Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:14 pm

North Face Trail, Looking Glass Rock

This trail starts on very dry terrain, dominated by rhododendron and mountain laurel with chestnut oak, scarlet oak, tulip, black oak and sourwood. Once it starts up to the north face of Looking Glass Rock, the understory clears out a bit and when it approaches the northeast corner, the understory plants cease. The entire area is free of any brush. Tulip thoroughly dominates with a fair amount of black locust, red oak and a few surprises. I rarely see chestnut snags in Pisgah NF, but three of them are on the trail. Fraser magnolia has a presence as does mountain silverbell. These two generally grow in more lush areas. The forest has a fantastic openness to it. There are some boulderfields and several large boulders which have fallen off the massive face of this enormous granite dome. I shot up from near the base and got 450' for the sheer cliff. The forest is well protected from westerly winds.

Liriodendron tulipifera tulip 154.8' 149.1' 148.8' 146.5' 145.0' 139.9'

Quercus rubra red oak 133.7' 128.9' 125.1' 124.5' 121.8' 121.5'

Quercus montana chestnut oak 120.8'

Robinia pseudoacacia black locust 141.2' 138.4' 128.3'

Tilia heterophylla white basswood 130.4' 129.7'

Magnolia acuminata cucumbertree 130.6'

Magnolia fraseri Fraser magnolia 112.3' 99.8' 93.0'

Halesia monticola mountain silverbell 94.3'

Acer rubrum red maple 109.6'
forest.jpg
North Face of Looking Glass Rock
North Face of Looking Glass Rock
Curiously, two red spruce grow near the parking lot, well below their typical altitude and they grow in a very dry laurel thicket.
Last edited by bbeduhn on Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:03 pm

Looking Glass Rock
Two intersecting coves above the trail at third switchback

I suspected that hickories would dominate in these intersecting coves, which reside just below a high rock wall with a an eastern exposure. I didn't find as many hickories as anticipated but did find quality. Tulips thoroughly dominated the more eastern area while the other part was more diverse. Red oaks did well along with the hickories here. The beech is the surprise of the day. The presence of sugar maple was also a bit surprising. A gnarly old chestnut oak grows in a large boulder strewn area above the coves. I didn't climb up to it but it appears to be 12' cbh.

Liriodendron tulipifera 167.5' 158.4' 154.8' 153.8' 151.4' 151.0'

Carya glabra 143.2' 131.5' 128.4'

Carya alba 139.8' 133.0'

Fagus grandifolia 137.2' 121.4'

Tilia heterophylla 122.0'

Acer rubrum 124.6'

Acer saccharum 108.2'

Quercus rubra 142.1' 134.5'

Rucker for Looking Glass Rock

Lirio tulip 167.5'
Carya glabra 143.2'
Quercus rubra 142.1'
Robin Pseudo 141.2'
Carya alba 139.8'
Fagus grandi 137.2'
Carya cordif 135.0'
Pinus strobus 133.2'
Magnol acumin 130.6'
Tilia hetero 130.4'

R 10 = 140.02'

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Jess Riddle » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:08 pm

Brian,

Impressive mockernut hickory and beech. Makes me wonder what the Rucker is for the Davidson River watershed. This site, Saddle Gap, and Horse Cove are all in the watershed, and King Creek is another similar site just on the other side of a ridge.

Jess

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:14 am

Horse Cove

I went back to Horse Cove after finding out about the quality of trees well above the trail that Mike and Jess surveyed in about 2010. They didn't get everywhere but neither did I. I made sure to get the highest coves. I ventured off trail and soon found an enormous clear cut from around 2000. The creeks were left out of the cut as a riparian buffer zone. Pignuts did fairly well along the creek but did better up higher. The biggest surprise was a cuke that lives below the trail not too far from the top.

Mike and Jess had a 152' pignut and Will mentioned a 146' mockernut. I got a little lower reading on the mockernut and didn't break 150' on pignut.

Carya alba 142.4'

Carya glabra 146.8' 145.9' 143.8' 141.6'

Carya cordif 116.9'

Lirio tulip 153.9' 152.7' 150.0'

Magnolia acuminata 142.0' 129.0' 120.9'

Quercus rubra 138.8' 135.4' 132.6' 132.4'

Quercus alba 128.6' 124.0'

Quercus velotina 121.5'

Fraxinus Americana 136.1' 129.0'

Fraxinus biltmore 120.9'

Fagus grandif 125.6' 115.2'


Rucker 10 from my measurements

Lirio tulip 155.0'

Pinus strobus 152.0'

Carya glabra 146.8'

Carya alba 142.4'

Magnolia acumin 142.0'

Quercus rubra 138.8'

Fraxinus americ 136.1'

Quercus alba 128.6'

Fagus grandi 125.6'

Tsuga canaden 121.8'

R 10 = 141.06'


Combined Rucker using tallest hits from Jess and Mike and myself

Lirio tulip 159.5'

Carya glabra 152.1'

Pinus strobus 152.0'

Carya alba 146.0'

Tilia hetero 142.3'

Magnolia acumin 142.0'

Quercus rubra 138.8'

Fraxinus american 136.6'

Fagus grandif 130.6'

Quercus alba 128.6'

R 10 = 142.85'

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:34 am

Jess,
I've compiled a Rucker list for Davidson Creek, with only a handful of sites surveyed. Measuring was done by Jess, Mike and myself, and perhaps Will on one tree.

