Patrons Grove

Established in 2020 in honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff, a founding BRF Board member, “Patrons Grove” is a special place in the heart of Black Rock Forest that reclaims an area decimated by invasive species through generous donations from Friends of the Forest.

The native ash trees in this location were killed by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, resulting in an increased growth of non-native invasive plants. The two-acre area is being restored through the planting of a diverse mix of carbon-sequestering native trees, and by careful management of the remaining mature trees. The first tree planted was a large red oak (Quercus rubra) honoring Anne Sidamon-Eristoff’s legacy. The Grove features a gentle walking path and will mature into a special area for reflection, education, and study. Diverse forest stands such as this help promote and sustain a highly biodiverse forest community. Additionally, since our native trees absorb and store much more carbon than most invasive, Patrons Grove demonstrates a solution to managing invasive which also combats change.

Thank you for this joyous way of bringing the spirits of the Forest and the people who love it together!   To have a tree in the forest bearing one’s name is a great honor and one that I shall cherish.  To be in the company of Anne Eristoff and my father and so many others binds us all with living nature that shall continue to grow and thrive long after we are gone!  This is the essence of a living memorial.  Thank you for permitting my spirit to live on amid the vast green silence of this great Forest! ” 

-David N. Redden
Black Rock Forest
Honorary Chair

The Forest History of Patrons Grove
By John Brady, Black Rock Forest Historian

Patrons Grove: a modern name for a historical site located two mountainous miles from Black Rock Forest’s Science Center and Forest Lodge, on the north side of the intersection of White Oak and Continental Roads. This meeting of earthen woods roads is crowned by the prominent White Oak Tree. Born circa 1759, the White Oak Tree is located at the center of Black Rock Forest. Beneath the Oak’s canopy, the Continental Road, constructed in 1782, is the halfway and high point between New Windsor and West Point. After the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, George Washington’s Continental Army strategically marched to New Windsor. While awaiting the slow departure of British troops from New York City, General Henry Knox supervised the army’s construction of Continental Road, connecting the New Windsor Cantonment to the West Point fortifications. With the conclusion of the American Revolution, the army road was abandoned and, by orders signed by General Robert E. Lee, Superintendent at West Point in 1852, ownership of the Continental Road was given to the towns of Cornwall and Highlands. 

During the 1800s, Continental Road provided access over the mountainous Hudson Highlands. Mountain farmers could now homestead in this area and the Chatfield, Babcock, Hulse and Bearmore families were pioneers on this square mile of upland landscape centered around the White Oak Tree. The area we now call Patrons Grove was cleared for livestock pasture. Pigs, cows, chickens, horses, mules, and oxen would find good forage on this surprisingly good growing site in this elevated part of the Highlands. It is believed that during this time, pony express riders could find a fresh horse near the great White Oak. This island of shade surrounded by tree-cut farmland must surely have been a welcome site to weary travelers. The land surrounding Patrons Grove displays a century-old history of Highlands farming that was followed by experimental forest management activities. 

The creation of Black Rock Forest in the autumn of 1927 by Dr. Ernest Stillman began the era of forest reclamation and management. Under the leadership of Forest Director Henry Tryon, a woods crew labored on extensive tree planting and silvicultural treatments to generate the forest of today. 

Henry Tryon was a 1912 Harvard Forestry School graduate. His endeavors into experimental forestry were dictated by the state of the forest in 1927. Repeated cuttings during the 1800s resulted in an unsound stump-sprout forest of oak, hickory, ash, chestnut, and red maple. This poor state was compounded by the devastation of chestnut blight. Species reproducing only by seed –pine, spruce, and hemlock–were severely challenged to persist. Tryon’s efforts to restock conifer species by planting seedlings in open areas created by forest thinning treatments were mostly unsuccessful due to drought, frost, and animal browsing. 

The first silvicultural treatment in Patrons Grove site was initiated in 1930. Citing Mr. Tryon’s operation report: “The old field-pasture area… was given a thorough cleaning and weeding. All dead, dying, and weed trees were taken. The occasional old fruit trees found were given some pruning with the axe but were not cut as their product is needed for birds, coons, and deer.” The remaining saplings were thinned and trimmed by machete and axe. “I sought to establish a uniform crown level for the desired reproduction. This resulted in leaving the crown about 20 feet or less in height. Wasps and hornets were too plentiful for comfort.” In 1940 the treatment was repeated, and the “newly cut oak butts revealed that the first thinning of 1930 had, in some cases, increased the annual diameter increment some 40%.” 

After these two improvement thinnings, the Patrons Grove site was left to grow for forty years. The resultant growth was thick, harboring the previously eradicated ruffed grouse and red squirrel (in the 1980’s), and continuing to support deer, grey and flying squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, and numerous songbirds. 

