Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:08 am

Josh, Will,
Chasteen Creek is on the Benton Mackaye Trail. Mingus Creek is on the Mountains-to-Sea, which will boost the R10 significantly. I could add the old figures from Mingus into the current Rucker. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Benton Mackaye Trail share the same trail for a stretch.

User avatar
Josh Kelly
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:13 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by Josh Kelly » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:33 am

Hey Brian,

Thanks for the clarification. I had forgotten that the MST had decided on a fairly ridiculous route through Cherokee and the Tuckasegee River valley rather than the more realistic route along the Parkway in Jackson County.

You could add the Mingus Creek numbers Jess has put up, but I guarantee that most of those trees would be far outside the 100 yard threshold you propose.

Looking at the map, there is one tree I know you should add, the huge 21' cbh x 179' tall poplar at Poke Patch on the Fork Ridge trail.

You could probably find some tall stuff on Deep Creek trail and the tallest spruce on the MST is definitely on the Fork Ridge Trail - somewhere in the 140's, I think?


User avatar
Will Blozan
Posts: 1153
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:13 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:33 pm

Josh, Brian

There is a 153' red spruce visible from the Fork Ridge Trail. Three over 150' actually. And the 104' serviceberry on the trail as well...


User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:42 pm

I was able to get a few hours to myself for the first time since my second daughter was born. It was a rainy and foggy day but I visited some red spruce forest at the junction of the MTS and Big Butt Trails. I saw a bear cub in the first hundred yards. It obviously had better things to do than measure trees with me. As for the measuring, I didn't accomplish much. The rain prevented most measurements but I got a few. These, I believe, are undermeasurements due to the weather. The figures I was getting didn't seem to match what I was seeing. I'll have to confirm that at a later date. These are all red spruce. I counted forty rings in a 6" diameter tree that had been cut. The first several were quite large so I'm guessing that they occurred when the tree found a good bit of sunlight and really took off.

Picea rubens

93.3' 97.1' 99.4' 99.6'
100.9' 108.5' 112.6'

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:47 pm

I got back to the red spruce. There's a bunch. They dwindle out not far from the top of the ridge. These are all a stone's throw or three from the MTS Trail.

Big Butt Trail

Picea Rubens

81.2' 84.6' 84.9' 85.5' 85.5' 86.6'
87.4' 88.1' 90.3' 92.2' 92.2' 93.4'
95.4' 96.1' 96.6' 97.1' 98.4' 99.4'
99.6' 101.0' 102.1' 101.7' 105.2'
108.5' 112.6'

Mountains to Sea Trail

84.6' 85.6' 86.1' 87.3' 87.8' 89.8'
93.3' 94.7' 98.4' 98.9' 101.4'

road between the trails

83.0' 85.0' 85.3' 86.6' 87.0' 88.2'
88.2' 92.2' 92.5' 94.3' 96.7'

Blue Ridge Parkway -tough to measure, likely some gems in the watershed

97.9' 99.9'

some other trees

betula allegheniensis 73.4'

sorbus americana 49.5'

acer spicatum 29.9'

User avatar
Posts: 4550
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by dbhguru » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:38 pm


What are your top measurements by species along the Parkway? Maybe we can combine our measurements. I'm about to renew the research permit and need to show what we've been doing. I'd like to add you to the permit. Is that okay?

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:50 pm

Please add me to the research permit. I'll get you an up to date list this week.

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:15 am

These are the 20 tallest species I've found along the Parkway so far. I finally found a decent sycamore but there has to be a much taller one out there. They top 145' just a few miles away. Tulip likely reaches much greater height as well closer to the Smokies.

pinus strobus 154.7'
lirio tulip 142.1'
pinus taeda 134.0'
quercus montana 133.5'
quercus alba 130.9'
carya glabra 129.4'
carya cordiformis 129.3'
quercus rubra 127.2'
quercus coccinea 125.4'
pinus rigida 124.8'

carya ovalis 122.6'
pinus echinata 122.3'
fraxinus Americana 121.6'
quercus velotina 121.3'
metaseq glypto 119.7'
platinus occidentalis 117.9'
prunus serotina 114.7'
acer rubrum 113.8'
picea rubens 112.6'
pinus virginiana 112.1'

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:26 am

Last year, I found an exceptional cove with several oaks species over 120'. On Friday, I found an even better one. Both of them were dominated by tuliptrees along the trail. These measured in the 110's and 120's. Traveling downward a bit, more diversity showed itself. I'd passed by these spots many times thinking they weren't at all special but surprises awaited. The tallest red oak, sourwood and one tall chestnut oak were situated right on the trail but the remainder of the oaks were downslope from the trail. I tried to find the 98' sourwood that was measured last year. It was in a different spot than I remembered. Just 1.1' kept the cove from having five oaks over 125'. The biggest surprises were the 127' black oak and the plethora of tall chestnut oaks.

Quercus rubra red oak 132.4' 129.3' 128.9' 128.1' 129.3'

Quercus alba white oak 127.0' 124.5' 117.7' 116.4'

Quercus velotina black oak 127.1' 111.9'

Quercus coccinea scarlet oak 123.9' 116.3'

Quercus montana chestnut oak 130.2' 129.1' 128.5' 123.4' 121.6' 118.9' 118.3'

Nyssa sylvatica black gum 110.1' 106.3'

Fraxinus Am. Biltmoreana Biltmore ash 130.6' 125.8' 121.4'

Liriodendron tulipifera tulip 140.3' 139.3' 131.5' 131.3'

Juglans nigra black walnut 107.4'

Acer rubrum red maple 99.4'

Oxydendrum arboreum sourwood 97.9' 93.8' 89.3' 84.1' 82.1' 79.9' 79.8' 75.0'

The abundance of tall sourwoods is making a serious impression on me. There must be a half dozen spots in Buncombe County alone that harbor 90'+ sourwoods, many with 80'+. I stopped measuring 70' sourwoods.

User avatar
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:02 am

Coincendentally, with all of the talk on red hickories, I spent Saturday morning with a site I noticed just after leaf-on last year so I just made a few measurements, erroneously calling the hickories bitternut. Thick brush permeated the site when I was last there. It was much more passable this time of year. The site is fairly steep, right on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just up about 500 feet above the French Broad River.

Tulips dominated the site in sheer numbers as one would expect on such a site. Heightwise, however, the tulips appeared taller but only two cracked the 130' barrier. The other dominant tree, red hickory, had cracked that barrier as well.

I approached the site from the WNC Arboretum, where I had done a few re-measures. The Hardtimes Trail was lined with solid sourwoods so most of the sourwood measurements were made there, save the tallest. The butternut was an anomaly, being located right on the trail at the top of a low ridge.

Liriodendron tulipfera tuliptree 137.3' 132.1'

Juglans cinera butternut 104.5'

Quercus alba white oak 121.1'

Oxydendrum arboreum sourwood 91.2' 80.0' 79.7' 78.2' 77.0' 76.2'

Carya ovalis red hickory 134.8' 133.7' 132.7' 129.3' 124.7'
121.7' 121.6' 118.8' 118.6' 116.3'

At the Arboretum, all updated heights:

Pinus taeda loblolly pine 135.1' 134.7' 130.8' 130.0'

Metasequoia Glypt. dawn redwood 124.1' 123.5' 116.7' 114.7' 113.6' 108.2' 103.0'

Pinus virginiana Va. pine 104.6'

Thuja occidentalis whitecedar 82.3'

Pinus resinosa red pine 91.2' 82.2'

Post Reply

Return to “North Carolina”