Return to Baxter Creek

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Return to Baxter Creek

Post by dbhguru » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:05 am


Yesterday, Monica and I took a stroll up Baxter Creek in the GSMNP's Cataloochee District to see wild flowers and for me, naturally, to measure trees. The day was cool and there weren't many insects. I hadn't been back to Baxter Creek since Monica, Ed Frank, and I went there back in 2006, I think. We renewed our acquaintance with a number of large trees. Here is a look at a very handsome N. red oak along the trail.
This lovely person has a girth of right at 14 feet and sports a straight trunk. I didn't measure its height, but is probably around 105 to 110 feet. Another favorite is a big trailside tuliptree. Here is a look.
This tree is around 15-feet in girth by photo measurement. I didn't measure its height because I was intent on the really tall stuff farther up the trail. However, there is more to enjoy on this trail than tree size. For example, there is bark art. This eye-popping yellow buckeye is a case in point.
There are some small silverbells along the way, but I didn't see any standouts. But of course, the show stoppers for most folks are the wild flowers. Here is a white trillium. They were prolific.
I measured many of the tall tuliptrees in the tall tree hot spot zone, but couldn't break any records. The best I could do for the short time period was 173.6, 172.1, 170.9, and 170.1. I didn't find a tree that Michael Davie measured recently, I think to 179. Monica and I may return on Wednesday for another hunt. Finding the tops of these super tall tulips is really difficult. It takes me a while to home in on the highest tips. Will does it in a glance. I'm envious.

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

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Will Blozan
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Re: Return to Baxter Creek

Post by Will Blozan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:07 pm


Hopefully Mike took a waypoint for the tree or he could describe it. BTW, the big tuliptree by the trail low down is 160'+. Doesn't look it but it is not short. There is a 130' class silverbell to the left as you go up to the Rucker tree. I'd like to see what you get for the 14'-ish beast just up from the sharp turn leaving the creek. It seems to be hovering around 170' for a decade! Also the 155+ white ash on the trail. Also, not far from the big low down tuliptree is a 150' red oak on the creek by an old cistern.

Baxter rules!


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Re: Return to Baxter Creek

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:58 pm

That's a great area of the Park. One of my favorites.

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