Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

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bbeduhn
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Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:35 am

This is a new preserve near Chimney Rock and Rumbling Bald, bought by the Nature Conservancy. I read about old growth and since it's in a gorge along the escarpment, I expected some fine trees.

The only old growth I saw were old hemlocks, which had already succumbed to the adelgid, and one large white oak. Black birch were everpresent and were a canopy tree. It appears they are remnants of higrading of other hardwoods. The largest hemlocks were all dead but smaller, mature hemlocks are still going strong. Some had lost their lower needles but many were green all the way up into the 80-90' canopy. They are mostly along a lush stream. Aside from this stream the land is quite open in the understory.

This area should respond to adelgid treatments if it hasn't already been treated. I'm guessing that someone has treated it. I haven't seen such green hemlocks in the mountains in some time.

hemlock 94.5' healthy
scarlet oak 95'
black/scarlet hybrid 97' I assume this id is correct. Leaves and bark are between the two
white ash 98'
black birch 101' likely a few feet taller. My 550 has trouble in the crown of blk birch
white oak 104' 14'2" cbh
red hickory 107.6'
red oak 108'
black locust 121'
tuliptree 123'
white pine 124.3'

Rucker 107.9'

I only made it through a third of the preserve but I don't expect the Rucker to climb significantly. I was dissappointed with the heights, except for locust and birch. The black birch really asserted themselves.

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edfrank
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Re: Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

Post by edfrank » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:19 pm

Brian,

Nice report, The Rucker Index isn't impressive but the site was worth documenting anyway.

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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edfrank
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Re: Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

Post by edfrank » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:22 pm

Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC
http://www.carolinamountain.org/florence

The Florence Nature Preserve, owned by CMLC and located in Gerton, is a special treasure in the upper Hickory Nut Gorge. The 600-acre property was donated to CMLC in two phases (1996 and 2001) by Dr. Tom and Glenna Florence. CMLC leads hikes here twice a year. Visitors are also welcome to visit the property on their own.

For a good history of this project, read this article:
http://www.carolinamountain.org/sites/d ... rticle.pdf

For a map of the property showing hiking trails, click here:
http://www.carolinamountain.org/sites/d ... 110606.pdf
florence.JPG
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"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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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:48 pm

I was invited on hemlock treating excursion there a few years ago but I was too sick at the time to take part. So I know that they have been active in trying to treat hemlocks against hwa. Not sure if they've gone into that site--we were scheduled to go into a different area in the gorge.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Florence Nature Preserve, Gerton, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:48 pm

Large hemlock
Large hemlock
Green hemlock!
Green hemlock!
brians folder 212.JPG
The largest double sourwood I've seen. ~2' diameter each
The largest double sourwood I've seen. ~2' diameter each

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