Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

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James Parton
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Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by James Parton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:44 pm

ENTS,

On Saturday, Joy, Sarah and I met Clay and family for a nice hike up in the Pink Beds of Pisgah National Forest. After picking little Kloie up we headed into the forest. The Pink Beds loop is one of the prettier trails I know of and I have done a couple of past reports on the place.

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... _trail.htm

http://groups.google.com/group/entstree ... bd7e?hl=en

Today was just intended to be a casual hike so I did not expect to measure many trees. I was just out to enjoy the forest with my family and friends. But I did find three noteworthy ones. Two of these were on the interconnecting Barnett Branch trail, which I had not hiked to measure any trees there on past trips. The first was a decent sized white pine. It measured 131.6ft tall and 9' 4 3/4" in girth. The second was a nice hemlock. It is 99.0ft tall and 9' 6" in girth. Sadly it is failing to hwa as is all untreated hemlocks in the area. The third tree is on the Pink Beds Loop itself. Actually very near where the loop begins in the woods near the first wildlife clearing. I don't know how I missed it! The tree is a nice Hemlock, probably a little over a hundred years old. It is 10' 8 1/2" around and measures 107.9 feet tall! At one time it would have been a really beautiful tree but now it is not doing well due to hwa infestation. This tree could still be saved if it was treated. The top crown is green still but the foliage is thinning. Though smaller trees near the nearby picnic area and parking lot have been treated I doubt this one has. I did not see any tags or markings indicating it had been treated, but I did not take the time to really look for them since everyone was waiting on me. I wonder if I could treat this tree myself without getting in trouble? It is in a busy area for hikers. How much imidacloprid would it take and how much would it cost? Or who would I call in the USFS to recommend treating it? It is such a nice specimen to just let die like so many others. Emily, Clay's daughter seemed impressed on how big the tree was!

We all had a wonderful time. Clay and Joy really needed getting out and I think no one had a better time than Ian. He brought his cute girlfriend Savannah ( Savvy ) with him. I doubt he even noticed the trees! Oh, what is is to be young....And mentioning young. Little 17 month old Kloie had a ball. She ran Joy ragged!

Here is a nice link I found on the Pink Beds Loop Trail.

http://www.photographyboard.net/theres- ... .-310.html
Attachments
9ft4.75incbhWP.JPG
9ft6incbhHemlock.JPG
99ftHemlock.JPG
10ft8.50incbhHemlock.JPG
107.9ft Hemlock_Stitch.jpg
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:22 pm

James, Looks like you and Family had a good time! To bad about the Hemlocks. Larry

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Ranger Dan
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Re: Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by Ranger Dan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:41 pm

Hello James-

Nice report! I haven't been into the Pink Beds...often wondered what it's like. I've heard there are swamp pinks there. Ever seen them.

I worked for the U.S. Forest Service (long my bitter enemy before I joined them under cover, only to find that there are confidants there...at least on the West coast.) A word to the wise...don't ask, don't tell. Just do it. They will not, and cannot give you permission to apply pesticides without contractural agreement, proper insurance, training, and so on. I have done some hemlock treatment with Imidacloprid (Merit) with good results, and it lasts a couple years, at least. Dinotephuran (Safari) is used as a bark spray, and I believe I have heard that it's better at saving the ones on the brink of death. I am no expert, and I'm sure you'll get all the details from others.

Will, I'm curious about this, too.

Dan

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James Parton
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Re: Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by James Parton » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:26 am

Ranger Dan,

I have heard Will speak of the effectiveness of Safari. I don't think he uses Imidacloprid much anymore.

I think " Swamp Pinks " and Swamp Azalea are the same. Correct me if I am wrong. I can always tell is Swamp Azalea is in bloom by it's cinnamon-like spicy scent. It is the only member of the Rhododendron/Azalea family I know of with a strong scented flower like this. And yes, the Pink Beds has some nice Swamp Azalea ( Rhododendron Viscosum ) specimens. These photos were taken there a couple of summers back.
Attachments
Swamp Azalea.jpg
Swamp Azalea 2.jpg
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

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

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Ranger Dan
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Re: Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by Ranger Dan » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:09 am

Nice to know those azaleas are there. Swamp pinks (Helionas bullata) are in the lily family, and have tiny, deep pink flowers in an elongated cluster on a single stem arising from a basal rosette of foliage. They on the Threatened and Endangered list.

Dan

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James Parton
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Re: Pink Beds Loop and Barnett Branch Hike

Post by James Parton » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:21 am

Dan,

Thanks for alerting me to this one. I did not know of it and it will be one I will look for.

Here are a couple of web links on Helonias Bullata.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helonias_bullata
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/rarepl ... ndex.shtml
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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