UNC Campus Trees

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pdbrandt
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UNC Campus Trees

Post by pdbrandt » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:34 pm

ENTS,

After calibrating my spiffy new Nikon 440 laser rangefinder I went out for a walk on the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina to measure some of my favorite trees. UNC is the oldest public university in the nation and many campus trees are hundreds of years old. A couple of years ago I created a virtual tree tour of UNC campus trees, and, when I have time, I love to walk the "long way" to my office via some of my favorite trees. (You can take the tree tour here: http://ncbg.unc.edu/trees-of-the-unc-campus/)

Not surprisingly, the campus trees have huge crowns but tend to be rather short. Here are a couple of pictures of one of the quads.

Click on image to see its original size

Click on image to see its original size

Click on image to see its original size

One of my favorite trees is a 14 foot, 11 inch CBH post oak. I measured it today at 86.9 feet.

Click on image to see its original size

Not far from the post oak is a tree laden with mistletoe. I wonder how many of the 100's of people who walk under it everyday know what mistletoe is.

Click on image to see its original size

The Davie Poplar is a 300+ year old tulip poplar with its own Wikipedia page. Named for a revolutionary war hero and the founding president of the university, the health of the Davie Poplar is said to tied to the health of UNC. It has been damaged by lightning and hurricanes, but it still healthy, if not hollow. It is cabled in a couple of spots and the hollow trunk was filled with concrete in 1996. I measured it to 99.3 feet.
The Davie Poplar
The Davie Poplar
UNC campus is home to the Coker Arboretum, maintained by the NC Botanical Gardens. (http://ncbg.unc.edu/Coker-arboretum/). The arboretum contains hundreds of varieties of plants, trees, and flowers. One of the most prominent trees is a spruce pine known as Walter's Pine. It is listed in the arboretum map as 98 feet tall. I was pleasantly surprised that its height was not super exaggerated as I measured it to 95.7 feet.

On the northeast side of campus is Battle Park, a wooded area that has supposedly never been cut. Will Blozan visited and wrote about some of the trees in battle park back in 2008: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... garden.htm

Later that same year John Eicholz also visited Battle Park and spent enough time exploring there to establish a Rucker index for the campus: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... l_2008.htm

While hiking along Battle Creek I remeasured the Monarch of the Forest to 121.4 feet. John got the exact same measurement in 2008. I also remeasured a sweet gum near the gravel parking lot behind Forest Theatre that he noted in his post. He measured it to 122.7 in 2008 and I measured it to 122.9.

Click on image to see its original size
Crown of the Monarch

Click on image to see its original size
Feet of the Monarch

Here are some other trees I measured along Battle Creek

Tulip poplar
113.9
118.6
123.3
127.6

Red oak
112.4

White oak
101.8
Last edited by pdbrandt on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Patrick

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Matt Markworth
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Re: UNC Campus Trees

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:05 pm

Nice Work!

I love spending time on old campuses like that. I've recently spent some time on the campus of Miami University here in Ohio and it appears that there is quite a bit in common with the Chapel Hill campus. I've done some tree identification videos about Miami, but I'll have to get back out and do some tree measurement!

- Matt

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Larry Tucei
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Re: UNC Campus Trees

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:53 pm

Patrick, I second Matts comment nice work. Those are some really impressive trees! I wonder has anyone cored them to get an age or are they estimates? The campus tour link is awesome. Larry

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pdbrandt
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Re: UNC Campus Trees

Post by pdbrandt » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:21 pm

Larry Tucei wrote:Patrick, I second Matts comment nice work. Those are some really impressive trees! I wonder has anyone cored them to get an age or are they estimates? The campus tour link is awesome. Larry
Thanks Larry and Matt,
I don't think they've been cored. There's enough written history of the campus that the trees have been "dated" using clues from the written record.
Patrick

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