In 1982, a heavy thinning was implemented to release the best specimens of white ash and red oak to reach their full potential while simultaneously creating openings in the canopy to allow sunlight to penetrate to the forest floor and initiate forest regeneration. The straight, 10”-12” diameter white ash trees that were harvested were sent to Ellenville, NY to become baseball bats, embossed with the “Adirondack bat” design. 

The remaining stand of trees reacted favorably to the thinning, increasing both tree trunk girth and crown size.  

Patrons grove Gallery


Anchor Trees

*Click on section letter to view photo. Tree sizes may vary.

Black Rock ForestIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffB
Black Rock ForestIn honor and memory of William T. GoldenC
Black Rock ForestIn honor and memory of Sibyl R. GoldenD
Black Rock ForestIn honor and memory of Jack KarnigG
Black Rock ForestIn honor of David N. ReddenC
Black Rock ForestIn honor of William S.F. SchusterF
Black Rock ForestIn honor of Hume R. SteyerC
Richard & Kerri BartlettC
Jim, and Catherine, Marianne & Jamie MagidIn memory of Caryn Levy MagidA
Catherine, Marianne & Jamie MagidIn honor of James MagidA
Andrew & Catherine Sidamon-EristoffIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffH
Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffB
Elizabeth Sidamon-Eristoff
& Hunter Lewis
In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffI
Simon & Nancy Sidamon-EristoffIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffH
Hume R. Steyer & Nanahya SantanaIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffC
Nat & Tracy StillmanIn memory of John S. StillmanI

Hardwood Trees

*Click on section letter to view photo. Tree sizes may vary.

Black Rock ForestIn honor of Douglas Land and Lynn PeeblesF
The Browning SchoolDedicated to Black Rock ForestB
Daniel & Louise FrielIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffC
Robert FullerIn memory of Edward & Lillian FullerG
William & Eileen GlaserIn honor of Arlette GlaserE
Marjorie L. & Gurnee F. HartIn honor of David N. ReddenC
Family & Friends of Dr. John C. Hordines:In memory of Dr. John C. Hordines, Jr.E
Dawn Connolly
The Decker Family
Drs. David & Mindy Estin and family
Kimberly Farrugia
Dr. Olga Fishman
Dr. Dorian Gomez
David Grossman
Kerrey Handibode
David & Sarah Harrison
David Hernandez
Mr. and Mrs. John Hickey

Highland Falls – Ft. Montgomery Board of Education
Highland Falls Intermediate School Sunshine Club
Jennifer Hordines-McFarlane
Dr. Harvey Horn
Allison Hull
Joyce M. Jaffee
Ronni King
Dr. Michelle Koury
Laura Krantz
Aileen Greenberg-Kriner and Michael Kriner

Dr. Todd Kuiken and Nick Harrison
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Kulick
Janet C. McElroy
Mike Meyers
Dr. Uma Ballava Mishra
Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Emergency Department
Anthony Moscatello
Neurosurgeons of NJ, PC: Drs. Lustgarten, Olson, Gills, and staff
Joseph Nicolay
Dr. Ty Olson
Kate Perkett
Bernadette Persina
William Prout

Dr. Ash Puttaswamy
Dr. Marijane Reinhard
Roshelle Rozenblum
Joan Ryan
SJ & Associates
Jay Santos
Spencer Shaw
Dr. Frank Sheboy
Christie C. Shields-Pla
Leslie Simons
Elana Stern
Hal Stern
Terry Whitebook
Harriet Wiser
Peck Stacpoole FoundationIn honor of Robert W. AshtonB
Ted & Carol Price
& Gail Price Messiqua
In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffC
Thomas & Georgina RussoIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffC
AnonymousHudson Highlands Land TrustI


*Click on section letter to view photo. Tree sizes may vary.

