Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

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bbeduhn
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Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:54 am

Guilford Woods is touted as having something like 40 acres of old growth. It is adjacent to Guilford College. The forest does have a nice collection of old growth trees but no real old growth forest. The few acres that can be argued old growth have significant disturbance to the extent that I would not call it old growth. The beech trees get the most love and are the most photographed. The more popular beech photos come from a spot just off a paved trail, easily accessible. These are very pleasant beeches but they clearly grew up in the open and are less than 150 years old. A white oak surpasses 12' cbh but its history began in the open as well as it has nearly a dozen nubs from old low branches below 30' in height. The forest has grown up around these trees and they morphed into intermediate forms.

The odd tree out resides just 200 yards away. It is truly massive. The tulip is said to be 350 years old, over 150' in height and was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It appears to be in that age ballpark. Dendrochronologists from UNC Greensboro cored the tree but I don't know if the age was extrapolated or if they indeed count 350 rings. I would expect a more exact count if they were all indeed counted. The 150'+ claimed height turned out to be entirely accurate. I'm amazed that the tree is that tall since it is surrounded by much younger trees. Its crown doesn't look particularly battered, at least not like the old tulip crowns from Guilford Courthouse, just 5 miles away. Those crowns look much older than this one. This tulip is easily the largest volume tree I've found in Guilford County. It has the greatest girth and is also the tallest I've come across. Its volume is significant for a 17'+ tree.

The campus has a nice collection of primarily native trees. One white oak started life in a forest and is now in the main square. It is 16'9" cbh and 105' tall. It is likely 250+ in age. A willow oak will compete with it for size in the next 20 years. Two Cedars of Lebanon reside here. Atlas and Deodar are much more common cedars in Greensboro. These are the first two Lebanons I've seen in North Carolina. A live oak lives by the athletic fields, only the second I've seen in Greensboro.

In the most old growthlike area, tulips, white oaks and a pignut hickory attain significant age. The hickory stands out and is possibly a national champion. The current record holder is almost certainly a multistem as no picture is available, it has a 226" cbh and a spread of over 100'. A near record height southern red oak resides near the hickory and next to an old tulip. A young mockernut also lives here, at 120', the tallest mockernut I've found in the county.

A small dry run (mini cove) likely has the best collection of tall trees at the site. It's very close to the big tulip and contains two tall red oaks and the tall sweetgum. It probably has a few more gems. I'll revisit at Thanksgiving and check out this spot more closely. The best stuff grows on, just above or just below a small bluff above a stream. I probably missed some more good stuff along this bluff. The tulip and the red oaks are midway up the bluff. The beeches, hickories and oaks are just above and the sweetgum and other tall tulips are just below.

Campus trees

Quercus alba 105.0' 16'9" cbh

Qercus phellos 107.1' 15'3" cbh


Guilford Woods

Liriodendron tulipifera 155.1' 17'5" cbh 140.2' 12'7" cbh 149.5' 147.1'

Carya alba 120.7'

Carya ovata 120.5'

Carya glabra 145.2' 12'2" cbh 122.9'

Quercus velotina 123.5'

Quercus falcata 128.7' 8'8" cbh

Quercus alba 120.5' crowns too dense

Quercus rubra 143.3' 129.5' likely taller

Liquidambar styraciflua 142.4'

Platanus occidentalis 114.0'
tulip 17'5" cbh 155.1'
tulip 17'5" cbh 155.1'
12'2" pignut hickory
12'2" pignut hickory
12'2" pignut hickory 2
12'2" pignut hickory 2
pignut 145.2'
pignut 145.2'
12'7"  140.2' tulip and 8'8" 128.7' southern red oak
12'7" 140.2' tulip and 8'8" 128.7' southern red oak
southern red oak 128.7'
southern red oak 128.7'
Last edited by bbeduhn on Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Will Blozan
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Re: Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:03 pm

Brian,

Not a sucky trip at all! My friend, Tobe Sherrill, has been bugging me to go check that tulip out for years. I am so glad it is what he thought- huge.

That hickory is outstanding! I have one of similar size and will need to look it up. Could be co-champs. The pignut national is a multi-stemmed pretty sure.

Will

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bbeduhn
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Re: Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:32 am

I wanted to revisit this site with leaves off to get better heights on the trees. In most cases, the readings were better, with the exception of the tallest red oak. The spot with a small stream where the tall red oak and huge tulip reside was just touched upon last visit. It held more secrets. The spot on a bluff where the potential champion pignut and near height southern red reside also got a remeasure.

small stream highlights:

Quercus rubra 143.3' 137.5' 137.3' 135.6'

Quercus alba 136.8' 129.8'

Liquidambar styraciflua 142.4'

Lirio tulip 155.1'

Carya glabra 123.8'

Fagus americana 126.6'


bluff highlights:

Lirio tulip 150.9' 144.0'

Quercus falcata 128.7'

Quercus velotina 123.5'

Quercus rubra 132.2'

Quercus shumardii 115.2'

Carya glabra 145.3'

The bluff trees are remeasures. About half of the stream trees are remeasures.

Overall measurements (previous lower measurements excepted)

Lirio tulip 155.1' 17'5" cbh
150.9' 149.5' 147.1' 144.0'

Carya glabra 145.2' 12'2" cbh 73' spread
123.8' 122.9' 119.4' 118.0'

Carya alba 120.7'

Carya ovata 120.5'

Carya septentrionalis 101.5'

Quercus phellos 107.1' 15'3" cbh

Quercus alba 105.0' 16'9" cbh
136.8' 129.8' 119.5' 119.1' 115.5'

Quercus rubra 143.3' 137.5' 137.3' 135.6' 134.2' 132.2'

Quercus velotina 123.5'

Quercus falcata 128.7' 8'8"

Quercus montana 113.4'

Quercus shumardii 115.2'

Liquidambar styraciflua 142.4' 119.5' 115.0' 114.1'

Fagus americana 126.6' 114.3'

Oxydendron arboreum 78.1'

Ginkgo biloba 80.8'

Fraxinus pennsylvanicum 109.1'

Platanus occidentalis 123.6' 123.2' 118.7'

Pinus virginiana 110.4' 99.9' 97.2'

Pinus echinata 106.6' 104.5'

Pinus palustris 57.2'


R10 = 134.59'

The Rucker is tops for the county and I believe is the second highest in North Carolina outside of the mountains. It still trails Tanglewood in NC, Fernbank in GA for Piedmont sites. There may be other tall Piedmont sites as well that I'm not aware of.

A bluff that runs above a creek is where all of the tall trees are located. Most are in the trickle of stream that feeds the primary stream. If sycamore had grown there, it's likely be in the 140's. The gaps in measurements between the small stream and the rest of Guilford Woods from white oak, sweetgum and beech is tremendous. This is the richest site at Guilford Woods. The bluff where most of the other tall trees grow is fairly rich as well but harbors older trees.
Last edited by bbeduhn on Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

Post by Jess Riddle » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:32 pm

Brian,

Impressive oaks. The tuliptree and pignut aren't shabby either.

Jess

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dbhguru
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Re: Guilford Woods, Greensboro, NC

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:23 am

Brian and Jess,

The sweetgum is nothing to pass by unnoticed either. There was a time that most of us doubted that there were many great tree sites remaining, but a lot more small places are showing up than we would have predicted. Great work.

Bob
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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