stands are much more prevalent in the Q. I've been to Shan and McNeice the past couple of years and fires have damaged many of the old growth stands...there is a very old stand of cedars on the portage between Shan and McNeice. Last year, one white pine on a Robinson campsite measured 140 inches circumference at waist height. There are a number of stands north of Silence and west of Agnes.

10/26/2010 10:15AM
quote HawksEye: "Wildcat MT? Thats hill country fo sure. It would be neet to see a hemlock forest. I can't believe I didn't get there while I lived in WI. GUess I was busy...

Apparently there are lots of places in WI I'd like to see. Maybe I need a tour guide. ;-)
"


Good idea. I can think of worse things to do with a week or two in June! Let me know if you're serious.
Bushwacker
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10/26/2010 01:48PM
I'm afraid since moving to California midwestern trees are anitclimatic. I'm spoiled in the tree catagory living out here. There are trees like this one only 15 minutes from my house.

HawksEye
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10/26/2010 04:58PM
quote Bushwacker: "...midwestern trees are anitclimatic." "
smile- i have to admit that could certainly be part of my problem- was I seeing old trees and just not recognizing them? My childhood camping trips were mostly to places with sequoias.
Some of the oldest trees on earth, also in CA, were a bit anticlimactic looking as well. The Methuselah tree
Bushwacker
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10/26/2010 11:50PM
Looks like the Methusula Tree name gets around. I mountain bike from a trail head right across the road from this tree. Glad the loggers didn't get 'em all.



deckle
 
08/29/2019 01:16PM

We found a big cedar off the portage trail from either plough to emerald or emerald to carp. A fallen cedar or two lined the trail and we climbed over to view the tree.
08/30/2019 04:40PM
Kevlar: "The biggest white pine I have sever seen anywhere is in the cmpsite on the far west end of Gull Lake, off Gun Lake, north of Fourtown. And in the two lakes north of Gull there are some nice little cliffs."

Yes, agree! A great portage.
Bushpilot
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08/30/2019 05:31PM
Oldest tree in the state is on Basswood. 1100 year old cedar. The loggers were after the pine, cedar was undesirable. The reason we see so many cedars.
TuscaroraBorealis
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08/30/2019 06:26PM
I've catalogued some impressive trees here.
Michwall2
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08/31/2019 08:31AM
Toward the west end of the Gordon to Unload/Frost portage is a stand of very large cedar trees.

08/31/2019 08:34AM
The area between Cache and Zephira Lakes has some of the largest trees I have ever seen in canoe country.
Mocha
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08/31/2019 09:55AM
I was thinking that the Adams and boulder area had old cedar trees. We camped on the island on boulder and it did have some big cedar trees.
Mocha
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08/31/2019 09:55AM
I was thinking that the Adams and boulder area had old cedar trees. We camped on the island on boulder and it did have some big cedar trees.
shock
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08/31/2019 11:44PM
The largest tree I've seen in the BW was on the portage to gogebic at least 5' wide was starting to hollow out at the base. Wish I took a pic , the cliffs are beautiful in that area !
bobbernumber3
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09/01/2019 05:26PM
Bonsai tree, Bonsai Site, Saganagons Lake, QPP

jillpine
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09/01/2019 06:13PM
In addition to the "lost 40" and 2 areas mentioned in Wisco, check out this understated, incredible gem in Drummond, WI:
Drummond Woods

Also, Straight Lake State Park in Wisconsin has deciduous old growth that parallels Nerstrand Big Woods, and the associated wildlife.

The giants still stand. When I see one, I stand under it awhile and try to imagine what a forest of them looked and felt like.

Mom, age 72, contemplating the portage ahead. Check out the tree to to her left.


Ten plus one hundred

Mom and another giant


One of my favorite trees in all of BWCA.
jillpine
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09/01/2019 06:33PM
bobbernumber3: "Bonsai tree, Bonsai Site, Saganagons Lake, QPP


"


My absolute favorites - tenacity plant-ified.
jillpine
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09/01/2019 06:35PM
marsonite: "Hawkeye, if you haven't yet, read "Lob trees in the wilderness" by Cliff Ahlgren. It's about the history and ecology of the canoe country forests."
+1
Mashuga
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09/01/2019 09:22PM
They're not big trees but possibly some of those scraggly, little trees growing from the sides of cliffs may be very, very old. I don't remember where I first saw this article but, the next time I'm in the BWCA I'll certainly be wondering about the "cliff dwellers" I see.
Cliff Side Trees
analyzer
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09/02/2019 12:21AM
It's not BWCA, but I noticed camden state park, a little south of Marshall, had some big trees on the road to the swimming beach. I'm not sure what kind of tree it was, cottonwood perhaps, but it was about 7 or 8 feet in diameter. I'll have to see if my wife has some pictures.

In the mean time...

cyclones30
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09/02/2019 07:26PM
There is a giant pine at the cherry end of cherry to lunar portage. At least 3 adults to get a hug around the base...there was only my wife and I and we couldn't connect hands. If you want cliffs? Guess what, Cherry has very large cliffs as well...
Savage Voyageur
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09/02/2019 09:42PM
Wow, a nine year old thread brought back to life. Ok I’ll play. Here is a very old Cedar tree by the stream by Johnson Falls.
GopherAdventure
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09/02/2019 10:57PM
Bushpilot: " Oldest tree in the state is on Basswood. 1100 year old cedar. The loggers were after the pine, cedar was undesirable. The reason we see so many cedars."

BP, if you don’t mind me asking, where on Basswood is this tree? If you’d rather not share I understand, or perhaps email the location if that works for you. I’d love to show my kids.

Thanks,

Tony
Bushpilot
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09/03/2019 07:33AM
GopherAdventure: "Bushpilot: " Oldest tree in the state is on Basswood. 1100 year old cedar. The loggers were after the pine, cedar was undesirable. The reason we see so many cedars."


BP, if you don’t mind me asking, where on Basswood is this tree? If you’d rather not share I understand, or perhaps email the location if that works for you. I’d love to show my kids.


Thanks,


Tony"


Email sent.
Also if your looking for other historic things to see CHECK OUT THIS LINK.
 
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