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Big Tulip

ENTS,

Last Saturday before going to work I decided to take a trip to scout for turkeys as well as measure a huge tulip tree. The area is just north of the town of Chesterfield, SC.
There is also a grove of river birches on the property. I don't think we have much data on the species so I measured a couple. The largest came in at 4'9" cbh and 77.1' tall.

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Next it was on to the tulip tree. It grows out over a pond so I couldn't get limb spread.

cbh 16'
height 82.5'

I did measure the lowest limb with the rangefinder out to a distance of 11.5 yards.

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Tyler
by Tyler
Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:28 am
 
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Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve

ENTS,

Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve encompasses 201 acres along the Congaree River in Calhoun County, SC. It contains various habitats from steep undisturbed bluffs to a narrow floodplain along the Congaree River. Along the edge of the bluff grow dense stands of white oak, mockernut hickory, american beech, and tulip tree.

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The preserve also has a nice lookout area with a view of the Congaree National Park below.

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The floodplain contains nice second growth trees that are probably over 100 ft tall with sweetgum, cherrybark oak, and sugarberry being the most common.

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According to my gps the total elevation change from the parking area to the river below was 162ft.

Tyler
by Tyler
Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:41 pm
 
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Congaree National Park

ENTS,

A couple of weeks ago my dad and I made a trip to Congaree National Park to measure some trees we had found a few years ago and to measure some champion trees. The morning started out cool with a thick fog that added to the mystery of the area. Except for a few deer, animals were scarcely seen.

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The first tree measured was the state champion water tupelo. This tree is only about 50 yards off of the kingsnake trail. It has a broken top that probably broke out decades or even a century ago.
113.1’X 19’1”
Average crown spread 41’ Max 48’
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Our next target was the former state champion laurel oak. This tree was replaced by the one Marcas, Jess, and Will found a few years ago.
115.8’ X 17’10”
Average crown spread 110’ Max 121.5’
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Next we followed a gut that paralled the oakridge trail a few hundred yards away. I measured a laurel oak to 126.9’ and a nearby swamp chestnut oak had a cbh of 15’ 6.5”. One of the most impressive trees we saw was a loblolly pine 13.5’ cbh that had been hit by lightning this summer. The smell of pine resin filled the air around the tree.
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I somehow missed a huge sweetgum that was found in 2008.I had intended to get a height measurement to go along with its 16’ cbh. I did measure five or six other sweetgums all in between 120-130’.

With some time left we headed for the Hampton Cypress to get some cypress knee data. The grove that contains the Hampton Cypress is very impressive old growth. Several cypress trees are 5-7ft in diameter.The Hampton Cypress has a large knee growing near it. It measures 6’ 7” tall with a cbh of 3’6” and a circumference at 1’ of 7’ 2”.
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Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:49 pm
 
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Pine Island

ENTS,

Pine Island, also known as Hurricane Island, is located a little over a mile west of the low boardwalk at Congaree National Park. For this trip my dad and I made our way west along Cedar Creek until we came to the island. On the way we encountered large cypress trees lining the creek. The larger trees ranged from 13'-22' cbh and 110'-120' in height.

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The tallest tree I measured in this area was a cypress at 130.1' on the opposite side of the creek. I also measured the spread of a large cypress to 84'.

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We then came to Pine Island. I spotted a tall loblolly at the edge of the island and quickly measured it to 151'.

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Loblolly Pines range from scattered individuals to dense stands on Pine Island. We came to an area with three loblollies over 14'cbh growing near each other. Near these was a large loblolly blown over likely during a summer storm last year.

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We visited a couple of pine groves that were a little farther away from the others. These turned out to contain the tallest trees measured all day.

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In summary Pine Island contains many large and tall loblolly pines. The 163.8' pine is the tallest tree I have ever measured. Many trees were roughed in the 140'-150' range and it is possible there may be taller trees present.

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:58 pm
 
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Big Conifers at Cheraw State Park

ENTS,

Cheraw State Park was the first state park designated in the state in 1934. Located in northeastern South Carolina, the habitat ranges from rolling sandhills with longleaf pines to dense swamps. The park contains some of the best stands of atlantic white cedar in the state. At 7,362 acres it is also one of the largest state parks.

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I made several trips to the park this measuring season. At first I was looking for large cedars and longleaf pines, but soon realized other species reached large sizes as well.

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All of the cedars grow near Lake Juniper.

