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Re: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

ENTS,

10 is the attachment limit but I need to add the location jpg to those spruces.

JP
by James Parton
Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:30 pm
 
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Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Will, Jess, Josh & ENTS.

Yesterday I decided to return to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to follow up on a measurement of a really tall White Pine located on the ridge above Little Santeetlah Creek. The tree was an old scraggly pine that I measured at a whopping 176.3 feet tall back in May 2008. Arriving at Kilmer at 11:30am I ventured into the forest to find the tree. It worried me that the LiDar data that Will spoke of did not pick it up. Being new to measuring at that time I knew I could possibly be off but I felt not by that much. Arriving at the tree my heart was let down. It was dead and had lost it's top! I had noticed while measuring the tree in 08 that it had an old scraggly look with some dead limbs but I did not expect to come back and find the tree dead. I measured it to the new highest point below the crown breakage and it came out to 145.9' tall. Naturally, I was very let down. It may have been the tallest tree measured in JKMF before it's death. Dead remains of it's top and limbs surround the tree on the hillside.

I noticed that it was not alone. Hiking onward I found a number of other large White Pine dead. I wonder what is killing them? I suspect an insect but some of these trees are quite old and like people they can die of old age. The most saddning part is all the hemlocks are dead. The riverbottoms is lined with acres upon acres of dead hemlocks. Sunlight easily reaches the forest floor in what should have been shade. The only healthy hemlocks I find is the small treated ones at the parking area.

Searching off the Naked Ground trail I find a number of Great Whites but all fall short of the magic 150 mark. I also looked for a Chestnut rampic found by Ranger Dan. I did not successfully locate it. Maybe next time. I did find a really tall American Holly. 63.7 feet tall. It is the tallest I have measured outside of Congaree National Park SC.

Heading back to the car I got a drink and then headed for a quick measuring spree up in Poplar Grove. Naturally this is awesome. Those trees are so big! On my last visit I went in May after the leaves were on the trees which makes measuring difficult. Today should be easier. As a summary, most I roughed out in the 140s but a fair number reached above 150 and I gave them closer attention. I measured one giant to 161.0 feet tall! I found others that were huge thick " chunks " only 100-120 feet tall. They look like hydras with wide short trunks with tentacle-like limbs only at the very top. When photographing these trees I thought, pictures won't do these trees justice.

I would love to have had more time in this wonderful forest. Camping at the nearby Rattler Ford Campground would be a good idea. There is much to be done here and I believe that ENTS has only scratched the surface. I had to hurry too much through Poplar Grove. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive home.

Also, on this trip I used my " new " Garmin GPS. Hopefully it will help others locate trees I measure, beyond my usual location descriptions. I just gotta learn how to use it. Be patient with me.

Also, I have uploaded a couple of pictures that need an id to the plants. One is a pinkish-purple flower that resembles Bloodroot but Bloodroot is usually white with a yellow center. Another is a fern. Jess? ENTS?

On the way home I measured two Norway Spruce trees I noticed on the way. I thought, " those look really tall ". They are in a small clear-cut area near the intersection of Sugar Loaf rd and US 74. Several Norway spruce are here but I measure only two due to them being on private property with no trespassing signs. I could not enter and girth the trees either. The attached image shows the spruces as white dots with me ( A dot with an M ) within the oval ( clear-cut ) area. The image was taken before the clearcutting. One of them is 125.0 feet tall. I was estatic! I don't think the NC state record is much more than this. Maybe 128-130 and I think it is a the Biltmore Estate.

Here are the measurements

Measurements.jpg

James
by James Parton
Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:29 pm
 
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Entering GPS Coordinates in Google Earth.

ENTS,

Yesterday while visiting Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest I used my " new " GPS for the first time to record the location of some of the trees located there. Upon returning home I plugged the coordinates into Google Earth only to find out the program would not recognise or locate them. For example, my Garmin GPS gives the location of a pine there like this. N35 21.566' W083 55.920' Google will not take it typed as this and the computer does not have a degree symbol. Looking info up on how to resolve this on the web I came to this conclusion. Type it like this. 35 21.56N, 83 55.92W. Then it will work and locate the tree.

My goal for using the GPS is to enable others to locate significant trees in a trip report so others can go look at them for themselves, whether by a computer map program like Google Earth or by using a GPS unit. It sure beats trying to describe to them where the tree is. I am just learning this and hope others find it useful. But it only works if the computer or GPS unit recognises the coordinates. Should I put it in a post as it appears on my unit or should I re-type it so Google Earth will recognise it?

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread357252/pg1

James
by James Parton
Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:18 am
 
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Dyson Trees

ENTS,

Check this out.

A Dyson tree is a hypothetical genetically-engineered plant, (perhaps resembling a tree) capable of growing in a comet, suggested by the physicist Freeman Dyson. He suggested that such plants could produce a breathable atmosphere within hollow spaces in the comet (or even within the plants themselves) utilising solar energy and cometary materials, thus providing self-sustaining habitats for humanity in the outer solar system.

A Dyson tree might consist of a few main trunk structures growing out from a comet nucleus, flowering into branches and leaves that intertwine, forming a spherical structure possibly dozens of kilometers across.

From Wikipedia.


Some have suggested that Dyson trees could be remotely naturally occurring. Trees in space. What a thought.

I read two books by Donald Moffitt which features Dyson Trees called " Space Poplars " which humans used as interstellar spacecraft. They were propelled by reflective outer leaves acting as solar cells. A bussard ramjet was also used. The books were quite good though remembering the details is difficult. It has been years since I have read them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Genesis_Quest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Genesis

Also, there was " Lifeforce " a movie which came out back in the mid 80s featured a race of vampire-like humanoids who resided in a Dyson Tree which humans find in Halley's Comet. The treelike spacecraft visits earth and the aliens wreck havoc on London before leaving. The spacecraft appeared as a large tree with exposed roots, trunk and a gothic umbrella-like canopy which was used to collect life-energy stole by the space vampires from human victims and uploaded to the tree-ship. The umbrella may at times also have been the ships propulsion. A solar sail. But it could also be folded up and the ship could be seen to move when the umbrella was folded indicating another unknown propulsion system besides the umbrella. The movie had a low budget B movieish feel but I liked it. I liked the concept and the " Space Girl " played by Mathilda May was very beautiful.

