baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2019copyright christoph hase

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan, USA


This park (239 km2) borders on Lake Superior and contains 145 km2 of virgin forest, thus being the largest unlogged forest in Michigan1. Small gap formation and light disturbances dominate the stand dynamics; thus the forest is thoroughly uneven-aged and dominated by late-successional species: Opens internal link in current windowTsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) near Lake Superior and Opens internal link in current windowAcer saccharum (sugar maple) further from the lake1. Other important trees include Tilia americana (basswood) and Opens internal link in current windowBetula alleghaniensis (yellow birch). Fires are very rare, the natural rotation period being approx. 900 years 1. Elevations range from 182 m to 600 m. Annual precipitation is approx. 800 mm 2 and fairly evenly distributed throughout the year 1. Average annual temperature at low altitudes is approx. 5°C 2.


This is a lovely forest where hiking is easy off-trail, too. Camping is also allowed outside the designated areas.




1       Frelich, L. E. & Lorimer, C. G. (1991): Natural Disturbance Regimes in Hemlock-Hardwood Forests of the Upper Great Lakes Region. Ecological Monographs 61, 2, 145–64.

2      Barnes, B. V. & Wagner, W. H. Jr. (2004): Michigan Trees. The University of Michigan Press.


Official site:

Forest dominated by Acer saccharum (sugar maple) and Quercus rubra (northern red oak).
Big Carp River.
Lake of the Clouds.
View from Summit Peak. In the foreground Acer saccharum (sugar maple).
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) forest.
Acer saccharum (sugar maple).