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Re: American Beech- The Movie!

Jenny, were you unable to use the map in .pdf form, or were you unable to get it at all for some reason?
Here's a link, in case.
by mdavie
Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:47 pm
 
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Re: Valuing Forests

Joe, I think "value" is inherently a human construct. I think that humans attribute some sort of value to things they care about, but otherwise, they just are . We use the concept to figure out how we deal with things. The closest you can get to separating us from the word is the term " intrinsic value ", though the definition linked there still seems to indicate that value is in relation to us. I think it's fine that things just "are" without us placing a value on them. There's a vast universe (infinite universes?) out there that we're totally ignorant of, and the fact we're not looking at it/them doesn't matter. That I think they're awesome or whatever doesn't really matter either, except to me. If you and I both think that, then it matters to us. That belief we share has it's own value, the one we place on it. Does some gas planet millions of light-years away that sits hidden from our eyes behind some nebula have value?

Is this getting too meta and sillysophical? If so, I apologize.
by mdavie
Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:15 pm
 
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Right Fork of Wesser Creek

topo.jpg
When I worked in the Great Smoky Mountains NP, I worked on the North Carolina side of the park, and in '95 and '96 lived in a run-down shack on some beautiful land on Wesser Creek, a tributary of the Nantahala River. It's a generally south-to-north flowing stream, most of it was heavily logged earlier in the century, evinced by the old cables and train wheels scattered in a few spots up the creek. The lower mile or so of the creek has houses and the very bottom follows highway 64 for a short distance before spilling into the Nantahala River. There is a trail that goes up the creek from the end of the road onto National Forest property (which most of the watershed is in), I used to hike it all the time to Wesser Bald at the top. However, this was right before I was really measuring trees. Recently, with Josh Kelly looking at some LIDAR data, he had noted Wesser Creek as a potential spot with tall trees; specifically though, the Right Fork, which doesn't have a trail running up it, and which I'd never been up. The lower part is actually on private property, so I hadn't considered trying to go up when I lived there. But, with what Josh had found, I went recently to ground truth what the LIDAR had shown. I went first in February, but there was still so much snow on the ground that I only saw the west prong of the Right Fork. I recently returned and saw a good portion of the rest of the Right Fork.
After asking permission from the landowner, I started up the creek the first day. There's a roadbed that is maintained going up about 3/4 of a mile from the road, which makes it easy, until it ends and enters the more narrow part of the cove. There's a cryptic sign on a tree where the roadbed ends that simply says: "STOP".
stop.jpg
I took this photo on the second visit; the first day, there was still a good six inches of snow making all kinds of pitfalls in the dog hobble and hard to traverse the slopes. Overall, it's a fairly steep-sided cove, which I think may have been responsible for some false readings on LIDAR. I only had the colored map that Josh had sent to go on, but certainly some of the oranges and reds on the north side of the west fork of the Right Fork were not very tall (relatively speaking- 130s to maybe low 150s for tuliptrees). I think the fact that the tops of some of the trees were leaning out over the streambed from up the hill made them appear taller from above. On the west fork, I only found some very tall trees in a small patch near the top of the cove. Not much, but certainly tall enough that I knew I wanted to get back to check the other fork.
On my return, I kept going in and out of large swaths of rhododendron and dog-hobble along the creek, then hitting big areas of open understory that were loaded with early flowers. Mostly common spring flowers like anemones ( Anemone and Thalictrum ), trout lily, Canada violets, Trillium, and Dicentra canadensis and cucullaria were some of the flowers blooming on the second trip. Something I saw frequently, which I don't remember seeing before, was Dicentra growing within patches of rhodo and dog-hobble.
rhodocentra.jpg . One of the more uncommon plants I saw on the second trip was dwarf ginseng, which was all over the upper parts of the main streambed.
dwfginseng.jpg
There were taller trees in general along this fork, though again, not exceedingly tall until the upper coves. There was one largeish birch along the stream and a pretty tall buckeye in the lower parts (sorry, Will, I was mixing that up with the NRO), everything else was where it opened up and flattened out near the top. The taller forest was, as usual, predominantly tuliptree, to the exclusion of most anything else, and there certainly wasn't much else that was very tall.
cove.jpg

And now, the numbers:

