Biltmore Estate Trees

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:54 pm

It looks like T. Occidentalis but I'm not 100% certain of it, especially at Biltmore. I haven't seen a T. Plicata up close but it appears to not be a plicata. Platycladus is a remote possibility.

The 135' baldcypress just keeps growing consistently. It's in a mini gorge so it's well protected by hemlocks, white pines and hardwoods. The 124.9' is also putting on height rapidly and is also well protected.

I'm not getting enough time to measure but at least I'm getting a little bit.

On further examination, it is certainly plausible that it could be a plicata. I'll get pics and samples soon.

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:44 pm

I checked out the garden today to get accurate measurements on some over-measured trees, due to a clickover in my laser. I nailed these with two different lasers so I'm confident in these heights. The Rucker Index will suffer accordingly but I found a stellar pignut that will break into the top ten.

Bigleaf Magnolia is colonizing in at least four spots in the forest above the record holding 76.8' tree.

Interesting note about white ash. It seems to be much more prevalent on the Estate than Biltmore ash, yet Biltmore ash seems to be much more prevalent in the county. I assume the white ash was mostly planted as Biltmore is the dominant ash in the area.

Edit: I forgot to mention the sourwoods. These all grow on uplands and appear rather young.

White pine 155.6' from 158.1'

Dawn redwood 126.7' from 130.1'

Dawn redwood 124.7' from 126.4'

Oriental spruce 119.0' from 122.3'

Norway spruce 130.0' from 133.6'

and on to increases in height

Atlas cedar 102.0' from 97.4'

Mockernut hickory 122.1' from 119.6' current record holder for girth @ 142"

new finds

sourwood 76.3' 78.8' 80.9' 81.8' 88.8' 3 now over 85' on the Estate

white oak 115.8' 116.4'

black oak 108.4' 116.6' new record for the estate

chestnut oak 105.7' 108.2'

scarlet oak 114.0'

white ash 115.3'

walnut 102.5' 117.5'

Pignut hickory 130.7' tallest hickory on the Estate

Oriental spruce 100.4'

Longleaf pine 73.4' 81.8'

Euro silver fir 80.2'

Pacific silver fir 74.5' 96.0'

Japanese Katsura 65.9'

Ginkgo biloba 75.3'

Conifer R10 130.25'

Pinus strobus 155.6'
Tsuga canadensis 144.2'
Larix decidua 136.9'
Taxodium distichum 135.0'
Picea abies 130.0'
Metasequoia glypto 126.7'
Pinus echinata 120.0' needs more careful measurement
Picea orientalis 119.0'
Pinus resinosa 118.4'
Abies homolepis 116.7'

Rucker overall

Pinus strobus 155.6'
Tsuga canadensis 144.2'
Liriodendron tulipifera 143.4'
Larix decidua 136.9'
Taxodium distichum 135.0'
Platinus occidentalis 131.5'
Quercus rubra 130.8'
Carya glabra 130.7'
Picea abies 130.0'
Fraxinus americana 128.7'

Tilia tomentosa 127.9'
Metasequoia glypto 126.7'
Juglans nigra 124.7'
Ulmus laevis 124.0'
Carya alba 122.1'
Tilia americana 120.0'
Pinus echinata 120.0'
Picea orientalis 119.0'
Quercus alba 118.5'
Pinus resinosa 118.4'


R20= 129.41'
Last edited by bbeduhn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by Don » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:02 am

Not everyone can get away with measuring a stellar pignut without a smirk or two...:-)
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:09 am

I got back to the probable champion mockernut to get spread numbers and pictures from all sides.

The second tallest white pine, on the approach road, has reached the same height as the former tallest white pine, in the azalea garden. The tallest baldcypress has had the ground cover removed from its base so it's much easier to determine midslope. I got just a hair shorter than the previous measurement but I was also closer to the tree so it may go a foot taller since it has a relatively flat topped crown. Both baldcypresses had been previously measured. The chestnut oak should be the tallest I've found on the estate.

Carya alba mockernut hickory

height 122.7'
girth 11'10.5"
spread 75.5' on 3 spokes

Pinus strobus 155.6'

Below dam

Taxodium distichum 134.7' 124.2'

Quercus montana 129.1'

Quercus coccinea 114.9'
mockernut trunk 1
mockernut trunk 1
mockernut trunk 2
mockernut trunk 2
mockernut trunk 3
mockernut trunk 3
mockernut trunk 4
mockernut trunk 4
mockernut crown 1
mockernut crown 1
mockernut crown 2
mockernut crown 2
mockernut crown 3
mockernut crown 3
mockernut crown 4
mockernut crown 4
mockernut shell
mockernut shell

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:04 pm

Just some quick updates on a handful of trees:

The tallest Dawn redwood in the grove near the Visitor Center is now 130.4' The one in the gardens remains at 126'. The Atlas cedar has topped 100' at 100.1'. An unknown cedar (not a true cedar) is 85.2' by the Bass pond shelter.

