Roebling Park Dendrology

A walking tour of Roebling Park in Hamilton, NJ.

Roebling Park Dendrology

Hamilton Township, New Jersey 08690, United States

Created By: Unity College

Tour Information

Roebling Park is owned by the Mercer County Park Commission and is part of the Abbott Marshlands. The Abbott Marshlands is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in NJ, and has hundreds of plant species. This tour previews a select few of the trees and shrubs in the park. I made this tour for a college project. The Abbott Marshlands is one of the best archaeological sites in the state. The oldest standing house in the county is part of the park, and many Lenape artifacts have been found in the area (removal of artifacts is illegal). Spring Lake and the area around it used to be an amusement park, called White City. A staircase and part of a shoot the chute can still be seen around the lake. The Tulpehaking Nature Center is part of the park. It is open several days a week, and feature exhibits on the area (it is currently closed because of Covid). In addition to this tour, the park is a great place to picnic, boat, birdwatch and fish. Many nature programs are offered in the park.

For this tour, I recommend wearing long pants, such as jeans, and sturdy footwear. Poison Ivy is common and many plants have thorns. Some trails also flood after heavy rains, and downed trees can be expected after storms. Creeks and wetlands in the park are tidal. It is important to stay on the trails and not go in water. Watson's Creek (marked as Rowan Lake on Google Maps) appears gentle, but has extremely strong currents and many submerged objects and is deeper than it appears. Muddy areas exposed at low tide are very easy to get stuck in. Staying on the trails can help minimize damage to the natural area, and can prevent the risk of you catching Poison Ivy or getting pricked with thorns.

Tour created by Nick Alpeza.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

River Birch (Betula nigra) is a small to medium sized tree.  River Birches are distinct, because they often have multiple trunks, and are easily identified by their papery, peeling bark.  These trees are often planted by landscapers and a... Read more
Tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipfera) are one of the largest trees in the area.  They were chosen for this tour for several reasons.  First, they have distinct, tulip-shaped leaves and pretty flowers that resemble tulips.  They are also ve... Read more
Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is a medium sized tree.  It lives in many places across the US, encompassing a wide range of habitats.  It is often planted as an ornamental.  Many parts of the tree are red or have a reddish tinge, including the ... Read more
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) is a small or medium sized tree.  These trees were included in the tour, because several of them were planted all along the trail at Spring Lake, next to the edge of the water.  They have a distinct weepi... Read more
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styrafica) is a medium or large sized tree.  This tree is part of the tour, because they grow wild in many parts of the park, and because of their distinct spiky seed pods.  This tree grows in the berm.  There is an... Read more
Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a small sized tree.  They are often planted as landscaping plants, and orginally grew in Asia.  This tree was included, because it is an invasive species.  This means that it does not naturally grow her... Read more
Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) is a medium sized tree.  They are fast growing, and their leaves have deeper lobes than most maples.  They are not commonly planted in urban areas, because they have brittle wood, which results in many brok... Read more
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) is a shrub or small tree.  Autumn Olive has green leaves, with silvery undersides.  This shrub is part of the tour, because it is an invasive species, and is displacing many native species.  In addition... Read more
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) is medium or large tree.  It was chosen for the tour, because it is common in park and the surrounding area.  It is native, grows wild in the park, and is often planted in streets and parks in our area.   It ... Read more
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is a medium or large tree.  While it is not the most abundant tree in the park, this species was included in this tour for several reasons.  First, it has beautiful fall color, often turning scarlet, gold or o... Read more
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a medium sized tree.  This tree is included in the tour because it is prevalent in the area and very easy to identify.  It has thin, light gray bark, which scars easily.  The leaves also turn golden ... Read more
White Oak (Quercus alba) is a medium sized tree.  White Oaks are included in this tour, because they are a common, easily identifed oak, and because their acorns are an important food source for animals.  They have leaves with rounded lob... Read more
White Mulberry (Morus alba) is a small deciduous tree.  This tree was chosen for the project, because it shows how trees can survive injury.  The top of this tree was destroyed or cut off years ago and this tree continues to live on.  In... Read more
Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) is a small tree.  Southern Catalpa is included in this tour, because of its striking leaves.  Its leaves can be over 12 inches long, and are heart shaped.  Southern Catalpa is exotic.  They also h... Read more
American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a large tree.  This tree was included in the tour, because of its huge size.  Many Sycamores in the park have attained large sizes, and this is one of the largest.  It has mottled bark, simila... Read more
Black Locust (Robinia psuedoacacia) is a medium sized tree.  They are part of this tour, because they are common in several places in the park.  The bark has large ridges, and the leaves have many smaller leaflets (smaller leaves attached... Read more
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a medium sized coniferous tree.  It is part of the tour, because it is one of the only conifers in the park.  They are typically pretty trees, with short green needles and tiny cones.  However, many ... Read more
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a large coniferous evergreen tree.  Eastern White Pine was chosen for the tour, because it is a conifer, and it is the tallest tree on the east coast, capable of growing to 150 feet in height and 5 fee... Read more
American Holly (Ilex opaca) is an evergreen shrub or small tree.  It is on the tour, because it is a pretty plant that is easy to identify.  It has hard green leaves, with small thorns on them.  It also has red berries.  It is commonly ... Read more
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is small tree. This tree was included in the tour, because Japanese Maples are commonly used as landscaping plants.  Because they are cultivated, Japanese Maples often have a veriety of leaf shapes and leaves... Read more


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