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Ames Forester

Abstract

Lake Vermillion is situated 1n the Northern portion of St. Louis county, north and a little east of Duluth and may lbe reached via the Duluth and Iron Range Railway. The lake is only 35 miles long, but it has 800 miles of shore line. In many places the shore line is rocky, in others, however, there· are sandy beaches. The lake is noted for its many islands. Those who ·profess to know, state that there are 355. Some islands are only 100 feet square, while one of the large islands contains several thousand acres, including several small lakes. The depth of the lake varies from a few feet to 150 feet. At one time there was considerable timber in the region, mostly white pine (Pinus strobus), red pine (Pinus resinosa) and some Jack pine (Pinus divaricata). Paper birch (Betula papyrifera), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), Arbor vitae (Thuja occidentalis), tamarack (Larix laricina), white spruce (Picea canadensis), black spruce (P. mariana), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), and Balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifera) occur in swamps and along the streams. There is also Populus grandidentata on a few islands. Other species of trees occur but they are scarcely merchantable. These trees are as follows: Bass wood (Tilia americana), hard maple (Acer saccharum), red ash (Fraxinus Pennsylvanica), and green ash (F. Pennsylvanica var lanceolata). The pin cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica) is common everywhere, especially in burnt-over areas. The choke cherries (P. virginiana) is also common, but never attains the dimensions of a tree. The quaking aspen (Populus tremuloi des) is one of the common trees, never, however, of large size. Mountain ash (Pyrus Americana) is always a shrub or a very small tree. The oak (Quercus ellipsodialis) is a rare tree occurring on Pine Island. The blue beach or iron wood (Oarpinus caroliniana) was only found once at the lower end of the lake, near the Vermillion dam. It was shrublike and only leaves were observed: This locality makes apparently the most northern limit in Minnesota for the species. The speckled Alder (Alnus incana) is common in the swamps and on the shores of the lake. American elm (Ulmus americana) is confined to the streams and beaches of the lake.

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