The tallest longleaf pine has a small break at the top and was likely near 107’ before it died.

The largest pond pine and sparkleberry has enough points to be state champions.

In addition to the trees listed, loblolly pine, tuliptree, sweetgum, and cherrybark oak all exceed 110’. None of these species were thoroughly measured but loblolly pine or tuliptree will be the tallest species at the site with some individuals 115-120’.

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun May 15, 2011 2:35 pm
 
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Congaree Max Dimension List

ENTS,

I have completed the first version of the Congaree Max List. It includes the max dimensions, current or historical, of all species measured by ents at the park. Superlative trees, volume measurements, shrubs and vines are also included. If anyone has data for the list, please send it to me.

Tyler
by Tyler
Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:53 am
 
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South Carolina Max List

ENTS,

I have also completed the first version of the South Carolina Max Dimension List. Thanks to Jess Riddle for helping me with this. If anyone has data please send it to me.

Tyler
by Tyler
Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:59 am
 
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More Records from Cheraw State Park, SC

ENTS,

I spent most of this measuring season exploring more of Cheraw State Park. At first, I was focused on finding the taller longleaf pine groves but soon became distracted by the wetland areas that weave through the longleaf forest.

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I found several large pondcypress trees in the narrow floodplain of juniper creek. Old fire scars stretch up their trunks and scattered stumps remind one of the logging that took place before the park became established. Most of the older cypresses are broken topped and hollow, but the largest tree seems solid.

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There is active management going on at the park. Small hardwoods invading the longleaf understory are routinely cut down and mulched up. Longleaf and loblolly groves are thinned, even clearcut if mostly loblolly. Periodic controlled burns go through the pine areas also, but the wetland areas are left alone to grow naturally. All of this is done to restore habitat to a presettlement condition of an open longleaf pine savannah with a diverse herb layer.

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The largest pondcypress has enough points to be a national champion and is a potential volume champion for the species.
Several of the pond pines have enough points to be state champions.
Potential and current state champion trees in the park include sparkleberry, sweetleaf, pond pine, longleaf pine, atlantic white cedar, and pondcypress.
I also got around to getting a rucker height and girth index for the site.

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Tyler
by Tyler
Sat May 26, 2012 7:09 pm
 
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Re: Tamassee Knob

James,

It's a water tupelo in Congaree. Found it before I got my measuring equipment so I couldn't measure it but it looks to be in the 18-20' cbh range.

Tyler
by Tyler
Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:41 am
 
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New Record Pond Pine (kind of)

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share this find from Cheraw State Park.

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It would easily be the state champ but it is dead. I initially saw the tree a couple of years ago and it was already a snag.

Hit by lightning and falling apart now, it sways in the slightest breeze.

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The girth is 10' 1" and I measured the height to a small break to 102'. Original height was likely in the 105' range.

Tyler
by Tyler
Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:58 am
 
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State Champ Green Ash, SC

I made a visit a couple of months ago to measure the state champion green ash. Located in Congaree National Park, the tree is a short distance from the Congaree River. One reason I wanted to photograph and measure this tree is because of the threat of emerald ash borer. Emerald ash borer is confirmed only a few hundred miles away in the Smokies and it seems inevitable that it will make its way down here. I am hoping something can be done to save the ashes of Congaree as they form an important component of the forest along the river.

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This tree is the most impressive ash I have ever seen and also the largest.

15' 7" X 125.1' X 97.5' ACS

Tyler
by Tyler
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:15 am
 
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State Champ American Elm Revisited

Before visiting the champ green ash, I made a stop to check on the state champion American elm. I first measured this tree in early 2010 and at the time made an error in determining the circumference. I mistakenly measured up and over a part of the trunk that resembles a large fin, instead of measuring around it. This inflated the circumference. This time I slowed down, took my time and got it right.

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18' 9" X 121' X 105' ACS

Tyler
by Tyler
Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:07 am
 
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Re: Silver Maple?

Eli,

I think its a combination of the range only being halfway into the state and being an under measured species.

Tyler
by Tyler
Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:30 am
 
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Congaree Cypresses

Congaree National Park contains both old growth and second growth stands of baldcypress. Logging for cypress trees started about 1890 and ended around 1915. Both the tallest known baldcypress (147.2') and the South Carolina state champion inhabit the park.

The first large cypress I came across was an old growth individual growing with other large cypress and water tupelo trees.
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This is a very old tree. The base is hollow and there is a large break at the top. Even the limbs that regrew the crown were broken.

