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Old 09-22-2018, 10:32 PM
 
195 posts, read 291,967 times
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I live in SW Idaho, but I grew up in Northern Illinois. I want to get back to where there are clumps of deciduous trees. I am not talking about an endless blanket of trees like in Tennessee, but rather clumps of trees, small wooded areas dotting the landscape. I want a small city, so I am looking at Topeka, Lawrence, and Manhatten. Yes I know there is Google Maps. But I can't seem to get a good feel for it by looking at the aerial view.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:29 PM
 
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Eastern Kansas is fairly hilly and wooded, but not like Tennessee. As far as rural areas go, Manhattan to KC is all similar. West from Manhattan gradually gets less wooded and less hilly. Manhattan and Lawrence are both nice towns, but Topeka lags behind them and has more crime. I have 1 acre outside Topeka and I like it here. Weather is the biggest downside.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Eastern Kansas is fairly hilly and wooded, but not like Tennessee. As far as rural areas go, Manhattan to KC is all similar. West from Manhattan gradually gets less wooded and less hilly. Manhattan and Lawrence are both nice towns, but Topeka lags behind them and has more crime. I have 1 acre outside Topeka and I like it here. Weather is the biggest downside.

thanks, fairly wooded and hilly is what i want. I was looking at Iowa but decided it was too far north. I think we have very nice weather in Boise. Except winter when we get inversions. Outside of winter, spring, summer, and fall are always sunny. I will miss the weather. But the landscape doesn't suit me here.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 456,301 times
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Here's a description of Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) outside Manhattan. It states the KPBS has typical Flint Hills Gallery forests dominated by bur and chinquapin oaks and hackberry occur in bands along the major stream courses and cover approximately 7% of the preserve area.

Here's a Google map of the KPBS, in satellite view the forested areas are dark green & follow the stream courses (riparian habitat).

Prior to settlement, the tall grass prairie was estimated to burn every 3-5 years on avg. from lightning strikes; this prevented forestation, other than along waterways. Wagon trains were advised that the last trees big enough to cut a wagon axle from along the trail were @ Council Grove (S. of Manhattan). Settlement brought suppression of fires & encroachment of trees into the prairie. Red Cedar is the primary evergreen invader of prairie. Farming is restricted to deeper soils where the limestone outcrops were not at the surface (and floodplains along rivers).

The horizon is a big presence in KS. Seeing the sun set was something we missed when we lived S of St. Louis. As @Mattks mentioned, the weather is the biggest downside; & is highly variable (92 F <-> 68 F for highs within the last week). There's no place to escape the weather (well, Colorado mountains), as it's state-wide, with variations due to weather fronts. The WIND is pretty much a constant. Helps to evaporate sweat; enforces the concept of "wind chill."

Also keep in mind that 98% of KS is private lands; only Rhode Island has a lower per capita % of public lands. What passes for public lands is primarily Corps of Engineers flood projects where you can observe your legs disappear as you wade into the murky water.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
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There are some nicely wooded areas both between Overland Park and Ft. Scott and Leavenworth and Atchison.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Manhattan is in the Flint Hills. Pretty much grassland on the hills and trees in the valleys along the creeks. Manhattan itself is in the river valley and has more trees in town. Lawrence is in more flatter farmland with high ridges/hills interspersed here and there. Lawrence is built along one of these ridges Mt. Oread with the University of Kansas sitting atop of it. Beautiful views of surrounding farmland and the other ridges. I'd say that it's more farmland than trees. Same thing though. Trees along waterfronts and in some areas. Plenty of trees in town.

Manhattan and Lawrence are beautiful, charming towns. And scenic as well.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
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The area of the state with the densest tree cover is Leawood to Prairie Village in Johnson County- almost all planted. Missouri River valley has dense tree cover by the Missouri border. VERY LITTLE public land with forests in Kansas, however due to climate.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:07 AM
 
195 posts, read 291,967 times
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Thanks for the comments about lack of public land. It never dawned on me that this might be an issue. When I grew up in Northern Illinois, there was little patches of forest or wooded area everywhere. As a kid, we explored them all mainly looking for old bottles and beer cans, or making forts, hunting for mushrooms, looking for Big Foot, etc. The question about whether it was private of public (most likely it was private land) never dawned on us. I wonder if things have changed since I was a boy. I have been out west for many, many years.

Last edited by Count David; 09-24-2018 at 12:23 PM.. Reason: fixed pubic to public
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:08 AM
 
195 posts, read 291,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
The area of the state with the densest tree cover is Leawood to Prairie Village in Johnson County- almost all planted. Missouri River valley has dense tree cover by the Missouri border. VERY LITTLE public land with forests in Kansas, however due to climate.

What is the significance of "all planted". Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:11 AM
 
195 posts, read 291,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
Manhattan is in the Flint Hills. Pretty much grassland on the hills and trees in the valleys along the creeks. Manhattan itself is in the river valley and has more trees in town. Lawrence is in more flatter farmland with high ridges/hills interspersed here and there. Lawrence is built along one of these ridges Mt. Oread with the University of Kansas sitting atop of it. Beautiful views of surrounding farmland and the other ridges. I'd say that it's more farmland than trees. Same thing though. Trees along waterfronts and in some areas. Plenty of trees in town.

Manhattan and Lawrence are beautiful, charming towns. And scenic as well.

Northern Illinois had more farm land than trees, too. But there were many many stands of trees, and small forests, too. This the the perfect environment for me because I love farmland.
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