James Parton
by James Parton
Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:08 pm
 
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Cannabis in our National Forests

ENTS,

Check out this link on pot growers in our National Forests. Have any of you ever stumbled on a pot operation and lived to tell about it?

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n286/a02.html

Years ago, while fishing the French Broad Rivers west fork headwaters I came out of the river into a small clearing that had some of the prettiest plants in it that I ever laid eyes on. I immediatly recognized them as Cannabis, or Marijuana. Some of them were as tall as I was, maybe a little taller. The first thing I thought was of armed people and or booby traps. I saw tracks were people had been but saw nobody. I quickly stepped back into the river crossing it to the other side and walked quickly well up the river before re-entering it and started fishing again. I was wary the rest of the day but never heard or saw anyone. There were enough plants there for someone to make gobs of money. My guess was some old moonshiner had graduated to growing Cannabis. Fortunantly I saw no shotguns that day!

I fished up that river again years later. I saw no one suspicious and I never saw Cannabis there again. Dad did have some tires flattened though. I have not fished that stretch of river since the early 90s. I have gotten older and smarter and everything there is conspicuously posted " No Trespassing ". I fish down a bit lower on public land and still catch a decent catch of fish. Usually. But even public land can have pot plantations, as the link shows.

Can Cannabis grow wild or naturalize?

James
by James Parton
Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:04 pm
 
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Lake Lure & Chimney Rock

ENTS,

Last Sunday, after church I decided to take a run down to the tourist town of Chimney Rock to check out a couple of large Red Cedars I remembered seeing there. Chimney Rock is located deep in the Hickory Nut Gorge and is accessed by a single road alongside the broad river. Chimney Rock State Park is located very close by. Getting there I could not find a place to park and drove on down to Lake Lure. Parking in front of a bank across the road from Lake Lure Beach I spied some nice trees including a big triple Red Cedar and nice Sycamore. Also the entrance to Bottomless Pools is here. It is closed but I walked up to the covered bridge checking out the trees there. The creekside has a lot of Sycamore, White Pine, Tuliptree and what appears to be Eastern White Cedar. A nice larch-like tree is on the right just before reaching the covered bridge. I will cover this one in a separate upcoming post.

I also had a bit of problems id'ing a pine here. It looks generally like shortleaf but the bark is sorta intermediate between it and Pitch. It lacks the little vesicle pockmarks while a nearby Shortleaf has them. The tree is 91.2 feet tall and splits into two trunks only 5 feet above the ground. At 3.5' the girth is 8' 3 1/2". I have read that Pitch Pine and Shortleaf can naturally hybridize. True? If so I suspect this tree might be a hybrid. Due to a group picnic near the tree I did not get a photograph.

Walking back I crossed the main bridge and walked right up the old dirt road to Bottomless Pools. There I measured a nice hemlock and Tuliptree. The hemlock was green and beautiful. I noticed on other hemlocks that adelgid was present but only as occaisional cottony flecks at the base of the needles. But it is only a matter of time before the pest destroys the trees here too. That beautiful Hemlock was 120 feet tall!

Back in the bank parking lot I measured a really nice spreading American Sycamore. I have gotten used to measuring conifers like White Pine and the Sycamore was a challenge. I had to scan through the canopy to find the highest point and I still feel the tree is a bit taller than the highest place I found. 72.6 feet above ground. Measuring the spread was a chore by myself. I won't swear that it is 100 percent accurate but It should be reasonably close. Only the girth was easy on this tree. A respectable 13' 1" cbh.

Driving back up to Chimney Rock I finally found a place to park and took a short walk on the Broad River walk trail. While here I observed a willow or willow-like tree with pretty twisted branches. I will include them in with that larchlike tree on a future post. The two large Red Cedars I came to measure are located on the left side of the road coming down into Chimney Rock, just before entering " town" from higher in the gorge. A private drive is near the trees. The tallest turned out to be a nice 87.8 feet tall. The tallest I have measured to date. If my memory is right, the tallest Eastern Red Cedar measured by ENTS is around 97 feet. That is 10 feet taller than this. I think Will Blozan or Jess Riddle measured it. I am not sure. A nice American Holly is near the Cedars.

Jenny, I thought of you upon seeing the Kwansan Cherries. You have an eye for beauty.

Here are the measurements.

Measurements.jpg

James
by James Parton
Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:10 pm
 
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A Few Trees

ENTS,

Tuesday afternoon on the way to mom's from my home in Arden I stopped along Interstate 26 after passing over the French Broad River Bridge to photograph a nice grove of White Pine located on Biltmore Estate land. I have passed this grove many times and had always wanted to visit it but it having no known access and it being on private Biltmore land has forbidden it. But I got a picture and measured one pine from the car. It turned out to be 120 feet tall. Not excetional but ok. They probably are some taller ones in there.

Someone, maybe Will Blozan, mentioned in a past post about some of the Biltmore Whites not being of NC stock but a more northern strain that is not quite as tall. I wondered about this as I examined the pines.

Getting to mom's we sat out on the porch talking and enjoying the nice weather as we were admiring her Yoshino cherry that I got her as a gift about 10 years ago. She asked me if I could measure it so she could see how much it grows in upcoming years. It is a nice full tree that blooms beautifully every spring. I got mom to help me measure the spread. It is easier with two people.

I also re-measured the girth of the big single trunked Silver Maple mom has on her property. It was 15' 5" cbh. I last measured it nearly two years ago and it was 15' 2 1/2" then. Providing I measured it in exactly the same place it has grown quite well in such a short two growing seasons. I also measured a neighbors holly as well.

Later,on the way to the healing prayer service at Grace Episcopal church we stopped to measure a big Sycamore that we had noticed the week before. It is located at the edge of the left side of the parking lot at the Save-Mor store across from Grace Episcopal on Merrimon Ave. The tree was a nice 15' 4 3/4" in girth. Almost exactly the same as mom's great maple. It is 85.4 feet tall. I got nearly the same measurement shooting upward through the crown as I did stepping well back from the tree and measuring it from there.

Here are the measurements.

Tree Measurements.jpg

James
by James Parton
Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:33 pm
 
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Re: Lake Lure & Chimney Rock

Jess,

The limbs were way above my head so I could not get a good look at the foliage. The bark looked like Red Cedar.

