Kendall Ledges Hemlocks
I've been on a hemlock kick recently. I had today off from work, so I stopped down at the Kendall Ledges in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to pass the time. My goal today was to shoot some eastern and Carolina hemlocks and their saplings. I've been trying to take some decent shots of these trees and it can be quite a challenge. They throw alot of shadows when it's sunny, and when it's overcast, the trees block alot of light. That's not a big deal if you have a decent camera, but I'm working with an iPhone 4S's camera. It's not awful, but photo quality deteriorates quickly in poor light.
I was able to find Carolina hemlock saplings easily. The seeds seem to be germinate well at this site. There were several young trees at various stages of development. Some of them just looked like twigs that fell off of larger trees. I had to be careful where I stepped to avoid trampling some of them. I did not find any eastern hemlock saplings. I'm sure they are there, but I must have been looking in the wrong places.
I also found out that there is a genetics study that is being done on the eastern and Carolina hemlocks throughout the US. Hopefully within the next year or so, we will finally have an answer as to whether the CVNP Carolina hemlocks are a native population. I'm really hoping they are found to be genetically distinct from other populations. That should prove they are native to Ohio. Until then, their origin remains a mystery.