Just past the underpass on the entrance road, the tallest hemlock remains at 144'. The white pines upslope have exploded with growth.
161.2' 150.4' 149.1' 148.5' 147.2' 144.9' 144.1' 144.0'

the former 153.5' white pine in the open along the entance road is now 157.2'

Below the dam, along the road, the walnuts are 126.2' and 120.8'. Dawn redwoods are entering the crowns. I could not locate the tops of the redwoods with leaves out.

the pine is the first known tree on the Estate to surpass 160'

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:35 pm

Just past where I measured the 161.2' white pine, I noticed quite a few more very tall pines. Many healthy hemlocks reside here as well. I also measured the young dawn redwood growing under the walnut trees.

White pine
161.3' 158.7' 156.2' 155.6' 154.3' 152.8' 150.8' 149.9' 149.6' 145.7' 145.1'

below the dam by the deer gate
152.6' 152.4' 150.0'

142.1' (was 144') 135.4' 133.3' 128.8' 128.4' 128.2' 123.6' 120.7'

Dawn redwood
121.7' (very young)

142.2' 136.5' 136.8' 134.9'

134.1' 123.7' (both below dam, previously measured)

Carolina hemlock
112.6' 105.5' (from a different vantage point but I believe the 112' was 114.5' at some point)

The pines are growing like mad and I'm kicking myself for not noticing them before. I had kiddos with me so I didn't get as much measuring as I would have liked. 9 150's and 2 160's reside in one grove with only cursory measuring. The gate grove should have 4 150's. There could be over 20 150's on the approach road.

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:24 am

I measured a bit along the entrance road and got a few updates in the gardens. Some trees are still growing and some are shrinking. Unfortunately, the fine European larches are dying. One looks completely dead and the other is very nearly dead and has lost a bit of height. I located two more on my initial scouting of the entrance area, just above the current ones, in the forest, and they were already dead in 2012. They may just be short lived in the soils or the climate.

I noticed a fine hemlock grove right next to the highway on the entrance road. In several years, this grove will house the tallest hemlock on the estate. All of these look lush and appear to be a little younger than the current champ, which is still doing well, with a nice looking top, bur it has lost a couple of feet in the last several years.

Eastern hemlock grove 139.1' 134.2' 126.7' 124.7'

current hemlock champ 141.6', down from 144.2'

The fairly open grown white pine with the large broken branch is 157.2', up from 153.5' in 2012.

The two tallest North American "cedars" are at 84.6', growing on the bridge, and 84.7', by the boathouse. I cannot confirm the species on either tree. I would guess Thuja plicata.

A weeping hemlock by that bridge is 35.2'.

Some updates on exotics

Larix decidua 121.2' from 136.9', 116.6', now dead

Picea orientalis 122.3', up from 119.0', 114.7', along road

Abies homolepis Nikko fir 119.1', up from 116.7'

Taxodium ascendens pond cypress 92.5', up from 89.0'

Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn redwood 133.4' I had this one stuck below 130' for the longest time. The tallest sprig is on the garden side and I think I was missing it.

Aesculus parviflora bottlebrush buckeye 20.0' This shrub tree is prevalent at Biltmore but I hadn't noticed it before this year.

RHI 5 = 147.16'
RHI 10 = 139.57'
RHI 20 = 131.71'

1. Pinus strobus 161.3'
2. P. occidentalis 150.0'
3. Tsuga canadensis 144.2'
4. L. Tulipifera 143.4'
5. Larix decidua 136.9'
6. Taxodium distichum 135.0'
7. M. glyptostroboides 133.4'
8. Quercus rubra 130.8'
9. Carya glabra 130.7'
10. Picea abies 130.0'

11. Quercus montana 129.1'
12. Frax. Americana 128.7'
13. Tilia tomentosa 127.9'
14. Juglans nigra 124.7'
15. Ulmus laevis 124.0'
16. Carya alba 122.7'
17. Picea orientalis 122.3'
18. Tilia americana 120.0'
18. Pinus echinata 120.0'
20. Abies homolepis 119.1'

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:32 pm

I walked a road that is just for larger vehicles because they can't fit through the formal walled garden. I had no idea how tall the pines were getting along this road. I didn't find a new Estate record but came pretty close. I also revisited many exotic species, remeasuring some and getting some that I'd passed over before.

Entry road before Visitor Center

white elm Ulmus laevis 78.8' 24.0m
bottlebrush buckeye Aesculus parviflora 21.0' 6.40m to top of bloom, just shy of the record at 22.8' 6.95m

Visitor Center

Dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides grove 130.4' 122.4' 119.0' 121.5' 112.5' 117.9' 39.74m 37.21m 36.27m
37.03m 34.29m 35.93m
Baldcypress Taxodium distichum 120.4' 36.69m
Little leaf linden Tilia cordata 76.3' 75.8' 75.7' 67.9' 23.25m 23.10m 23.07m 20.69m
bur oak Quercus macrocarpa 120.3' 36.66m
Caucasian elm Zelkova carpinofolia 97.2' 29.62m

road around azalea and conifer garden

white pine Pinus strobus 158.4' 155.0' 153.6' 147.0' 145.7' 142.7' 48.28m 47.24m 46.81m 44.80m 44.41m 43.49m
tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera 133.4' 40.66m
unknown maple or sweetgum cultivar 48.6' 14.81m
scarlet oak Quercus coccinea 110.9' 33.80m