I just looked at Sawara on the Internet. It does indeed look a lot like Eastern Red Cedar. Like our native tree it has needles in two forms. Both in flattened scales and a more pointed erect form. I have a feeling that these trees may indeed be Sawara, including the one down at Lake Lure. One thing I did notice that was different between them and the cedars down at Dad's in SC was that these seemed to have a somewhat less dense crown form. I shrugged it off thinking it was probably because the trees may be older than the ones I am used to seeing. I had never heard of Sawara Cypress until now. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

It seems I often measure trees that Will has found firsthand without me knowing it. I have found that Will really has gotten around!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaecyparis_pisifera

I have attached a foliage close-up of the tree in Lake Lure. It may help in the id of at least this one. Here, it has needle-like leaves. Both Sawara and Red-Cedar can have a sharp form of needles, especially on younger branches. They may be different in shape though. The wiki link mentions something about them being " feathery ". Jess?

James
by James Parton
Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:10 pm
 
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The Harris Tuliptree

ENTS,

A while back Cecil Harris, a friend and fellow co-worker told me of a big tulip poplar located on his parents land which is located off of hwy 70 ( Tunnel Rd ) between Oteen and Swannanoa NC. It is very near the area I lived as a young child on Briggs Rd. Briggs Hill is located almost at a stones throw from Cecils parents home. I asked Cecil if he had a tape to measure it. It took him awhile to get around to it but he did. The tree turned out to be an awesome 14' 1" cbh. He measured it at 4.5 feet as I had recommended. He said the tree was large, according to his dad when they moved there back in 57'. The tree serves as a land border marker which may have helped it from being cut down. I would be curious of it's height and if I get the chance would like to check it out with the laser & clinometer. Cecil's going to photograph the tree in the future and I will post it when he does.

I mentioned Briggs Rd and it's resident forest on a recent post entitled " Return to Pooh Corner " on the old Google forum. I rode by there several weeks back to find the forest had been considerably damaged. By cutting and by the harsh winter. Cecil told me that the small propane store just off the hwy and near the forest caught fire just a couple of days ago severely damaging the forest. The fire might be a work of arson. My wife Joy told me of it as well. Also a house explosion near the Oteen Ingles may be connected to it. I don't know but the destruction of those woods is a pity. I appreciated them. I have the memories.

James
by James Parton
Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:15 pm
 
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Jump Off Rock

ENTS,

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/north_carolina/jump_off_rock.htm

Last Sunday I drove up to Jump Off Rock which is located near the town of Laurel Park, just outside of Hendersonville at the end of the Laurel Park Hwy. Jump off Rock is a nice rock viewing area located on the summit of Echo Mountain, or Laurel Park Mountain, depending on who you ask. I have visited here a number of times in the past with the first being in the summer of 2005 after a close friend, Holly Mims told me of the site. The site is especially beautiful in the autumn when the resident maples and hickories turn brilliant colors. Upon visiting the mountain on this occaision I did not expect to find many tall or large girthed trees. I would have guessed from past visits that max tree girths would not be above 8 1/2 feet and heights maybe 115 at best. Also upon arriving on the summit I noticed a lot of weather damage from the previous winter with a lot of trees missing their tops. So, I did not expect much. But I was pleasantly surprised. I also found a tulip that had an older look than any I had seen before. It had older bark and large thick heavy limbs starting just over halfway up the trunk. I would not guess the tree to be truly ancient but certainly above the 100 max age I would have guessed for the forests oldest trees. In short, I found one tulip just over 10 feet cbh ( The old one ) and another one was 125 feet tall and it had some top damage. Pine was almost absent with me only finding one sizeable White Pine. The dominent trees are Chestnut Oak, Northern Red Oak and Tuliptree. Hickories are common here too. I just need to learn the id on the individual species. Maple seems to be a more midstory tree here. Black Birch and Cherry is present in smaller numbers. Like White Pine, White Oak is scarce with me finding only one taller example. I found Rhododendron, Maple Leaf Vibernium, and American Chestnut in the understory. Mountain Laurel is here too but much less abundant than it's large rhodo cousin. Bloodroot is seen blooming on the forest floor. Surprisingly, American Holly seems totally absent. I could not find a single example of the tree. I wonder why?

I forgot my camera at home but I have pictures from past visits which I will post here. I also got enough trees for a preliminary rucker index. It was a challenge. It turned out to be 95.7 feet.

I also have to note that the greatest weather damage to the trees was on or near the summit. Many trees halfway down the mountain or more had less or no damage at all. That's not surprising.

If you ever visit the Hendersonville/Laurel Park area check out Jump Off Rock. The view from the top is awesome!

Here are the measurements.

Jump off Rock Measurements.jpg

James

P.S. I explored probably 80 percent of the mountain surrounding the rock promitory.
by James Parton
Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:40 pm
 
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Huge Wisteria or Purple Sycamore?!

ENTS,

Some of you may remember a post on a huge vine I measured in downtown Hendersonville a little over a year ago. I guessed it to be a Wisteria but I was not sure. All I know is it is the biggest vine(s) I have seen. They encircle an American Sycamore which I later measured to be just under 100 feet tall. I noticed Wisteria being in bloom around town and remembered the huge vine. As I drove through town to the appropriate spot I thought " WoW, a purple blooming sycamore " The tree is beautiful draped in hanging purple flowers almost all the way to the top. I knew right then that the id on Wisteria was correct. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/north_carolina/20081225-hendersonville/huge_vine_in_hendersonville.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisteria

James
by James Parton
Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:36 pm
 
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Cataloochee Valley_Pretty Hollow Creek.

ENTS,

Last Wednesday Will Blozan e-mailed Josh Kelly and I inviting us on an outing with him into the Pretty Hollow Gap in Cataloochee Valley on the upcoming Sunday. Josh had plans and could not go but I was up to the task.

The Pretty Hollow Gap Trail begins at a gate on the right just before reaching a bridge over Pretty Hollow Creek. It is located past the main campground and first elk fields but not as far in as the last elk fields and the Caldwell house. Anyway, the lower part of the trail is a road and we were able to drive in and park a little ways up and then we grabbed our gear and water and set off. The first thing Will noticed and brought to my attention was the tall Serviceberry trees. Serviceberry always reminds me of my dad. He has always been fond of these trees, especially when in spring bloom. Many old timers call them Sarvis-trees or " Sarvis " for short. I have heard them called Asarvis and Dad always calls them Asargus. Anyway, these are the tallest I have seen. Standing under the trees roughing them out with our lasers we got heights between 70 and 90 feet on the taller ones. That's awesome. Prior to this I had never seen one over 50 feet. The white blooms could be seen high up in their crowns. Will said the tallest he knew of was over 100 feet. Awesome! I will certainly let dad know of this! I also noticed a lone old-growth tuliptree on the left near the creek on the way up. For some reason they left this one. Will seen it but did not give it much of a passing glance. He had either measured it in the past or was after other game. Only he knows.

