Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by dbhguru » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:47 pm

Brian,

Heck of a site! y eyes bulged out and I gulped when I saw those 100-foot black birches. They're going into our database pronto.

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

wisconsitom
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by wisconsitom » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:47 pm

Nice work. Curious though about your designation of "Tilia heterophylla"....is that just a synonym for T. americana? I'd not heard of that species.

ps......just looked it up-never mind! Did not know about this variant.

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:13 am

I got back to Looking Glass Rock to check out the rest of the slopes and coves on the east side. This area is accessed by the North Face climbing trail. The forest is protected by a pluton that rises nearly a thousand feet above the surrounding land. There is a large cave a couple of hundred feet above the ground. The landscape below the North Face trail for Looking glass Rock is primarily gentle slope which opens up into several coves. The Davidson Campground also has a North Face Trail from a previous post. That trail is just several miles away from this North Face Trail. I was running out of daylight and had to turn back at a very interesting spot. A very old sugar maple grew there, along with biltmore ash, basswood and a very large and old pignut hickory. A few remnant old growth trees are scattered about and tulip is not so dominant. Most of the slope presents a challenge just to species other than tulip. Red oak is the second most common tree with a few basswoods, hickories and black locust. This time I had to cut it short on account of daylight, My previous attempt was thwarted by fog so thick that I couldn't even hit the trunks with a laser.

The best finds were silverbells. These trees have brittle wood and often snap in storms. Several had that fate but others in the most protected areas achieve solid heights. These are not thick but grow rather tall for the species. Sugar maple is very scarce in the area but this old one makes an appearance. I found one on the southeast side of the mountain as well. This one has some serious age.

Lirio tulip 158.1' 156.9' 154.1' 154.0' 151.1' 147.5' 147.4' 147.3' 146.3'

Quercus rubra 143.5' 141.6' 137.3' 133.0'

Quercus montana 128.1' 124.0'

Fraxinus biltmoreana 138.0' 130.5' 129.8' 128.1'

Robin pseudo 142.7' 132.4'

Carya glabra 135.3' 133.0' 122.0' (10'+ cbh)

Halesia monticola 116.3' 112.9' 111.0'

Tilia heterophylla 139.7' 136.5' 135.7' 135.1' 128.2'

Acer saccharum 113.0'
4 basswoods  139.7' 136.5' 135.7' 128.2'
4 basswoods 139.7' 136.5' 135.7' 128.2'

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by dbhguru » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:08 pm

Brian,

Many times I've driven the Parkway and looked from the Pisgah Ledge down onto the eye-catching profile of Looking Glass Rock, but only went down to it twice and that was years ago. Thanks to your visits, we now have a much better idea of what that area grows.

When the VA Tech database is fully functional (not far off), I hope you'll add your Looking Glass Rock measurements. Any chance of you getting a current measurement of the Boogerman Pine in Cataloochee? It would be good to start off with current measurements for our superstars. Once you are signed in to the database, you can add as many or as few trees as you like. However, they should be just your trees unless you have permission from another measurer to enter their data.

Bob
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
bbeduhn
Posts: 1279
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:30 am

Bob,
I don't expect to get the Boogerman Pine this winter. A summer visit could happen. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to measure by just one person. With the hemlocks dying, the rhododendron has grown quite thick, preventing any sighting of the bottom. When I last measured it with Will, I held a long, extended pole and Will measured above the pole. It doesn't have any low branching so adding segmented measurements may not work out either.

I fully intend to upload any significant measurements to the VA Tech website. It'll take some time but I'll start with the most significant sites and work down to the less significant sites.
Brian

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:07 am

Looking Glass Rock

I got back to the site in the morning so there was no chance of daylight running out on me. Looking Glass Rock casts an enormous shadow on the eastern flank in the late afternoon. In the morning, it's like a different forest, making it much easier to distinguish between species. The site still held a few surprises. A near record height red maple was the biggest surprise on this trip.

Lirio tulip 158.4' 147.5' 145.2'
Carya glabra 131.7' 130.7'
Quercus rubra 133.3' 133.2'
Quercus montana 121.3'
Magnolia acuminata 130.9' 123.1'
Acer rubrum 140.8'
Fraxinus biltmoreana 129.8'
Halesia monticola 100.4' 96.0'
Betula lenta 106.6' 98.3'
Acer pensylvanicum ~37'
hemlock growing up from horizontal root or trunk
hemlock growing up from horizontal root or trunk
forest shot
forest shot

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:46 am

Looking Glass Rock Rucker Index

Lirio tulip 167.5'
Quercus rubra 143.5'
Carya glabra 143.2'
Robin pseudo 142.7'
Acer rubrum 140.8'
Carya alba 139.8'
Tilia hetero 139.7'
Fraxinus biltm 138.0'
Fagus americana 137.2'
Carya cordiformis 135.0'

R10= 142.54'

Pinus strobus 133.2'
Magnolia acumin 130.9'
Quercus montana 128.1'
Quercus alba 121.2'
Halesia monticola 116.3'
Acer saccharinum 113.0'
Magnolia fraseri 112.3'
Betula lenta 107.9'
Acer pennsylvanicum ~37'

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by dbhguru » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:16 am

Brian,

Many times in the past I've driven down the Blue Ridge Parkway along the Pisgah Ledge looking down at Looking Glass Rock. The forest around the rock looked potentially interesting, but not exceptional. So much for views at a distance.

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Josh Kelly » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:10 pm

Brian,

Do you have any photos of the Fraxinus biltmoreana from the site? I am searching for potential sites to save a some Biltmore Ash from emerald ash borer beetle. The Looking Glass site would be an outlier from a geographic and elevation standpoint, and a high priority for preservation.

Thanks!
Josh

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

Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:02 am

Cat Gap Loop, including Horse Cove

When running this loop, I noticed some rich cove forest just below the trail that I hadn't been able to get back to for some time. It is a productive spot but not as productive as I'd hoped. Fortunately, it was not nearly as steep as I'd remembered. On the way up, I wandered through a white pine plantation which led me to a stellar pitch pine.

Pinus rigida 124.8'
Quercus rubra 134.2'
Quercus alba 129.8'
Magnolia acuminata 132.1'
Nyssa sylvatica 113.8'
Lirio tulip 148.6' 141.1'
Carya glabra 131.0'

Just west of Cat Gap and Horse Cove

Carya glabra 130.7' 128.6'
Quercus velotina 125.1'
Magnolia fraseri 107.7'
Magnolia acuminata 121.5'
Quercus rubra 127.2'
Quercus montana 126.4'
Lirio tulip 150.6'145.0'

Horse Cove

I went off trail before seeing the very tall mockernut last time. So, there are two mockernuts over 140', likely a first in the same cove. They both have some age but are still growing. The taller one still has a very healthy and active crown. The bark shows some age, likely 110-120 years. this state height record mockernut has a cbh of 8'2". The height to the first branch is 83.6'.
125' pitch pine
125' pitch pine
Nice cuke below trail
Nice cuke below trail
148.5' mockernut 1
148.5' mockernut 1
148.5' mockernut 2
148.5' mockernut 2
148.5' mockernut 3
148.5' mockernut 3

Post Reply

Return to “North Carolina”