Wooster Memorial Park – Now Part of the Old Growth Forest Network

On 20 April 2021 Wooster Memorial Park became part of the Old Growth Forest Network.  The founder and director, Joan Maloof, visited Wooster Memorial Park forest to officially induct the park into the Network. The Wooster Tree Ring Lab cored some of the white oaks in the park to determine their age and to see how they are responding to the increasingly wetter climate of Northeast Ohio. Nathan Kreuter (Biology) and Nick Wiesenberg (Earth Sciences Dept. Technician) found the oldest trees and helped work up the tree-ring data.

Joan Maloof with the largest hemlock in the park.

Nathan Kreuter cores one of the oldest oaks as part of his tutorial at the Wooster Tree Ring Lab.

The ring-widths of the Wooster Memorial Park chronology. There was a likely time of early logging in the park about 1815 and again in the 1920s
Tree ring widths are most sensitive to April-August total precipitation. The correlation between the ring-widths and precipitation changes over time with the strongest relationship r = 0.6 for the interval 1945-1975. After 1975 the correlation falls off possibly due to the increase in precipitation and loss of sensitivity at the site with the abundant moisture.

Friends of the trees and Friends of Wooster Memorial Park with Joan Maloof.

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3 Responses to Wooster Memorial Park – Now Part of the Old Growth Forest Network

  1. Bill Reinthal says:

    The wetter, or drier (this year, we are abnormally dry, just south of Wooster), conditions may not prove to be, even remotely, as big a hazard to our beloved trees, when compared to what global trade has wrought: Dutch elm disease; chestnut blight; gypsy moths; emerald ash borer; Asian long-horned beetle; spotted lanternfly; who knows what will be next? Glaciers caused forests to slowly advance and retreat alongside their representative long-term climate changes, but our forests are soon to be a faint whisper of what they were, just a century ago, all in pursuit of open markets. The Anthropocene will be pondered for its exquisitely poor fossil record, a direct result of the ongoing extinction event we are overseeing.

  2. gwiles says:

    Yes, walking through Wooster Memorial Park and seeing all the downed ash trees is a stark reminder of the “sudden impact” to these forests.

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