Hiking further up the trail into the second-growth forest we started seeing really tall Northern Red Oaks, Tuliptrees and Black Cherries. Will and I both had cramped necks from checking out so many trees with our lasers. One skinny tulip made 150 feet. We also measured a Northern Red to 139.2 feet. A Black Cherry made 143.3 feet. Will is awesome on finding the highest point in complex crowned trees quickly. My measurements compared to his always averaged a foot or two low. He usually ended up finding a slightly higher point than I. The above two height measurements are his. Hopefully I wrote them down correctly. If not, I am sure he will correct me.

Naturally in the usual Will Blozan style, we headed off-trail down into the cove and crossed the creek diving into thick rhodo more than once. Will does this so naturally while I fight and struggle my way through. We checked out two once nice hemlocks in the middle of very dense rhodo on the hillside. Both had died of HWA infestation and what a shame. Both are well over 12 feet in girth. This part of the forest is above the cut-line and is old-growth.

We also checked out a nice twin-trunked Basswood tree. Will has the measurements on it. In fact Will has most of the measurements from the day. Hopefully he'll post them soon.

To be honest with you folks, I often got distracted from the trees. It is springtime and many wildflowers were in bloom on the forest floor. Various trillium, wild violets and many others whose id I did not know. I would occaisionally ask Will. What's this? What's that? He usually had an answer. With ENTS you learn to see the forest as a whole. Not just the trees. Also the variety of leaf shapes on those small plants on the forest floor is amazing. What diversity! I took a few wildflower and shrub-layer plant pictures which I will enter in an upcoming post. Yes, there is more!

On the way back down the trail Will pointed out an old chestnut snag to me. It was surprisingly tall. Naturally I examined it closely. We also checked out a couple of small European Chestnuts near the trail. I think an old homestead once was located here. Will thought they may be a mother tree around somewhere since these looked young. But we never found it. More on Chestnut to come.

We also found some really nice Witch Hazel trees. Will was quite interested in those. One that looked really aged was one of the taller ones Will knew of. He said they are probably other big ones in the vicinity. I'll have to return and see.

Returning to the truck we loaded our stuff back in and headed back up the valley to an area that Will had treated before. To show me green hemlocks and some nice chestnut relics located there. We parked at a gate blocking a forest service road which is located at an intersection. Right of the gate is the winding dirt road out of the park and left goes to Cataloochee Creek and beyond. Into Tennessee. Of course the paved road goes down into the valley. Anyway, after a five minute walk we exit the forest service road to the left and enter the woods. Now how different this immediatly looks. The hemlocks are big! Not record height but still big. But they are GREEN! Let me tell ya folks, when you get used to seeing dead grey hemlocks seeing big live ones is an eye opener. This was my favorite part of the trip. Those trees brought tears to my eyes. Will and the NPS deserves praise for this. But if only the park service would have treated more trees. It's far to few and too late for many. I hope the NPS keeps this grove up as well as the nearby Winding Stair Conservation Area. Until a viable biological control is found, if ever, the trees depend on these treatments being kept up. every 3 to 5 years or so. They are as Will put it. They are on " life support ".

Also in the forest are remnants from another past catastrophe. Old American Chestnut remains are common here. Will showed me a standing chestnut snag with the bark still on. That is something not seen very ofen anymore. Mature bark. Most old trees and logs have lost their bark years ago. One wonders why this one still has it. Also another huge log is found. One approximately 4.5 feet in diameter. Few living American Chestnut live long enough to develop mature bark. More to Come!

In short, I thank Will for inviting me. Cataloochee is awesome and I await my next visit there.

http://msrmaps.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=11&Z=17&X=766&Y=9871&W=3

Girth Measurements.jpg

James
by James Parton
Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:22 pm
 
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Chestnut relics in Cataloochee Valley

ENTS,

During a visit to Cataloochee Valley last Sunday Will and I noted several pre-blight chestnut relics. The first was a tall rampick ( Norse for snag ), by the way Ranger Dan brought this term to ENTS when doing a post on old chestnut snags a while back. I like it and have chose to adopt the term. Anyway, Will brought it to my attention as we were making our way back down Pretty Hollow Gap trail. It was on the right between the bank and the creek. I studied it closely and measured its girth. It is the first pre-blight standing trunk I have seen. I did find one at Kilmer a little while back but was not sure if it was chestnut at the time. I now tend to think it was. I had been there looking for another that Dan had reported but I never found it. Before Will and I came across the rampick he showed me a rotting chestnut log on the forest floor. He explained to me how to tell chestnut from the other deadfall on the forest floor.

On down the trail we checked out two live chestnuts that Will knew of. They are European Chestnuts. The first I have seen. They are near the site of an old homestead and Will thought they must be a mother tree around somewhere. The two small trees are young and not much taller than 30 feet. We looked around close by but never could find a mother tree.

The European Chestnut ( Castanea Sativa ) is probably the closest relative to American Chestnut ( Castanea Dentata ). While the leaves were not out on these trees yet the leaves from the previous year litter the ground. They look very similar to Am Chestnut. The shape it pretty much the same. However the serrations at the leaves edges are not so course as the American species. Burrs also could be found under the trees. They are larger and more coarser spined than Am Chestnut. Also the trees are big enough that if American the bark would be starting to get more of the rougher mature form. But these had smoother bark than would the typical American at this size. Not as smooth as the juvinile Am Chestnuts but different. I'll attach some photos. I commented to Will that in Europe these get HUGE! He said he would love to go see them.

I wonder how well these European trees will handle the blight? In Europe the trees were saved by hypovirulence research and it is believed that it worked because they are fewer strains of chestnut blight in Europe than here in North America. It is true that European Chestnut is more blight resistant than American, but only slightly. I am curious on how well these trees hold up. They are doing ok so far.