Black Rock Forest & Hilary S. CallahanIn memory of Tom WatersF
Black Rock Forest, Matthew Palmer & Annabelle PalmerIn memory of Jennifer FreemanB
Black Rock Forest & Sylvia SmithIn memory of Dr. Stephen Wortman & Charles SmithC
Black Rock Forest & Vacek Family and Friends:In memory of Richard VacekG
Valentina DeSmedt-Wells
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3
Patricia & John Pawliczak
Sarah & Craig Pawliczak
Beverly Soderberg & Friday night Bible Class
Dawn Vacek
Philip Ammirato B
Jason BabcockIn honor of Jacob L. BabcockI
Gwen Cohen Brown In Memory of Emily Rose MarcusF
Marie-Hélène du ChastelIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffC
Robert T. Fallon, Jr. & Debra AdamsIn honor of Bill & Francie SchusterD
Robert T. Fallon, Jr. & Debra AdamsIn memory of Robert T. “Doc” Fallon, SrF
Robert T. Fallon, Jr. & Debra AdamsIn memory of Mary S. FallonC
Robert T. Fallon, Jr. & Debra AdamsIn memory of Edgar & Nancy SchusterC
Jean E. FargoIn memory of Henry EriksonB
Irvine & Elizabeth FlinnA
Chris & Desly FryerIn memory of P.J.E
Kristin GambleI
Jennifer & Bud Gruenberg
The V & L Marx Foundation
In memory of Sibyl R. Golden and
In honor of William Kelly & Geoffrey Dann
James & Margaret HarbisonIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffI
Robert & Mary Grace HeineIn memory of Dr. Paul FarmerF
Kim Kastens & Dale ChayesIn honor of Holly & Dana ChayesH
Samuel T. KeanyIn honor of Anabel Keany & Martha HirschmanB
Josie MerckIn honor of
The Hellie & Esty Stowell Family
George & Judy MuserIn memory of Curt & Frani MuserI
Anne and Frederick Osborn, IIIIn honor of our 50th Wedding AnniversaryB
James & Mary Ottaway, Jr.In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffA
The Raftopoulos FamilyH
Ru & Sheila RauchF
Sara Lee & Axel SchupfIn memory of Sibyl R. GoldenE
Constantine Prince Sidamon-EristoffIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffH
E. Ward & Carolyn SmithIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffF
Christie Van KehrbergE
AnonymousIn honor of Anne P. Sidamon-EristoffH


*Click on section letter to view photo. Tree sizes may vary.

Phebe T. & George BantaC
Tom & Nancy Berner B 
Peter & Helena Bienstock In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff  B 
Diana & Stephen BittnerJoseph & Mary Ann Roscino B 
Zachary Buckter With love to Alyssa Buckter  B 
Albert Butzel B 
Daniel D. ChazinC
Susan & Hank ChristensenD 
Dedicated by Anne M. Cliadakis In honor of Brienne Cliadakis D 
Andy CogbillIn memory of Thomas H Cogbill who got to know his grandchildren best in these woods.
Yaniris CortezDedicated to my son, Kyle Xavier CortezD
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Dewey, Jr. In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Joe DizneyD
Michael Douglas In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Eastern Orange ASC In memory of Lance O’Dell G
Robert T. Fallon, Jr. & Debra Adams In memory of Edgar & Nancy Schuster F
John and Vickie FiedlerD
Veronique Firkusny In honor of Silvia Callegari  B 
Jerry GageG
Edwin A. GoodmanC
Donald GordonIn memory of my father, Donald GordonC
Eugene R. Gorman In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Jane Barnet and Paul GottsegenC
Fenella G. & Morrison H. Heckscher In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Ted and Laura HromadkaC
Stephen Ives & Anne SymmesC
Andrew Jacobs & Lotus Do In honor of Tom Waters A
Andrew Jacobs & Lotus Do In honor of Mary Fallon  B 
Andrew Jacobs & Lotus Do In honor of John Brady A
Andrew Jacobs & Lotus Do In honor of Matt Brady A
Lotus DoIn Honor of Annemiek Do Gersten on her 65th Birthday
Martin E. Karlinsky & Christine Ruppert In honor of Lucas & Alex D
Bill & Tina KellyC
John KingDedicated to the Life of Patricia A. King
David Krulwich In memory of Maxine Tepper Krulwich I
Scott Levine In memory of Jackie Levine (1944-2020) I
John & Vanessa Lilly In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch In honor of Black Rock Forest staff I
Joseph F. Maloney, III In memory of Sandra Mennerich  B 
Cathy and Ronald Marczyk In honor of John Brady  B 
Donald Keith McNeil B 
Bob NanniniH
Katina Palamidas In memory of my mother, Bessie (Paul) Palamidas C
David & Jeannette ReddenC
Nancy Bailey Riegel In memory of my husband, William M. Riegel B 
Mathew & Amy SalinoH
William & Frances Schuster In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff H
William & Frances Schuster In memory of Edgar & Nancy Schuster F
Michael Seitz & Young Soon KimI
Elizabeth Sidamon-Eristoff In honor of my Grandma I
Susan Sidamon-Eristoff In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff I
Nat & Tracy Stillman In memory of Dr. Ernest Stillman C
Lally Stowell In honor of Esty Stowell, Jr. C
Family of Patricia Patterson Sturges B 
John Bigelow Taylor & Dianne DublerD
Christiaan van Heerden In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
Halstead Wheeler In honor of Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff C
John Yates & Mary LatinoIn honor of Louise LatinoC