Monday, September 22, 2014

Virgin White Pines in North Chagrin Reservation--Willoughby Hills, Ohio

There is a small remnant virgin forest area in North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland MetroParks. North Chagrin straddles Willoughby Hills, Mayfield, and Gates Mills, and is one of Cleveland's treasures.

The remnant forest contains 15 ancient white pines (averaging 145 feet in height; dating from around 1730). These pine trees are spectacularly beautiful, and grow beside a deep ravine, along with ancient and gigantic red oaks and white oaks (as well as the other members of the Lake County forest community, which is quite diverse and full of sugar maple, beech, tulip tree, etc).

Imagine these trees being here when Native Americans roamed this land, when the only white people to pass through were the occasional French fur trappers and French Jesuit missionaries and explorers. That these trees have survived over 280 years of merciless exploitation of natural resources is astonishing. Here are a few pics of the trees and the area:

280 year-old white pine

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