After leaving Pretty Hollow Creek Will took me to see some chestnut relics located in a treated area in the upper part of the valley. It is located on the right as you come off the winding dirt road into the park. Left goes down into the valley. Park at the gate and walk up an old park service road about five minutes or so and take a left into the forest. Upon entering the forest the first thing you notice is the awesome green hemlocks. If you can tear your eyes away from them you can find many old pre-blight chestnut remains on the forest floor. One was a huge log about 4 1/2 feet in diameter. Will also took me to see a nice standing rampick that still has the bark on it! Very few snags still have bark anymore and many chestnut sprouts never get big enough to show mature bark. To me it looked alot like Locust. Or better yet, a cross between Locust, Walnut and Red Oak. Check out the attached photos.

We also found a nice Mountain Laurel here that was almost 30 feet tall. That's pretty dang big for Mountain Laurel! We also checked out a short fat " stumpy " hemlock that had considerable weather damage just before hitting a trail back to the car. Will had treated it but worried that due to a limb shortage that survival may be difficult for the tree. We can only hope.

I thank Will Blozan for inviting me on this great trip.

By the way. Happy Earth Day!

Chestnut Rampicks

6' 11" cbh

7' 11" cbh with bark!

James
by James Parton
Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:29 pm
 
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Roadside Hawthorn

ENTS,

Last Friday I decided to re-visit an old friend who was in bloom at this time of year. It's a Hawthorn located just off the downramp from hwy 25 onto I-26 going towards Hendersonville, between Fletcher and Mountain Home. I last visited the tree back in the spring of 2005 when it was in bloom. I have noticed it bloom every spring as I pass by on my way to work or elsewhere. I stopped again to photograph it again this year. As far as the exact species I don't know. By my field guide it is the closest to Washington Hawthorn but still not an exact match. They are many species of Hawthorn and many hybridize.

I have always loved these unusual highly overlooked and often neglected trees. They have a beauty all their own.

James
by James Parton
Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:36 pm
 
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The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

ENTS,

Back in July 2007 Joy and I hiked the beautiful section of the Mountains to Sea trail known as the Rattlesnake Lodge section. Rattlesnake lodge was an old summer home of the Ambler family during the early 20th century but all that is left now is a few ruins. It was aptly named. I photographed a pretty Timber Rattler here near the old home ruins at that time.

http://www.exploreasheville.com/what-to-do/outdoor-adventures/hiking-trails-in-the-asheville-area/rattlesnake-lodge/index.aspx

During the late summer of 2007 I found many wildflowers in bloom here. Yellow Touch-Me-Not, also known as Jewelweed, carpeted the forest floor in places. Also the color of the flowers is yellow. Not the more usual orange. Coneflowers are common here too. On last Sundays 2010 visit earlier spring flowers are in bloom like Trillium and the Hawthorns are in flower too. So are the Dogwood trees. Whether herbacious plant or tree this patch of forest always has plenty of colorful flowers in bloom.

On Sundays visit ( May 25th ) I measured a nice Tuliptree near the trail. I call it the " Rattlesnake Poplar ". It is 106.2 feet tall and 12' 1" in girth. It's probably one of the oldest and biggest trees in the woods here. I would guess it's age between 90 and 120 years. I was heading in on this visit to measure two American Chestnut trees. One was 24.2 feet tall and the other 25.2 feet tall. See the American Chestnut section for the post on these trees for more details.

I intend to return again to check out the Hawthorns. Some are decent sized. I have identified one species as Cockspur.

Ok, ENTS. Help me id these plants in the pictures. Those with the " Need Id " titles. Pictures without 2007 in the file name were taken last Sunday, May 25 2010.

James
by James Parton
Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:55 pm
 
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Linville Gorge_Spence Ridge

ENTS,

Early tomorrow morning I leave out with my stepson Brian Lyman and friends, Chris Craig and Smitty Peterson to spend two nights and three days in the Linville Gorge. We will access the gorge via the Spence Ridge Trail. We intend to do some serious fishing since the Linville River is loaded with Smallmouth Bass & Trout. The scenery in the gorge is beautiful though some areas have been hurt by the loss of the hemlocks. The river is some of the roughest water I have ever fished. However I am taking my measuring equipment and I hope to measure a few trees as well. Of course I will have my Camera.

I will give a report on my return. I might check in from my Blackberry phone if I can get service within the gorge. I doubt it.

Check out the pictures. They are from last summers fishing trip in the Linville Gorge.

James
by James Parton
Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:53 pm
 
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Josh,

I'll have to see if I can look that flower up. While I have three field guides on trees I have none on wildflowers. I gotta change that.

Check out this rattlesnake I came across on while hiking the Cat Gap Trail in Pisgah National Forest. I have no irrational fear of snakes but deep respect for them. Rattlers are very pretty.

James
by James Parton
Sun May 02, 2010 5:15 pm
 
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Re: Meditations in Cabin #6

Bob,

I love reading about Your and Monica's adventures. Monica seems to connect well to her surroundings. She has the ability to connect to the energies of the forest. Obviously you have that ability too as I do myself.

Camping in Linville Gorge last weekend it was so nice to go to sleep with the sounds of the forest and to wake up the same way. Also it's the feel of the forest. It's energy and essence surrounds you. It is so soothing. In the forest I feel so at home.

My camping partners took a radio. That is ok for short periods but I would prefer not to take one at all. To listen to the natural music of the woods.

James
by James Parton
Thu May 06, 2010 6:26 pm
 
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Re: Linville Gorge_Spence Ridge

ENTS,

Last Friday I got up at 5am just before Smitty Peterson pulled into the drive. I grabbed my pack and other stuff that I had packed the night before and swallowed a pop-tart before we met Brian ( Joy's son ) who was staying at his girlfriends house. We then all packed into Brian's new truck and headed out to pick up Brian's friend Chris Craig before heading to the Spence Ridge trailhead into Linville Gorge. We made it to the trailhead by 8:30am donning our packs and hiked roughly a mile to our campsite on the Spence Ridge Trail. It is a nice place on the right side of the trail that is big enough to set up two tents. It is on the flank of Hawksbill Mountain.