Untitled-1.jpg
I took diameters on the first trip, but didn't on the second trip because I was pressed for time. I think that the area of very tall trees is probably pretty limited on this stream— compared to say, Baxter Creek— but I think there could be a few more very tall trees up there. Unfortunately, I think that the basswood height may be incorrect, I measured from on top of a ridge and there's a good possibility that I was getting a read off of a tuliptree behind it that I couldn't see until I went down into the cove. I had a good shot on the tallest tulip, and was getting 57 yards shooting straight up from my eye. It's possible that there is a taller top. I didn't have enough time to really check the whole cove out, and the density made getting good shots difficult even with the leaves off. I'm going to return at some point, but it's going to be tough with leaves on. All in all, certainly worth seeing!
by mdavie
Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:54 am
 
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Chinkapins around Nashville

I went to visit a friend in Nashville last week. I really couldn't get away with measuring any trees, but I did take a few photos. The first two are Chinkapin oaks mentioned on the Nashville "Big Old Tree Contest"
chinkapin1.jpg
chinkapin2.jpg

I've been familiar with the second one since I was a kid, really; it's near the road heading to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, and I grew up near there. We went for a hike in Percy Warner Park as well, and I hit a section I had not been to in a long, long time. I don't think the heights around there will blow anyone away, but I'm going to try and hit it this winter for a Rucker, and try and visit some other nice tree spots I know of around Nashville.
by mdavie
Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:08 pm
 
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Rangefinder, free to good home

I have an older Bushnell rangefinder, well-used but still in good working order, that I'd be happy to give to someone who will use it. It was a gift to me, and I'd love to pass it along, just as long as you make sure you'll use it to get some measuring done. You need to have a clinometer also, of course, so if you've already got one but haven't yet been able to get a rangefinder, all the better; you'll be ready to go!
Just send me a message— if I get more than one request, I'll just draw straws or pull names from a hat or something.
Mike
by mdavie
Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:37 am
 
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Albert "Dutch" Roth photo collection

UT Knoxville has a digitized library of photographs from Albert Roth . From the website:
Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth, born September 20, 1890 in Knoxville, Tenn., is recognized as one of the most prolific early photographers of the Great Smoky Mountains' Greenbrier and Mount Le Conte sections.

What began in 1913 as a diversion soon developed into a serious avocation as Roth perfected his penchant for photography while avidly hiking the unexplored regions near his home. He worked exclusively with a Kodak 122 camera, and, often carrying a heavy tripod, would climb twenty to thirty feet up a tree or venture hundreds of yards off the trail to capture the landscape images for which he would later be noted.

Roth remained an amateur photographer, and, consequently, his photographs were never highly distributed. Because of his frequent travels in the mountains and early association with a local hiking club, he left a valuable collection of images that illustrate the pioneer way of life before the advent of the national park.

http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/cgi/i/image/getimage-idx?view=image;entryid=x-roth0149;viewid=ROTH0149;cc=rth;c=rth;quality=600&sid=1148ba976b76459cda768022affa99e3
"Large chestnut tree in Porters Flats. It is twenty-eight and a half feet in circumference four feet above the ground. Smoky Mountains Hiking Club member Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth (right) assisting Dr. H. M. Jennison (left) in search of outstanding big trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park centenary."

http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/cgi/i/image/getimage-idx?view=image;entryid=x-roth0148;viewid=ROTH0148;cc=rth;c=rth;quality=600&sid=1148ba976b76459cda768022affa99e3
"Smoky Mountains Hiking Club enjoying the big chestnut tree stop."

http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/cgi/i/image/getimage-idx?view=image;entryid=x-roth0150;viewid=ROTH0150;cc=rth;c=rth;quality=600&sid=1148ba976b76459cda768022affa99e3
"Large tree up Kalance Fork in Greenbrier that twenty-one persons can get inside of at one time."

http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/cgi/i/image/getimage-idx?view=image;entryid=x-roth0154;viewid=ROTH0154;cc=rth;c=rth;quality=600&sid=1148ba976b76459cda768022affa99e3
"Walker walking cane tree along trail to Thunderhead Mountain from Tremont."

http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/cgi/i/image/getimage-idx?view=image;entryid=x-roth0155;viewid=ROTH0155;cc=rth;c=rth;quality=600&sid=1148ba976b76459cda768022affa99e3
"Large poplar tree near Kalance Fork in Greenbrier section."
by mdavie
Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:05 pm
 
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Re: Leonardo’s Formula Explains Why Trees Don’t Splinter

Leaves don't just turn and clump to reduce drag, but can curl up, as well. I love this photo:

wind leaves.jpg
by mdavie
Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:04 pm
 
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Re: "Super Cove" Sunday- Elkmont, TN TALLEST FOREST?



