Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

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James Parton
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Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

Post by James Parton » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:37 pm

ENTS,

Last Saturday My Daughter Sarah and I got out a little while with the intent to ride up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and check out some nice Hawthorn trees I remembered in the Craggy Gardens area and then maybe head on to the Glassmine Falls area and check out one recently reported there. When we left I knew that they were a good chance that the higher altitude sections may be closed off for the winter but I headed upward just to see if maybe I would have any luck on this warm sunny day. It turned out the road gates were closed where Ox Creek Rd acesses the parkway. This is where you access the Rattlesnake Lodge section of the Mountains to Sea Trail. ( MST ) I headed up Ox Creek Rd to find an easy access to the trail. Many other people had the same idea and the trail is crouded on this day. I do remember some pretty, though not especially large Hawthorns on a ridge nearby.

Parking the car and donning my equipment with Sarah in tow, we head onto the trail. Taking a right we head up the ridge by a big Tuliptree that I dubbed the " Rattlesnake Poplar " last year. I measured it at that time to be a big 106.2 feet tall and 12' 1" in girth. Heading up the ridge I found the Hawthorns at the summit. I just love these wonderful little trees. I was explaining to Sarah that the Celts often referrred to these as " Faery Trees " and have a lot of mythology surrounding them.

http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=632

Heading back down I noticed a beautiful tulip about 50 feet or so off the right side of the trail. It had a nice " meaty " trunk and a beautiful form. Sarah and I went down to it and took the time to introduce ourselves to it and then measure it. I dubbed the tree " The Sarah Parton Tuliptree " and took my 14 year old daughters picture with it. The tree was no record setter but is gotta be one of the prettiest tuliptrees I know of. It is 10' 4" in girth and 96.9' tall.

Heading on down and past the trail coming in from the car we head on. Here I measure another nice tulip on the left. At this time I met a nice couple and explained to them what I was doing and of ENTS. They mentioned the redwood researchers out west and mentioned Steve Sillett by name. I told them ENTS had some contacts with Sillett and Robert ( Bob ) Van Pelt and that Bob is a member of ENTS. I told them of the website and to feel free to join. The Tuliptree here is the tallest measured today at 129 feet tall and has a girth of 10' 5". At this time it occurred to me. Let's see if I can find enough of the bigger ones for Neil's study. This site may demonstrate tulips at an altitude averaging just over 1000 feet above the Asheville plateau. Asheville is at 2160ft asl while the tulips measured here today averaged about 3200 feet asl. Some of the ridgetops have considerable ice damage to the trees but I selected ones for neil's study that were spared from damage and trees in other areas were spared completely so finding decent trees was not that hard. I did not make it up onto the higher ridge to the lodge ruins itself. At those higher altitudes tulips would probably be scarce and if present, have ice damage. The highest altitude tree measured today is 3316ft asl.

I also measured an Ash tree today, though I do not know what species. Ash is common here and it made me wonder of the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer.

Here are the measurements.
Measurements.jpg
Measurements.jpg (35.19 KiB) Viewed 1434 times
I also have a larger version of the map photo, if needed.
Attachments
Rattlesnake_MST_Tuliptrees_Small.jpg
Sarah and her Tuliptree!.jpg
The Sarah Parton Tuliptree_Stitch.jpg
Sarah and 9ft9inTulip.jpg
Sarah and 9ft9inTulip.jpg (52.16 KiB) Viewed 1434 times
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Steve Galehouse
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Re: Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

Post by Steve Galehouse » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:31 pm

James-

Nice photos and nice report. I'm glad you are getting your lovely daughter interested in trees; exposing kids to the natural world at a young age can only help foster an interest in nature and conservation as adults.

Steve
every plant is native somewhere

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James Parton
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Re: Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

Post by James Parton » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:27 am

Steve,

Sarah likes to get out in the forest for a limited time and for short distances. It can be so hard to pull her from Spongebob Squarepants and Nickelodeon! But she did seem to enjoy our outing on Saturday and liked " her " tree. One plus, in a way. Sarah is autistic and does not like crowds and noisy places. She's a bit of a loner. I am trying to capitalize on that since woods are quiet peaceful places. I do think she gets a bit bored sometimes with me stopping and measuring trees. I had her helping me write the numbers down in my notebook. One thing she does like that is outdoors. She likes to fish!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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edfrank
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Re: Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

Post by edfrank » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:48 pm

James,

You realize of course that as your daughter gets bigger the trees are looking smaller. Now if she grows to WNBA size you will loose all of the effect you gained by using short people for scale in the past.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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James Parton
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Re: Rattlesnake Lodge MST Tuliptrees

Post by James Parton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:12 am

Psst, Ed, Don't give away my secret. But then I can use my granddaughter Kloie!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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