What is That Tree

Marc Wolf
Maude Adams Road Plant Walk

Mountain Top Arboretum

June 18, 2016


Acer pensylvanicum, striped maple, moosewood, Sapindaceae

top 20 trees leftUnderstory tree
Leaves opposite, serrate, 3-lobed, 5" to 7" long and wide, bright green.
Green, white-striped bark very striking.
Flowers yellow in long pendulous chains, followed by long samaras in pendulous chains.
Among the most shade-tolerant of deciduous trees, can sucker in very deep shade.

Full Article pdf

The Gilboa Forest

Robert Titus

painting by Kristin WyckoffVisitors to the Mountaintop Arboretum get to wander through our modern temperate forest and it is a wonderful experience. But we should all appreciate that there have been forests right here continuously for almost 400 million years.  Throughout all that time forest ecology has been evolving into what we see today. But, if we can imagine ourselves returning back all those millions of years we would find ourselves in one of the world’s oldest forests: known to geologists as the Gilboa Forest. The fossils of this ancient ecology are preserved in many Catskill rock sequences. 

Green Gardening Practices Used at the Arboretum

(these will work well in your own garden, too)

  • watering lawns and plants only when they need it and use best watering methods, such as drip irrigation
  • identifying lawn and garden problems, researching appropriate organic and biological control methods, and  minimizing the use of pesticides Herb Gardenand chemical fertilizers
  • cutting lawns at the recommended mower setting of three  inches and leaving grass clippings in place on the lawn

The Firs

Nikko FirOne of the trees that grow so well at the arboretum is the Fir, or Abies. If you have parked you car in the parking lot, you have probably admired the lovely Firs planted there.  Our climate, geology, soil, and elevation all are perfect for this beautiful species, which includes the well known balsam fir, Abies balsamea. The very essence of Christmas, the balsam fir grows naturally in the East Meadow along the Pine Trail.

The King’s Pines

Pines trees can live a long time, sometimes for more than 200 years, and grow to heights upward of 120 feet. Eastern White Pine is the tallest tree in eastern North America. In natural pre-colonial stands it grew to about 70 m (230 ft) tall, but current trees typically reach 30-50 m (100 - 160 ft) tall with a diameter of 1-1.6 m (3-5 ft). Very few of the original trees remain untouched by extensive logging operations in the 1700s and 1800s to harvest the valuable wood.  We very really see pines about 80 feet these days., since reforestation has only been going on in the Eastern US within the past hundred years.

Spring Wildflowers in the Woodland Walk

trout lilyThe Woodland Walk was created in 2000, and the initial work included removal of some trees, establishment of a trail that loops around the area, and planting native wildflowers and shrubs. Christine Story, the Director at the time, realized that no sooner had she planted something than the deer devoured it.

Mountain Top Arboretum, PO Box 379, Rt. 23C and Maude Adams Rd., Tannersville, NY 12485, 518 589-3903