We quickly set up and then chose to do our primary goal in being there. Fishing. The Linville River abounds with fish. Brown and Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth & Redeye Bass plus Bream and River Chub ( Hornyhead ). We caught 5 that evening with two trout over 15 inches. But dispite the nearby trail, fishing the gorge is not for the novice. It is a place of huge boulders, steep cliffs and deep rapids. There is one place where we had to climb a tree to get onto a huge rock so we could get around a deep hole. The banks are so steep that going around the rock itself would have been very difficult, if not impossible without climbing gear. Believe me, I am not part mountain goat and I was nervous. This is a place Will Blozan would love! During all the evenings fishing I noticed the trees and wildflowers around me. The place is beautiful, especially under a blue sky. I tried to get around a deep hole well above the Spence Ridge log bridge only to find I could not get back to the river. The cliff was straight down. Rhodo ( Carolina and Rosebay ) grew so thick along with Doghobble that I was on hands and knees going under them. Some of these plants were large old and knarly. I ended up turning around and returning to the bridge to access the Linville Gorge Trail hiking up the river to rejoin my fishing buddies.

As the sun set we returned to camp where we dined on some deer tenderloin cooked over a fire along with baked beans cooked over one of those tiny bunsen-burner looking camp stoves. They enjoyed their beer while I, who usually abstains from alchoholic drinks, settled on Gatorade.

It felt so good hearing the sounds of the night in Linville Gorge. Owls, Whipporwills and Coyotes are often heard. One coyote came very near the camp. I never saw him but heard him yip very close by. A Raccoon knocked some stuff over during the night waking us up. The sound of a nearby small creek, in which we obtained our water using a portable hand operated filter was always a soothing sound, especially at bedtime. Then there was another sound. Not a frog, but Chris and Smitty having the alchohol farts in the other tent. Brian was quiet in the tent with me. Thank Goodness!

Saturday Morning was wonderful. Waking up to the sound of the creek, the breeze in the trees and the birds of the forest. Also the forests energy seems so strong in the morning. Everything feels so alive. I thought " This is so wonderful ". Everyone getting up we quickly fix eggs and coffee for breakfast before hitting the Linville River again for a days fishing. Today is turning cloudy and may help in catching more fish.

Fishing the river near the junction of the Linville Gorge Trail and Conley Cove Trail, Chris Craig got my attention concerning a huge hemlock stump located there. The tree had been dead awhile, probably pre-adelgid. It had been a massive tree. The stump measured a whopping 14' 11" cbh at 4.5 feet above it's base. Chris wrote the measurement on my bait box with a piece of graphite he had found on the trail. I also found Devil's Walking stick for the first time. By grabbing it! Fortunantly I did not grip it hard. Chris brushed by one and got stuck good, leaving a piece of thorn imbedded in his skin. That will fester up nastily before working it's way out.

We did decent on fishing. Easily enough to cook us dinner for the night. I caught seven from one large hole! Another thing. Snakes are numerous. Water snakes are commonly seen. I pay them little attention but do keep an eye out for poisonous species.

Returning late-day I clean and prepare the fish while Brian and Smitty head out to get some stuff to cook with. Chris accompanies me in conversation while listening to his Coleman radio. Radios are ok to take camping but I prefer the sounds of the forest. It is more musical to my ears.

We walk up and meet Smitty & Brian on the trail. On the way back I hear the buzzing rattle of a rattlesnake. But with my dim lantern I never could find him. He was somewhere just off the trail in the dark woods.

Returning to camp I cooked some delicious fish and Brian heated baked beans. Chris pan-fried the potatoes. Again it was beer, liqour and gatorade for drinks. They had to drink all the beer so it would not have to be carried out the next day, so they felt good before bedtime. I don't like to drink. I like to keep my wits about me. Before bedtime it started raining.

Waking up to the sounds of the woods come morning I got up foregoing breakfast ( They had hot dogs and coffee ) hitting the trail to measure a few trees before we broke camp to head home. Last night Chris and I measured a couple of Tuliptrees just before dark while Brian & Smitty were gone. I wanted to add to that before heading home. I had noticed that many of the bigger tulips had that older look to them. In fact most of Linville Gorge is old growth so that was really no surprise. HWA has decimated the hemlock population in the gorge. I found only two sizeable ones still alive out of many. One had lost a branch and picking a twig from it off the ground I found every needle had an adelgid at it's base. Both of those living ones don't have long to live. The highlight of the morning was a huge White Pine. In fact one of the largest forest grown pines I have seen. It is not of record height. It is 129 feet tall but once was taller. It has a broken top. The tree also has a pronounced lean. The monster has a girth of 13 feet 4 inches!

Returning back to camp I find everyone packing up so I join them. Soon we hike out. I hate to go. Tomorrow I have to go back to work. It's like a different universe. We take a few photos at the truck before we remove our packs and leave. That uphill hike is exausting!

While dropping Chris back out at his home I measured a nice Pitch Pine in his yard. While not impressively tall it has a really pretty spreading form. It's one of the prettiest Pitch Pines I have had the pleasure of looking upon. The " Craig Pine " is a single trunked 9' 5" in girth! That is the third fattest Pitch Pine I have measured. My camera was packed away in my camping stuff so I have no picture.

Upon returning home I eat, unpack, take a bath and then watch Avatar!

In summary, Linville Gorge is one big AWESOME! I will go back there for a dedicated tree measuring expedition and soon. The place is on par with other great forests like GSMNP, Congaree and Joyce Kilmer. It is a shame that the hemlocks have been decimated so badly. Especially those endangered Carolina Hemlocks.

Here are the measurements.

Linville Gorge Trees.jpg

James
by James Parton
Thu May 06, 2010 9:28 pm
 
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" Breath "

"Breath"

by J. Daniel Beaudry

Tree, gather up my thoughts
like the clouds in your branches.
Draw up my soul
like the waters in your root.

In the arteries of your trunk
bring me together.
Through your leaves
breathe out the sky.
by James Parton
Mon May 24, 2010 1:53 pm
 
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The Lutheridge Pine & the Kimberly Clark Holly, Arden NC

ENTS,

Yesterday on my way to work I made a couple of stops to measure two nice trees I had noticed beforehand. The first is a really nice Pitch Pine that is located off hwy 25 in Arden behind the new Walgreens store. It is in a field owned by the Lutheridge Conference Center & Camp. Hence I will call it the " Lutheridge Pine ".

I had noticed from the road that the tree was of good form and was quite large in girth. I was guessing 6.5 feet to 8 feet cbh. But walking up to the tree I thought, WoW, it is larger than I thought. Wrapping the tape around it at 4.5 feet it came out to be a whopping 10 feet 1 1/2 inch cbh! It is a single trunked tree too, with no sign of being fused together from two smaller trees. It is the third Pitch Pine this year I have measured over 10 feet cbh. I recently measured another over 9 ( The Craig Pine ).