I am sure this has been discussed before and people smarter than I have thought about it, but does anyone know why these "young", secondary growth sites keep coming up as the tallest sites [I know Baxter Cr was cut early 20th century]?

It seems to have to do with a particular combination of factors (generally speaking). One thing is that tuliptree is one of those few species which can outcompete in early succession and also just keep on going, getting older and bigger. All of these tall fast-growing trees we're finding are in very productive soils with ample moisture and almost always have topographic protection; though even without the topography, they grow so evenly that they protect each other in dense stands very well. Most of these sites, while they were cut, were not farmed, which tends to degrade the soil structure more than just logging. Often it's only after a hundred years or more (barring a significant environmental event) that the crowns start getting more beaten up and jagged and there is finally some attrition. Crowns that have become slightly more emergent are less protected, and thus more likely to be damaged in storms. The overall canopy starts becoming textured and creates more wind eddies and changes in flow over the surface. Large weighted limbs may finally break, and can cause decay to extend back into the stem. Whole trees eventually uproot and create greater gaps and holes.

However. As we found on Deep Creek (and possibly will in a few other places) large old trees can still get tall. They just have to have the right combination of soil, water, protection, and luck to make it (or make it back). You asked if tuliptree dominance decreases with age, and I'd say generally, "kind of". The Fork Ridge tuliptree was in a tuliptree dominated grove. A number of the largest tuliptrees are in tuliptree dominated groves, though they usually aren't quite as ridiculously dominant as they are in these younger forests.

burnt.jpg

This photo is from Burnt Mountain. Nearly all of the trees you can see here are tuliptrees. There's nothing to stop them from dominating, so they do. They may also have some allelopathic qualities that come into play, but I'm not sure.

Burnt Mountain may not stay on top for very long, by the way— but it's hard to say. There are still a lot of places to check out.
by mdavie
Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:21 pm
 
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Re: Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

A storm just passed directly over that portion of the Smokies; the weather service said it appeared to be a tornado. Fingers are crossed that the terrain worked yet again to protect the trees up there!
by mdavie
Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:09 pm
 
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Re: Metasequoia Glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood)

Will Blozan wrote:Brian,

I keep meaning to measure the ones at the Veterans Rehab Center in Azalea but haven't yet.

I must say, I have never met-a-sequoia I didn't like!

Will


Will, that was a horrible, horrible pun. I approve.
by mdavie
Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:25 am
 
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Re: Need help with Ulmus ID

There's a ton of red elm on Sunset/Reynolds mountain, with the hackberry understory and lots of walnut. Those are some extra fat twigs for sure, but I'll bet that's what you've got, the bark looks like that a lot on those dryer upland sites. At my house, they're rough like that on the south-facing side more than the north-facing ones.
by mdavie
Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:23 pm
 
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Re: Hemlock Wooly Adelgid found at Cook Forest SP, PA

Will Blozan wrote:FU*#&(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I concur.
by mdavie
Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:47 pm
 
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Re: Boogerman Loop and "new" 180' white pine

Will Blozan wrote:
Cataloochee is a serious downer these days.

Will


It sure is, isn't it? Unbelievable how devastated it is compared to the past. Even though we knew it was coming and I know I tried to ready myself, it's worse than I could have imagined. Especially there; it's simply a disaster.
by mdavie
Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:14 pm
 
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Re: Exceptional forests in the Black Hills?

dbhguru wrote: Lots of beatle damage everywhere you go, however.

Bob


Did Ringo get out there with a chainsaw again?
by mdavie
Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:57 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Genus of the Week: Nyssa

Turner Sharp has numbers for a blackgum of 15'8" in circumference here: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?p=4905

I know I've seen a photo of it somewhere but haven't found it again yet.
by mdavie
Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:43 pm
 
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Re: Private southeastern Arkansas site 2

Yowzer! That's pretty impressive.
Good lord, what did they cut in there if that's what's left over?
by mdavie
Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:33 pm
 
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Re: Live Oaks in Savannah, GA?

There is a really nice one called the Majestic Oak that's worth seeing here: http://goo.gl/maps/qFo13
by mdavie
Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:53 pm
 
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Re: Impressively Stout Rock Elm (Ulmus thomasii) at Cavan

Rock elms are great trees, there are lots in middle Tn where I grew up, and I've had one as a bonsai for 25 years now.
by mdavie
Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:17 am
 
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Re: Spooner Live Oak- Iron City, GA

FWIW, just found this video from last year:

by mdavie
Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:46 pm
 
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Re: another identity unknown

Paulownia tomentosa, a weed basically
by mdavie
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:00 am
 
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