Cook Forest PA Chestnut Update (2024)

Cook Forest PA Chestnut Update Carl Harting
Aug 31, 2006 19:52 PDT

Today I revisited the American Chestnut I found last August at Cook
Forest State Park. This year I was able to take my time and measure
more carefully. When remeasured from the same point as last year (from
the south) I got a height of 75.5 feet, showing roughly 1/2 foot of

Chestnut Full View - photo by Carl Harting Chestnut from underneath - photo by Carl Harting
Chestnut bark - photo by Carl Harting Chestnuts - photo by Carl Harting

Trying to get a better view, I moved to the north side and
found a higher top in clear view. This sprig pushes the height to 82.1
feet with CBH of 3.6 feet. I'll send some pictures to Ed for the

On a sad note, I found a 25 foot chestnut on the ridge above
the Clarion River dying from what looks like a blight canker at 15 feet.
The entire tree leafed out this spring but only the lowest branches are
still green.

Chestnut Oak Burl - photo by Carl Harting Chestnut Oak - photo by Carl Harting

Here are a couple photos of a neat chestnut oak with a large burl. CBH 9.2 ft
(above burl at 6.4 feet), height 91.8 feet. Burl measured 8.2 feet around.


Re: PA Chestnut Update
Sep 01, 2006 11:53 PDT


Great job!

I was just in there on 8/10/06 and couldn't find the select chestnut you
measured. I did find a very small one, but mostly ran into a nice little array
of hickories (bitternut, pignut, shagbark). First place I've come across in the
park with all 3 hickories growing together.

I may have been to far down over the ridge to see your chestnuts. I walked
clear out to the park boundary to the Clarion River Lodge. I was running out
of day light, so I could've easily blown past the sight. I still don't have a
good eye for these yet. Do you happen to have GPS coordinates for this tree?

When I walked up the ridge on the gas-line entrance, I cut down over the bank on
a "bench" before I got to the old foundation. It wasn't too far after that,
that I got into the nice hickory patch.

Here was my day's tally:

SpeciesCBHHeight Comments

chestnut oak9.3N/Avery old boundary tree (Clarion River Lodge)

pignut hickory3.889.9
pignut hickory4.3105.3new park girth record
pignut hickory3.4105.4
pignut hickory4106.5new park height record

white oak8.993.1+very old, ancient twisted form
white oak10.8 90.1+ancient burled mass, from a distance
thought it was an old sugar maple with
distinct trunk groves


RE: PA Chestnut Update Matthew Hannum
Sep 01, 2006 15:50 PDT

Nice catch of trees, both of you!

Hickories are funny from my experience: then tend to be everywhere in
modest numbers, but actually figuring out which tree is which is such a
trick when they are not covered in big, almost ripe nut husks. I see the
nuts without a problem, but tend to miss the trees themselves. They are
usually not the largest of trees, nor does their bark or leaves
immediately catch one's eye.

Was that chestnut oak a low-branching tree? The ones I've seen tend to
do that, which is odd for an oak.

As for the American Chestnut, I hope that it someday returns to the
forest - the ACF is working on blight-resistant trees, and I hope they
are successful.

RE: PA Chestnut Update Carl Harting
Sep 01, 2006 19:30 PDT


Check out the Updates section of the website for a picture of the
chestnut oak attached to my chestnut post. Notice how the tree seems to
be holding a smaller fallen comrade in its elbow.


I sent the GPS coordinates and pictures of the American Chestnut to your
park email account, but I really think I should guide you there myself
(hint).Its funny that we were both drawn to the old chestnut oak. I
took a quick height measurement and got 91.8 feet. Nice burl. You
missed the chestnut and I missed the hickories - wonder what else is up


Chestnut Samples from Cook Forest David Armstrong
September 10, 2006
From: David Armstrong
To: Carl Harting
Cc: Larry (Chip) Patchel
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:32 AM
Subject: Chestnut Samples


Thanks for the submission of the chestnut sample from Cooks Forest and your interest in the American chestnut recovery program.

I examined the leaf and twig samples and believe your tree to be American chestnut based on the following:
The paper thin, canoe shape of the leaf, large teeth that curve inward are American traits. There are American simple and glandular hairs on the underside of the leaf when viewed at 30X. The thin dark brown twig is also an indicator of American.

We keep a record of all these trees located in the Mid-Atlantic region in our data base at PSU.

Thanks again for your interest.

PA Chapter- The American Chestnut Foundation
Dave Armstrong

PA Chestnut Update Carl Harting
Sep 11, 2006

I walked with Dale and Tony on Saturday and we found some decent trees along
the Clarion River upstream from the 4 mile canoe launch. We ran out of time
but found a 120+ red oak and a tulip at 135 +/- (Dale has the numbers) which
should be number 2 for the park. Dale confirmed my measurement of 82.1 for
the chestnut, and he found a new park record pignut hickory around 105 I


Dale Luthringer (Sept 13, 2006) wrote:


Here's some more pics of Carl's Am. chestnut find. It'll be awhile before I add my $0.02 to his posts though... He took Tony & I up there last weekend.


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Cook Forest PA Chestnut Update (2024)


Who is Cook Forest named after? ›

Renowned for its old-growth forests, particularly its towering white pines and hemlocks, some of which are over 300 years old, Cook Forest State Park is located in northwestern Pennsylvania. It was named after lumberman John Cook, who recognized the importance of preservation and left portions of the land untouched.

Is it cook or cooks forest? ›

The 8,500-acre Cook Forest State Park and 3,136-acre Clarion River Lands lie in scenic northwestern Pennsylvania. Known for its stands of old growth forest, the park's Forest Cathedral of towering white pines and hemlocks is a National Natural Landmark.

What is the tallest tree in PA? ›

The tallest tree in the northeastern United States is a staggering 181.3-foot-tall Eastern White Pine in Cook Forest State Park, Pennsylvania. This old growth tree is known as the Longfellow Pine, and it's one of many ancient and beautiful Eastern White Pine trees flourishing in the protected forests of the state.

What is the oldest tree in the cook forest? ›

Eighteen tree species in the park have been documented over 150 years old, with many of these species commonly surpassing 300. The oldest known trees in the park are currently a 439+ year old cucumber tree, and 471+ year old hemlock.

Who is the Wharton State Forest named after? ›

Wharton State Forest is named for Joseph Wharton whose original 96,000 acres comprise its core. The majority of the area has remained undeveloped in order to preserve the forest's natural habitat.

How did Forest Park get its name? ›

Forest Park was created in 1874 when the Missouri legislature passed an ordinance to establish three parks in St. Louis County; Carondolet Park, Forest Park and O'Fallon Park. Forest Park received this name because most of the land was originally virgin forest.

Does Pennsylvania have a lot of forests? ›

“Pennsylvania” translates from Latin to “Penn's Woods.” Forests blanket more than 60 percent (16.6 million acres) of the Commonwealth, from the deep forests of the northern tier “big woods,” to the forested ridges of the south, and to the woodlots and urban and community forests scattered in between.

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