The Lutheridge Pine was also a bit taller than I expected. I guessed 65 feet. I measured the pine from two different locations to find the highest point of its rounded crown. The first measurement came up to be 73.2 feet. The second to 73.7 feet. A bit higher than I guessed.

I patted the tree a farewell and headed on to the second tree. An American Holly located in front of the Kimberly-Clark plant near Hendersonville.

The Kimberly-Clark Holly really looks impressive from the road. I spied it a couple of months ago while taking a shortcut from hwy 25 to Four Seasons Blvd with a friend. I guessed the tree to be at least 6.5 feet in girth and about 40 feet tall.

Upon measuring the tree I found it to be 39.8 feet tall. Very close to my 40 ft guess. The tree was 6ft 2in cbh. A little smaller than I had guessed but still nice. This is one tree that the numbers really do not show how nice the tree is. The trunk splits up in the tree and has heavy limbs with thick dense foliage. It is more massive than many much taller forest trees I have measured. Naturally this is due to it being an open grown tree.

It was amazing on how much better I felt at work following this tiny outing. Trees re-energize the soul!

Check out the photos. I used my new Blackberry phone to take them. It does fairly well.

James
by James Parton
Thu May 27, 2010 12:50 pm
 
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Blue Ridge Parkway Ride.

ENTS,

Today Joy, my wife and I took a short ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We accessed the Parkway by hwy 276 coming from Brevard up along the Davidson River. Nearing the parkway we noticed a lot of damage had been done to the trees from the past bad winter. It is the worst we have seen. Two sections of the parkway are closed. From Pisgah Inn down to the French Broad River Bridge over Brevard Rd and the area near Craggy Gardens is closed. The area below Pisgah Inn is closed to repair and clean up weather damage from heavy rains and winter damage. The Craggy Gardens area is closed for paving.

We rode south going by Graveyard Fields and Devil's courthouse. The weather made the ride dark and gloomy but it was eerily beautiful. We stopped along the way and took a few pictures. I noticed that the high altitude boreal forests had not been affected by the ice of last winter as badly as the lower decidious forest. The spruce and fir shed ice and snow better and suffer less damage. The forests at these altitudes are much better cold weather adapted. We did see a few trees the wind had toppled though. Primarily Red Spruce.

After the ride we ate at Pisgah Fish Camp before going to visit Kim, Joy's daughter who lives on nearby Lambs Creek. Then we headed for home.

James
by James Parton
Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:58 pm
 
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Big Ginkgo trees at the Carl Sandburg Home.

ENTS,

Yesterday before work I stopped by the Carl Sandburg Home to take a short hike for a little while to see if I could find some considerable sized Pitch Pines. Hopefully some larger than 7 feet in girth. No luck on that. The biggest I found was 5 1/2 feet in girth. A more thorough search of the site may yield bigger ones though.

Coming out by the house on my way back down going towards the car I noticed a big Ginkgo tree. One I had not noticed before. The staff has done a lot of trimming of bushes near the home and that may have made the tree stand out for me, though I don't know how I would have missed it before. I also spied another one back behind the house in the direction of the goat barns. It looked a bit slimmer but taller. While giving the larger girthed one near the house a closer inspection a staff member notified me that I could not be on that part of the grounds. We got to talking and I told her what I was doing and told her of ENTS. She was really interested in what I was doing and was willing to give me a number to call to ask permission to measure the tree. Measuring height I could have done without getting in a prohibited area but girth was a different story. Anyway we went inside where another staff member told her that the head groundskeeper was there and that she would give her a call. While all this was happening I was thinking. " This is cool, but I might be late for work." Then I thought, heck with it. This is a cool opportunity. GE can wait. She got ahold of the groundskeeper who would be up shortly. I stood around chatting about ENTS and trees until the groundskeeper showed up.

It did not take long before she rode up, on what I remember as a cart or buggy. I did not really notice. The staff volunteer introduced us. I explained to her about ENTS and what I wanted to do. Her name was Irene Vanhoff and she proved very informative and helpful and granted me permission to measure the Ginkgos.

While chatting I asked her if she knew Will Blozan and she remembered him. She remembered him and Appalachian Arborists doing some tree work there. She guessed about five years ago. I mentioned the big Elm being cabled by Blozan and she remembered that. She asked if Will still did tree work and I said I think he mainly just treats hemlocks now. Will can correct me if I'm wrong. And she had also heard of ENTS work at Congaree. Now I thought that was really cool! I thought maybe the NPS had a write-up on it. I forgot to ask.

She attended me to the Ginkgos and we measured the one furthest from the house first. It turned out to be a whopping 110.1 feet tall and 8' 8" in girth. I thought 110.1 feet tall was pretty awesome. I also gave her a quick explanation of how the sine-top-sine-bottom measuring method works. She was taught the clinometer only tangent method.

She attended me to the second Ginkgo, the one nearest the home. It was larger in girth but not as tall. 11' 1/2" cbh and 91.8 feet tall. I asked Irene how tall she thought it was before I told her the answer. She guessed 92 feet. Now that's a damn close guess!!

I asked her how old the Ginkgo trees where. She stated that they had been planted during the Memminger era and believed the trees were planted around 1840. Folks, that is 170 years old! I bet the big Elm dates to that time period too.

I also measured a nice American Holly while there. It is a nice 47.9 feet tall and 4' 6" cbh. While measuring the holly, Irene brought to my attention a bright red slime mold. I had never seen slime mold that red. I am used to seeing them more of an orange color. She is currently studying slime molds.

Before parting ways I took a couple of pictures of her posing with the larger girthed Ginkgo. Naturally I thanked her for letting me measure these nice trees and being of assistance and of downright nice company. I told her of the ENTS website and the BBS so hopefully she will look us up and can read my big THANK YOU! She would make a wonderful member as well.

It turned out that I was 40 minutes late for work. Oh, well. I e-mailed Will from work using my Blackberry and asked him if he had measured the Ginkgos. He said he had not but had done some pruning work on them in the past. He said the 110 footer might me some kind of height record but it is no where near the biggest is absolute size.

The only other big Ginkgo I have measured is at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher NC. It is a female tree.