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Nearby I found another old growth cypress, this one appearing much younger. It also probably has more volume. Height was around 125'.

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Not far from these giants was a stand of 2nd growth cypresses. I was amazed that they could grow so dense and tall after only 100 years.

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I measured one of these young trees to 137'.

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The wind got up while I was here and one of the dead trees actually broke, so I didn't spend too much time there. I only saw a small fraction of this stand and suspect there may be taller trees present.

Tyler
by Tyler
Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:27 am
 
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167' Loblolly Pine Congaree, SC

One of my objectives during my last few visits to Congaree has been to search for large and tall loblolly pines. I have been going grove to grove searching for trees that will challenge the maximum dimensions for the park which are 16' cbh and 173.3' tall. Well, I haven't found trees with dimensions larger than those yet, but I am getting closer. I measured this tree to 167.2' tall.

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The tree is in one of the park's research plots with other pines. I roughed one of them to 160'. There is also a 90' holly and a 22' cbh cherrybark oak in the area.

Some other trees measured:

Holly 4' 6" X 92.7'
Persimmon 7' 7" X 109.3' State Champion
Water Oak 18' 2" X 116.6' New potential State Co-Champ
Black Willow 5' 0.5" X 87.1' State Height Record


I'll close with a few more shots of the park.

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Tyler
by Tyler
Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:31 am
 
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Late Winter CONG Trip

NTS,

I recently made one more trip to Congaree before the measuring season comes to a close. Spring is not nearly as early as last year, but signs are here and there mainly in the elms and maples budding out first. The park has already experienced a couple of big floods this year and water levels were still receding on this trip. It was good to see that the water had gotten so high as some recent years have been dry.

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For this trip, my main goal was to relocate a large sweetgum found a few years ago as a potential replacement for the national champion sweetgum whose crown had been blown out a year or two ago. After a couple of hours searching I found it, or what's left of it. Most of the crown had been blown out by a storm.

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Girth measured 16'5" and adding the broken section to the standing section gave a total height of 135'. Diameter of the broken section measured 3' 4" which would have been 56' above the ground.

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After this I measured a few more trees including the national champion laurel oak. It now stands 130.5'.

Persimmon 6'10" 106.8'
Loblolly Pine 12' 3.5" 159.7' Another similar sized tree nearby
Laurel Oak 129.6'
Water Oak 130.6' Dead top

One last surprise. As I was walking I noticed a large bird flying low over the treetops. I saw it land and noticed it was a bald eagle. It then flew a short distance to a pine tree where I saw a large nest.

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Park staff told me that this is a new nest to them. None were previously known in the area.

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:39 pm
 
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Cheraw State Park 2013

NTS,


I spent this measuring season trying to finish searching Cheraw State Park for superlative trees. My work schedule and illness kept me from this goal, but I was able to get to most of my target areas. Most of the park’s prime areas have now been searched for large atlantic white cedar, pondcypress, and bottomland hardwoods. The main areas I searched included unexplored areas along juniper creek, juniper lake, and various seepage areas. A small portion of the adjoining sand hills state forest was also searched.


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Along juniper creek I came upon several scattered old growth pondcypress trees. They routinely topped 95' tall and 3' in diameter. Within this area many stumps remained from the logging of several generations ago. I spotted a large stump that was cut higher than the others. It turned out to be a new girth record for the species. The stump measures 9' tall and 16' 1" in circumference. 45' of trunk remain beside the tree. I am unsure why the loggers left that portion, because it does not appear to be hollow.

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I also searched a tract of park land located along Thompson creek. Thompson creek is a brownwater creek originating in the piedmont with a relatively large floodplain. Knowing this, I expected trees to be significantly taller than those found in the seepage areas.

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The forest in this section of the park was the tallest I have found yet. Canopy trees frequently exceed 100' in height and in the loblolly pine areas 120' is common.
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Updated Rucker Height Index
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Updated Rucker Girth Index
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The sweetleaf and atlantic white cedar are potential state champions
The tallest turkey oak and pondcypress are new eastern height records
The loblolly pine is the tallest tree I’ve measured outside of Congaree NP
18 species have reached at least 100' in height at the park

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Tyler
by Tyler
Tue May 28, 2013 8:52 am
 
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Re: Congaree Champion Tree Survey news

Will,

I second what Bob said. This was a long time coming. I would like to help out, so please keep us posted.

