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Bear Creek Trail, Gannett Poplar and a nice hemlock! (GA)

Today I was able to take a trip to the Bear Creek trail near Ellijay, GA in the Chattahoochee National Forest. This was a rare kind of tree hunting trip where my wife and our dog joined us, so I was pretty stoked. Main primary goal was to locate and (re)measure the state co-champion tuliptree known as the "Gennett Poplar". It's a well visited tree on a popular hiking and mountain biking trail. For those interested in visiting the tree, a simple Google search will lead to good info and accurate directions. It's only about 12 miles outside of Ellijay.

Being such a quick trip I only had a chance to measure a few trees. The creek was running a little high, so we had a few "wet feet" crossings, much to my wife's dismay and my dog's delight :)

The first tree that caught my eye was a one-off American Holly:
Bear Creek Holly.jpg

Soon afterwards we began seeing more and more downed trees. Some almost looking like avalanche debris you see out west. Then I realized that it was probably tornado damage from one of the many vicious storms we've had in the past 2 years:
Bear Creek tornado damage.jpg

The damage began to let up just when the trees started getting bigger. A pair of large looking hemlocks along the banks of Bear Creek caught my eye:
Bear Creek Hemlocks along creek.jpg

Just before the famous poplar was the real highlight of the hike- a gi-normous hemlock! This beast measured in at 12' CBH x 161.2' 140.2' Tall!! I didn't get a full shot of the tree, but here's one with my dog for scale:
Bear Creek Hemlock.jpg
After some quick searching of the ENTS site, it seems that the stats on this tree are particularly impressive for Georgia. I know Jess and Will likely have data not posted on the site yet, but can anyone expand on the impressiveness (or non-impressiveness) of this tree? I could only find one hemlock over 160' documented for Georgia.

And now on to the Gennett Poplar...
Gannett2.jpg
Gannett3.jpg
Gannett4.jpg
Gannett1.jpg
Gannett Poplar6.jpg

Overall this was a great trip, but just made me want to go back and spend more time. There seemed to be some much taller Tuliptrees in the deep creek bed ravine near the campground along FS Road 241.... also we only did 1 mile (out and back ) of a 6 mile loop. Always a reason to return.
by eliahd24
Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:38 pm
 
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Re: Hello from Northeast Georgia!

John,

Welcome to NTS. I can't imagine a hemlock at 12' diameter either, because there ain't no such animal. I used to post and even misspeak substituting diameter for circumference all the time, however I think I have gotten a little better about that recently. Still a 12' circumference hemlock is quite impressive. Most posts use circumference rather than diameter because most trees are not perfectly round in cross section, so circumference is a more accurate and comparable measurement. Hope you enjoy your hikes and get into tree measuring. There is a lot of impressive forest in Georgia to explore.
by Bart Bouricius
Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:15 am
 
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Re: Hello from Northeast Georgia!

John- the creekside forest near the Gennett (or Gannett) Poplar is pretty sweet. The trailhead is second growth stuff, then all of a sudden... maybe 1/2 mile in the trees just start getting BIG! There's definitely some monster hemlocks and they are still alive (I last visited in Nov. 2013). If you have time you need to also put Cooper Creek trail on your list of places to visit. Another short trail, but LOADED with some primary forest about 1 mile into the hike. Including some tuliptrees that are as big as the Gannett Poplar. ALso Sosebee Cove is fantastic (near Vogel State Park).

Happy Hunting and feel free to email me anytime: eli_dickerson(at)yahoo(dot)com

~Eli
by eliahd24
Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:43 pm
 
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Re: Hello from Northeast Georgia!

Welcome,
You're in an excellent spot for tree hunting. The Cohutta Mountains and the Chattooga River beckon you. Northeast Georgia is a gem for tall trees. Check out the measuring guidelines, get some gear and get out in the woods!
by bbeduhn
Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:57 pm
 
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Cedar photo- Stone Mountain, GA

stonemountaincedar.jpg

Clayton Adams to Native Tree Society

An ancient split trunk Southern red cedar tree drinks rain water from a granite pool on Stone Mountain. Juniperus Virginiana.

.
by edfrank
Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:19 am
 
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

As I said earlier, great report, but now I have a suggestion to improve the shots. Buy one of those life size cardboard cut outs of a celebrity or politician and lean it against the trees you shoot, rather than trying to fool us with Ophie, your 13" long dog.
by Bart Bouricius
Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:52 pm
 
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Re: Hello from Northeast Georgia!

Welcome!

I went to high school in Ellijay. First place I ever backpacked was the Cohutta Wilderness Area. (Although I never saw the Gennett Poplar!)
by jamesrobertsmith
Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:47 pm
 
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Re: Hello from Northeast Georgia!

Welcome to the forums from a fellow tree lover and geocacher.
by pdbrandt
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:28 pm
 
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Re: Gennett Poplar

For an account of a climb in the Gennett Poplar, see "Climbing the Gennett Poplar," Volume 3 #1 of Tree Climber published in 1990 by Tree Climbers International in our "Newsletter Archives". Interesting article!
by pattyjenkins1
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:33 pm
 
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