Donald A. Windsor
Black ash are growing in Pharsalia within a half-mile of Deer Pond.
On Tuesday morning 23 August 2011, four of us Bullthistle Hikers found a grove of at least 7 black ash trees in a small swamp east of Camp Pharsalia. The swamp was about a furlong south of Center Road, about a half-mile east of its intersection with State Route 23, at an elevation of about 1850 feet.
Joining me on this excursion were: Stan Benedict, Sue Berkeley, and Ted Robinson. Sue was the first to spot a black ash. Here are some photos.
Identification was based on the corky bark, the compound leaves with 9 leaflets (8 sessile), and samaras. The samaras were viewed through a telescope, because we could find none on the ground. Samaras were hanging on 3 of the trees but were too high to reach. The largest tree was about 4 1/2 inches diameter at breast hight and about 20 feet tall.
The habitat was a nice swamp. These trees were growing among sphagnum, spice bush (with fruits), cinnamon fern, sensitive fern, and deep black muck criss-crossed by mossy fallen trees.
Some of these trees were gnarled and exhibited the signs of struggle, with dead limbs and heroic attempts to grasp as much light as they could.
This was an important discovery because it shows that black ash are still growing near Deer Pond, where our 1720-25 AD dugout canoe was found by Dave Walker in 1946.