Lirio tulip 170.8' KC
Carya glabra 152.1' HC
Pinus strobus 152.0' HC
Carya ovalis 146.8' SG
Carya alba 146.0' HC
Quercus rubra 143.7' KC
Tilia hetero 142.3' HC & KC
Magnolia acumin 142.0' HC
Robin pseudo 141.2' LG
Fraxinus americ 139.7' SG

R 10 = 147.66'

Platan occiden 138.7' KC
Quercus montana 137.7' SG
Fagus grandifol 137.2' LG
Carya cordiform 135.0' LG
Tsuga canadens 133.9' SG
Quercus alba 132.0' AC
Quercus velotina 130.1' SG
Fraxin biltmore 120.9' HC
Quercus falcata 119.7' HC
Juglans nigra 118.4' SG


R 20 = 139.01'

KC = King Creek
SG = Saddle Gap
HC = Horse Cove (perhaps a couple from East Horse Cove)
LG = Looking Glass
AC = Andy Cove

Andy Cove is right behind the Ranger Station/Visitor Center. It has 140's for tulip and white pine and a fine white oak at 132.0' just above the parking lot.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:46 pm

Avery Creek Trail

This trail has several waterfalls and two tributary waterfalls as well. A few species do quite well. Surprisingly, tulip is pretty short, even as the trail climbs above the waterfalls. White oak was pretty normal except for one very tall specimen. Chestnut oak and sourwood each had one solid representative.

Carya cordiformis 122.0' 117.4'

Oxydendron arboreum 96.0'

Betula lenta 102.1' 97.2'

Quercus montana 132.0'

Quercus alba 139.6'

Liriodendron tulipifera 137.1'

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:58 pm

Art Loeb Trail flat

The river flats along the Davidson River contain typical species in some parts but this spot at the base of the Art Loeb Trail is thoroughly dominated by tuliptrees. They grow surprisingly tall for a river flat which is intersected by a huge powerline cut. This site will be a cinch to measure in the winter. Sycamores struggle here. They are dominant by the fish hatchery a few miles upstream but look like they're out of their element despite being a typical habitat. It is comprised of rather rich soil so tulip must have gotten a stronghold after the last cutting. A handful of tulips show considerable age but most are in the 80-90 year range.

I didn't spend much time on understory trees but hornbeam and serviceberry do quite well, hornbeam being the dominant understory tree. It may approach 50 feet in height. Just down a service road for a nearby campground live two ancient shortleafs.

Pinus rigida 96.1'

Pinus echinata 117.4' 113.2' both about 8' cbh

Tilia heterophylla 118.4' 106.4'

Prunus serotina 104.8'

Magnolia acuminata 119.0'

Platanus occidentalis 120.4' 117.3'

Liriodendron tulipifera 148.6' 146.7' 146.6' 144.0' 143.9' 141.1' 141.1' 139.7' 136.9' 135.1'

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Lucas
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Lucas » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:35 pm

Quercus alba 139.6'

Wow! near record?
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:44 am

Lucas,
139.6' is exceptional but Jess just found a 148.6' or so white oak at Tamassee Knob in SC. A 148' resides in Cataloochee, in the Smokies and a 145' lives on the Whitewater River in SC. I believe one more 145' also grows in SC. The 139.6' likely just misses the top 10.
Brian

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:27 pm

North Slope Trail, Davidson River Campground

This site has some second growth in spots and third growth in the most productive areas. Black birch does quite well in tulip dominated coves. Some coves are 90% tuliptrees. The most productive cove was cut twice. An older, second growth tulip resides just above the cut line and reaches to about 156'. This tree is likely 80-90 years old. Most of the tulips are in the 40-50 year range, even some 140's. They grow about like they do in the Smokies. White pines soar on the river flats and one fine specimen grow in a cove. I didn't get pictures because it rained lightly for much of the hike.

Carya glabra 119.6'

Carya cordiformis 116.7'

Betula lenta 106.6' 106.5' 100.5' 100.4'

Quercus alba 109.7'

Quercus rubra 136.8' 130.3'

Fagus americana 113.6'

Pinus echinata 108.7'

Robinia pseudoacacia 115.8'

Liriodendron tulipifera 155.9' 148.8' 143.6' 142.8' 141.9'

Pinus strobus 155.1' 146.3' 144.9' 141.7' 141.3' 140.9'

The Rucker for Davidson River climbs to 147.96'. It will likely climb a bit higher very soon. I was fogged out of a few promising sites.

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