Tyler
by Tyler
Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:34 am
 
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Tulip tree-The fastest growing species?

NTS,

Just a quick report to start off the measuring season. On 3/19/2013 I measured a small tulip tree on my property at 10" cbh and 35.2' tall. It grows among other tulip trees, swamp tupelos, and sweetbay magnolias in a muck swamp type environment with lots of sun. Yesterday I remeasured it at 12" cbh and 40.6' tall. 5.4' of growth in exactly seven months. Now here is the best part. The tree is only 9 years old. The area that it grows in was a greenbriar thicket until I completely cleared it in Dec of 2004. There is a large tulip tree growing on the edge of the cleared area so it must have seeded in from that. It is not a stump sprout. I wonder how this growth rate compares to the Smokies? I know some trees 60-70 years old are over 150' there.

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:22 pm
 
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Larry,

Awesome report! That largest sweetgum is virtually identical to the former national champ in Congaree. I measured that tree in 2007 (in my pre nts days). I got 17.5' cbh, measured over some vines and 134' tall shooting vertical with the laser. Of course it's crown has been blown out but the trunk remains. It would be great to get a volume comparison of that tree and yours to get a benchmark for the species. I look forward to more reports out of the area.

Tyler
by Tyler
Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:11 am
 
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State Champ Cherrybark Oak Updated Numbers

NTS,

I made a trip to CONG a few weeks ago. One of the objectives is to remeasure all known champion trees as well as look for new ones. I was in the area of the state champ cherrybark oak so I went to get updated measurements. This tree was last measured at the NTS Gathering in February 2009 and I had not seen the tree since October 2005. When I first came to the tree I could see that it had grown larger. It is in good health, except for a couple of mushrooms growing out of the base. Almost all of the trees were in full leaf so getting measurements was difficult at times. I feel pretty good about the height I got, but my crown spread measurements should be considered conservative.

CBH: 24' 2"
Height: 146.6'
Crown Spread: 117' Avg 132' max

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Tyler
by Tyler
Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:08 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Diospyros

Matt,

Species (Scientific): Diospyros virginiana
Species (Common): Common Persimmon
Height (ft): 109.3'
CBH (ft): 7' 7"
Maximum Spread (ft): 43.5'
Average Spread (ft): 42.25'
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: Congaree National Park
Subsite Name: Kingsnake Trail
Country: USA
State or Province: South Carolina
Property Owner: NPS
Date of Measurement: 11/19/2011
Measurer(s): Tyler Phillips
Method of Height Measurement: NTS Sine
Tree Name:
Habitat: Forest
Notes: State Champion

Tyler
by Tyler
Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:52 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Ilex (Holly)

Matt,

Species (Scientific): Ilex opaca
Species (Common): American Holly
Form (Forest, Open, or Intermediate): Forest
Height (ft): 81
CBH (ft): 6' 11"
Maximum Spread (ft): 55.5'
Average Spread (ft): 48'
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: Congaree National Park
Subsite Name: Northwest of Little Lake
Country: USA
State or Province: South Carolina
Property Owner: NPS
Date of Measurement: 2/26/2011
Measurer(s): Tyler Phillips
Method of Height Measurement: NTS Sine
Tree Name:
Habitat: Forest
Notes: State Champion

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:54 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Acer (Maple)

Matt,

Scientific name: Acer x freemanii
Common name: Freeman Maple
Height: 94.6'
CBH: 8' 9.5"
Crown Spread: 49.5' max 43.5' avg
Volume:
Site name: Congaree National Park
Subsite: Deep Gut
Country: USA
State: South Carolina
County: Richland
Property owner: NPS
Date of measurement: 11/17/2012
Method of measurement: NTS Sine
Tree name:
Habitat: Forest
Notes:

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:51 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Fraxinus (Ash)

Matt,


Species (Scientific): Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Species (Common): Green Ash
Form (Forest, Open, or Intermediate): Forest
Height (ft): 125.1'
CBH (ft): 15' 7"
Maximum Spread (ft): 105'
Average Spread (ft): 97.5'
Volume (ft3):
Site Name: Congaree National Park
Subsite Name: Congaree River
Country: USA
State or Province: South Carolina
Property Owner: NPS
Date of Measurement: 11/17/2012
NTS Measurer(s): Tyler Phillips
Method of Height Measurement: NTS Sine
Tree Name:
Habitat: Forest
Notes: State Champion

Tyler
by Tyler
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:59 pm
 
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