Mentioning that, Irene found small fruits near the Ginkgo trees. She never rememberd mature fruit on the trees later in the year. If those trees are indeed female maybe the fruits are stirile. With no males around to fertilize them.

I googled " Ginkgo " and found that some of them exceed 1000 years old and one in Korea is supposedly 164 feet tall.

This was a cool outing. I thank again Irene Vanhoff and the staff of the Carl Sandburg home, also known as Connemara.

http://www.nps.gov/carl/index.htm

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/north_carolina/calvary_church/calvary_episcopal_church_trees.htm


James
by James Parton
Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:03 am
 
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Paris Mountain State Park

ENTS,

Last Saturday June 12th I spent a day in Paris Mountain State Park checking out the trees there. For a little history of the park, it was once owned by the city of Greenville for use as a source of water for the city. After Table Rock Lake was impounded the lakes and surrounding forests became a State Park. The forests contain some old trees and I would guess that the forest averages older than woods in the surrounding countryside though they would not quite compare with the Smokies or Joyce Kilmer. Judging by past experience and by counting rings in various trees cut from the roads and trails, trees often exceed the century mark here. Some of the Chestnut Oaks have really deep rugged bark and heavy limbs and one big tulip had the smooth scaly bark often seen on old growth poplars. The forest reminds me a lot of the trees at the CSNHS. Many in the 75-100 year range and probably a decent amount to 200. A few outstanding specimens probably exceed this. I feel there is some true old growth located here. Someone with more experience in the area might be able to acertain the amount of true old growth better than I. Jess?

http://www.stateparks.com/paris_mountain.html

http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/park-finder/state-park/722.aspx

I entered the forest at the Brissy Ridge Loop trailhead. Hiking down into the forest I immediatly noticed the forest is dominated by Chestnut Oak. Other hardwoods present are Maple, Hickories, White and Red Oak, Sourwood and Tuliptree. Some really nice Blackgum was present too. Conifers are dominated by Virginia and Shortleaf Pine. Pitch Pine is scattered around too. I found no Loblolly on any of the trails I hiked today but did see some on the road coming in. I saw only one small White Pine in the forest. A small 20 footer on the return loop of Brissy Ridge. I did see some planted ones on the road coming in. Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel and American Holly are here too.

Some of the Virginia Pines located here are the largest I have seen. Maybe not the tallest but overall just beefy! I counted growth rings in two cut VP logs. One 23" diameter had just over 100 rings while another 19" diameter tree had 98 growth rings.

I hiked in on Brissy Ridge and then turned right on the Pepissiwa trail and headed to Reservoir 3 ( Northlake ) The Northlake Trail circles the lake and then I headed back out via Pepissiwa. Then I headed out by the other half of the Brissy Ridge Loop trail back to the car. Much of the hike was on dry ridges dominated by Chestnut Oak. Most trees here are not overly tall. The forest on the back side of North Lake was a bit taller. I roughed one tuliptree out to over 100 feet and some of the Shortleaf pines are very close to that. I had some trouble measuring hardwood trees due to not being able to accurately find the tops. Winter would be better. No leaves. I measured many trees that I could not accurately get a good height on so I did not bother to list those. Pines are a bit easier. They have sparcer scraggly crowns that the laser could often penetrate. A winter visit will be in order.

http://www.sctrails.net/Trails/MAPS/ParisMt%20map.html

I found what had been decent-sized American Chestnut on Brissy Ridge. It had fallen and had been cut of the trail. It was about 5 inches in diameter. The tree had died and resprouted again and again over the years. An American Anole peered at me from on the cut trunk.

Jess had a trip here a while back and found taller trees on a richer site. Also some nice Table Mountain pine!

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/south_carolina/paris_mountain.htm

Check out the measurements and pics.

James

Paris Mountain Measurements.jpg

Paris_Mountain_Tree_Locations.jpg

Tree Coordinates

8'0" x 108.4' Chestnut Oak 34 56.594N by 82 23.379W

11' 11" x 101.7' Tuliptree 34 56.541N by 82 23.350W

7' 2" x 68.9' Virginia Pine 34 56.947N by 82 23.114W

8' 3" x 98.0' White Oak 34 56.986N by 82 23.859W
by James Parton
Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 am
 
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The Iva Oak

ENTS,

Last Saturday, June 20 2010 while visiting my dad for Father's Day weekend we rode to see a large tree that he and his friend Bob Anders had seen some time before. After riding around for a short time we located the tree in Iva SC at the edge of a patch of woods and bamboo behind a house across from Good Hope Presbyterian Church. On seeing the tree I said WoW, looks like about a 17 footer ( cbh ) and I thought maybe just over 100 feet tall. However the tree is not in good shape with a lot of dead limbs and sparse foliage. I don't think it has long to live. I also feel the tree is quite old. It just looks it plus it is vastly bigger than any near it and I cannot see much difference in the ground it is located in that would make it grow larger and faster than it's neighbors. It is not on a creek either. Anyway, I grabbed my gear and we got out of the truck heading to the tree. Getting to it I thought. It's pretty dang big. With Dad's help I measured the trees girth. It turned out to be a whopping 20 feet 10 inches! The trunk has a fair amount of kudzu vine and poison ivy on it but not enough to dramatically affect the measurement. Looking up I could see the tree is a big Willow Oak. A common species here. A huge dead limb lies at it's base, overgrown by bamboo, kudzu and poison ivy.

Stepping out I took a few pictures of Bob against the trees great trunk.

Measuring the height of the tree was not hard due to all the deadwood. The highest point turned out to be still alive with foliage. 95.9 feet tall. I would have guessed a little taller, but not bad.

That evening just before dark I measured a decent Elm beside Bob's home. At least it is decent for me. I don't see Elm trees a whole lot in the NC mountains. Bob and Janet's place is in Lowndesville just off of Marshall Ave just behind the ball field. The Elm is 4' 9 1/2" cbh and 58.3 feet tall.

Leaving for home on Sunday I measured a decent Red Cedar near where Marshall Ave joins hwy 81. The tree is 5' 7" in girth and 64.7 feet tall.

I thank Bob Anders and my father Earl Parton for finding the big oak in Iva and taking me to it and for keeping an eye out for big trees in their area. Bob, who lives in Barnardsville NC also first told me of the huge Dillingham Chestnuts in Big Ivy near Douglas Falls. His Lowndesville place is his second home.

James
by James Parton
Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:39 am
 
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