Rocky Mtn Douglas fir Pseudostuga menzeii glauca 106.5' 96.6' 32.46m 29.44m
weeping Norway spruce Picea abies pendula 39.9' 12.16m
Spanish fir Abies pinsapo 80.8' 24.62m
unknown yew like tree 83.4' 25.42m
cherrybark oak Quercus pagoda 92.5' 28.19m
black maple Acer nigrum 66.6' 20.30m
unknown spruce 73.8' 22.49m
Pacific silver fir Abies albidum 106.6' 32.49m
Oriental spruce Picea orientalis 122.3' 120.0' 37.27m 33.57m
weeping European beech Fagus sylvatica pendula 51.7' 15.75m
Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum japonica 66.5' 62.8' 20.27m 19.14m
sawtooth oak Quercus acutissima 81.3' 78.7' 24.78m 23.98m
swamp chestnut oak Quercus michauxii 117.3' 35.75m
Japanese redwood Cryptomeria japonica 71.8' 21.88m

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:25 am

Between Antler Hill Village and the lagoon, the road is lined with oak trees. I hadn't paid much attention to them in the past, aside from a few large white oaks and what I thought was a Northern red oak. The assumed red oak is actually a shingle oak, and it's huge! It appears to have been planted but must have been planted sometime around the construction of the house, 1889-1895. Shingle oaks are uncommon in the mountains and generally grow along streams. A very small creek runs by it but it has just a trickle most of the time. The upright habit and large bole are unusual for the species. The few large shingle oaks I've seen in the county are at Warren Wilson College, all but one along the Swannannoa River. The Biltmore shingle is 14'1" cbh and 111.3' in height, with a sizable spread, likely 70'.

Aside from the shingle and some large white oaks, there is an eclectic collection of 40-50 year old oaks, with a few older walnuts in the mix. I hadn't paid much attention to them because I had always seen them without leaves. Recently, I started noticing the leaves and was able to spend some time and get positive IDs on all of them. Some are exotic, some are native just beyond the mountains and many are hybrids. I thought the task of identifying the hybrids would be quite difficult but it turned out to be fairly easy, with a little practice. Once one is figured out, the same hybrid becomes easy to spot in subsequent trees.

cherrybark oak Quercus pagoda
85.7' 85.6' 82.3'
26.12m 26.09m 25.08m

shingle oak Quercus imbricaria
111.3' 14'1" cbh
33.92m 4.29m cbh

water oak Quercus nigra
81.4' 24.81m

Northern pin oak Quercus ellipsoidalis
87.1' 26.54m

Bender oak Quercus x benderi (rubra/coccinea) (N red/scarlet)
90.0' 80.6' 76.0'
27.43m 24.56m 23.16m

Guadalupe's oak Quercus x guadalupensis (macrocarpa/stellata) (bur/post)
64.2' 61.7' 61.5' 60.9'
19.56m 18.80m 18.74m 18.56m

Fernow's oak Quercus x fernowii (alba/stellata) (white/post)
64.7' 64.2' 62.7' 60.5'
19.72m 19.56m 19.11m 18.44m

Bebb's oak Quercus x bebbiana (macrocarpa/alba) (bur/white)
50.4' 47.3'
15.36m 14.41m

sawtooth oak Quercus altissima
90.0' 81.3' 78.7' the last two previously reported
27.43m 24.78m 23.98m

shortleaf pine Pinus echinata
108.5' 104.1'
33.07m 31.73m

river birch Betula nigra
70.8' 21.58m

sycamore Platanus occidentalis
126.0' 38.40m

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Re: Biltmore Estate Trees

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:13 pm

These trees are mostly in the garden by the house. I had never measured more a than a couple of trees in that section before. A few are in the walled garden and just outside of the walled garden.

crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica 59.8' 18.22m
green hawthorn (winter king) Crataegus viridis 33.2' 10.12m
smoothleaf elm Ulmus carpinifolia (umbaculifera) 47.1' 14.35m
golden rain tree Koelreuteria paniculata 49.3' 15.02m 43.4' 13.22m
Japanese tree lilac Syringa reticulata 39.9' 12.16' 26.9' 8.20m
Japanese pagoda Sophora japonica 50.9' 15.51m
smoketree Cotinus obovatus 31.2' 9.51m
vernal witch hazel Hamamelis vernalis 24.7' 7.52m
Persian parrota Parrotia persica 39.9' 12.16m
Japanese cornel dogwood Cornus officinalis 23.1' 7.04m
Amur corktree Phellodendron amurense 62.5' 19.05m
dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides 88.8' 27.06m
katsura Cercidiphyllum japonicum 74.7' 22.76m
Loebner magnolia Magnolia x loebieri 27.6' 8.41m
galaxy magnolia Magnolia x galaxy 36.5' 11.12m
red buckeye Aesculus pavia 28.2' 8.59m
tall stewartia Stewartia monadelpha 19.2' 5.85m
silktree (mimosa) Albizia julibrissin 37.3' 11.37m

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