The Adirondack Park is made up of over 6 million acres of New York State protected land and Gore Mountain is located in the heart of the forest preserve. Trees provide shelter and food for wildlife, insects, and other plants.

Trees can be easily classified into two broad categories based on the appearance and structure of their leaves. Hardwood or deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall then during winter, the energy within them moves deep into their roots. Meanwhile, conifers and evergreens (softwoods) produce a waxy coating on their needles to protect them from the cold, dry winter air.

Below are descriptions of several of the different types of trees that thrive on your four favorite peaks. The mountain areas where these trees are most commonly found are shown in italics. Plan to visit our hiking and biking trails this summer and see how many different trees you can identify!

 

IRONWOOD
High Peaks Area | North Side | Straight Brook Area

The Ironwood is a leafy tree that is also known as the Blue Beech or Musclewood. The hard, heavy wood is used for tool handles, walking sticks and canes, and golf clubs. This tree only grows east of the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

 

American_Beech

(AMERICAN) BEECH
Burnt Ridge Mountain | North Creek Ski Bowl | North Side | Northwoods Area

Early settlers often looked for beeches as a sign of a good potential place to farm. The wood is so heavy and hard that beeches were left uncut before power tools were available. Beechnuts provide food for numerous animals, including humans.

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN ASH
High Peaks Area | North Side | Straight Brook Area

Also called “Wayfarer’s Tree,” the Mountain Ash supposedly prevents those on a journey from getting lost. They grow in an oval shape and put on a spectacular fall show. The fruit of this tree persists through the winter and can intoxicate birds after fermenting from a few frosts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUGAR MAPLE
Burnt Ridge Mountain | North Creek Ski Bowl | North Side | Northwoods Area

The Sugar Maple is the State Tree of New York and the source of our famous maple syrup! They can live over 400 years and stand over 100′ tall.

 

 

 

 

STRIPED MAPLE 

Burnt Ridge Mountain | Northwoods Area

The Striped Maple is also known as the Moosewood, because moose eat its bark in winter. This small, shade-tolerant tree has greenish-brown bark with vertical white stripes.

 

 

 

 

White Pine

(WHITE) PINE

North Creek Ski Bowl

Sometimes called the Tree of Peace, this towering tree is the tallest in eastern North America. Mature trees usually don’t have any branches on the lower half of their trunk.

 

 

 

 

Red Oak

(NORTHERN) RED OAK

Burnt Ridge Mountain | North Creek Ski Bowl | North Side | Northwoods Area

The Red Oak is considered a national treasure. Their acorns feed wild turkeys, black bears, raccoons, and many other animals. Oaks grow over 2′ per year when young.

 

 

 

Black Cherry

BLACK CHERRY

Topridge Area

This tree’s cherries are used for making jams and wines. The seeds are widely dispersed by mammals that eat them, making this tree a prevalent Northeast species. Cherry timber is used for premier furniture and cabinets, known for its strong red color and high price.

 

 

 

Basswood

BASSWOOD

Burnt Ridge Mountain | Northwoods Area

The Basswood is also known as the “Lime Tree,” but it is unrelated to the lime fruit. Bees produce excellent honey with a mildly spicy flavor from its blossoms.

 

 

 

 

 

quacking Aspen(QUAKING) ASPEN
Burnt Ridge Mountain | North Creek Ski Bowl | Northwoods Area | Straight Brook Area

Even a slight breeze causes the leaves of this tree to tremble or “quake.” The aspen boasts the largest span and oldest recorded age (8,000 years) of any tree species. They are commonly confused with birches due to their smooth white bark marked by black scars.

 

 

 

Yellow Birch

YELLOW BIRCH
Straight Brook Area

Hawks show a preference for nesting in New York’s Yellow Birch. The wood of birches is still flammable when wet, so it is ideal for campfires.

 

 

 

 

Paper Birch

 

PAPER BIRCH
High Peak Area | North Side | Straight Brook Area | Topridge Area

This tree is also known as white birch or canoe birch and is one of the first species to colonize in the area. The bark’s oil content gives it waterproof and weather-resistant characteristics.

 

 

 

Hemlock

HEMLOCK
North Creek Ski Bowl | Straight Brook Area

The Hemlock produces some of the smallest cones in the pine family. You can use the hemlock’s needles, which contain Vitamin C, for tea. Hemlock bark is a source of tannic acid used to make leather softer and stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

Balsam

(BALSAM) FIR
Burnt Ridge Mountain | High Peaks Area | North Side | Straight Brook Area | Topridge Area

This tree is a favorite choice for Christmas. On mountaintops, firs can develop in waves as the trees most exposed to the elements die off and the new ones grow in more protected areas.

 

 

 

 

Spruce

(BLACK) SPRUCE
Burnt Ridge Mountain | High Peaks | North Side | Straight Brook Area | Topridge Area

Birds eat off this tree, but moose and deer avoid it. The Black Spruce is associated with tilted “drunken trees,” a sign of the fast thawing of permafrost.