Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

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#1)  Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby bailey » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:39 am

Came across a grove of some really tall holllies.  Even in winter the canopy was green in this part of the swamp.  Came across a few large white cedars too on my way back out.   This is my 3rd time into West and the swamp is starting to wake up with Spring around the corner.  I heard multiple woodpeckers, came across deer and wild turkey and heard an owl on my way out at dusk.
There is some magical pockets back in this swamp, to get to this area with the hollies it was about two hours of navigating bogs, mud and briers.  Old Growth hides in this swamp, you could easily miss a 300 year old tree only 50 feet away.  This last time hiking through here I took my drone with me and was using it to fly up and over the tree canopy where I could use it to scout out tall trees, the drone is what helped me see a big spread of green which ended up being about 3 acres of big hollies.
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#2)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby Erik Danielsen » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:24 am

Gorgeous images, especially that second one. Do you have an estimate on how tall they get here? The one next to the tuliptree looks like it could be something like 50-70 feet tall, a little hard to judge without knowing the size of the tulip but definitely tall for holly.Those redcedars are also wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
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#3)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby Will Blozan » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:27 am

My goodness what a magical place! I have come across two stands of old-growth American holly in the southern Appalachians. Cored trees were over 230 with one tree 330. They can get so super-gnarly and seem to dominate the landscape only in isolated pockets.

-Will

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#4)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby bailey » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:34 pm

A majority were 40-50 feet tall but some were pushing 70'.   I do believe the oldest holly I came across is the one in the picture that is growing at an extreme angle with snow sitting on it.  The holly had the thickest trunk of any I've ever seen and had all kinds of twisted and curved branches...
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#5)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby wisconsitom » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:57 am

Where is this?  Surprised to hear tell of Thuja being present in what otherwise appears to me to be quite a southerly location.  Then, outliers do occur.
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#6)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby Lucas » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:59 pm

We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir
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#7)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby bailey » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:04 pm

It's a white cedar, an exceptionally tall one.  They grow well in Southern NJ, there is a lot of them in the Pine Barrens.
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#8)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby DougBidlack » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:14 am

Tom,

he's talking about Atlantic Whitecedar.  A completely different species than Northern Whitecedar.  Different genus, even.

Doug
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#9)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby wisconsitom » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:21 am

Yup, got that...or at least, I have familiarity with the Chamae.  We toured one of those swamps when I was a wee lad.  Both species are capable of making for an amazing setting.  Both have that "primitive" thing going on  Still not sure that's what he is reporting here-see post several above this one...but no worries, I know which tree is which.
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#10)  Re: Bear Swamp West - Old Growth Hollies

Postby Erik Danielsen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:36 am

In my first response I mistakenly assumed them to be redcedar, but Doug's right, these are definitely Chamaecyparis. Wrong bark and feel for Thuja, and definitely outside its range.
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