Square Hill Property – Protecting the Watershed – Oh and Some Big White Oaks

The Square Hill Property is not directly on the lake but Hersey Brook flows through it from Sargent’s Pond. The property, therefore, helps protect our watershed. There are no trails on it so it is not particularly “user friendly” and some of it was farmland that has now grown up to very thick woods. At the same time, there are some nice features.

Hersey Brook is a small stream but the mossy rocks are quite beautiful. It twists and turns down through a gentle valley with mostly open forests on both sides. The Square Hill property is north of the stream while the south side is owned by another landowner.

As you approach Sargent’s Pond, there is an overgrown old beaver pond that is now drained and grassy. As the two monitors of the property were approaching this spot, it was nice to know that we were getting near the pond.

Arriving at the pond, a small channel that allowed the water to get to Hersey Brook was seen. It was quite shallow and not boat friendly but the lily pads were happy in the shallow water. The area was quite swampy but the monitoring trip occurred in the early Fall so bugs were not present. It might be a different story in the Summer.

Returning from the pond, a few white oak trees were seen with trunks that were 10 to 12 feet in diameter. They are pretty impressive trees but were left when the property was lumbered long ago because their trunks split into many branches about 10 feet off the ground. This meant that there wasn’t much valuable lumber in the tree so it was left standing. One of the trees did not seem to be completely healthy as seen by the fungi growing on it.

Monitors visit each of the Wentworth Watershed Association properties or land with easements on them to check to see if there are any incursions that need to be dealt with. In some cases, the boundaries are well marked as in the picture below. In others, it is a bit harder to follow the lines although old barbed wire on trees often tell where the lines are. These blue witness marks were placed by an adjacent landowner as their property was surveyed. They then did some lumbering on their property. The lumbering was set back from the property line so there was no incursion into the Wentworth Watershed property.

It is a big tree! The one below is as big.

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