Alum Cave - GSMNP

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#11)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby dbhguru » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:27 pm

Don,

   Lots of the birches I photograph began life on top of a log and developed stilt roots that way. Others dropped roots over rocks. Trail erosion counts for some of the exposed roots. all these explanations, I clearly realize you know well. Beyond them, I haven't thought much about the often very visible root exposure of the species.

Robert,

   Yeah, waterfalls are not a Smokies specialty. Interestingly, the Rockies fall short in that department as well. The Cascades and Sierras are big waterfall territory on the mainland and all bets are off when you throw in the Hawaiian islands. Waterfalls there are not large in water volume, but are they ever high.

Bob
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#12)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby Will Blozan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:18 pm

jamesrobertsmith wrote:The Smokies do suck when it comes to waterfalls. Due to the softer nature of the rock, they just don't have very many good waterfalls. A few, yes, but nothing like what you'd expect from a range that large and that high. Compare it to the area around Higlands NC...it pales. Even the Unaka Mountains to the north of the Smokies are covered in great waterfalls. It's the one wow-factor that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lacks.


SUCK? I would not use that strong of a word having spent uncounted miles in the back country of the Smokies. The falls with trails to them are just a scattering of the falls to be found in the park. I guess it depends on your definition of not sucky, which may be very exclusive. That's fine but I would not agree with your statement in the common interpretation of the word.

I measured a cascade on the north side of Mill Creek near Cades Cove that was 400 feet long over a drop of 160'. No trail or mention of it. Also, Rock Creek in Cosby has one of the finest, if not the finest bedrock sluices I have ever seen outside of the southwestern ranges.

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#13)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby Will Blozan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:32 pm

dbhguru wrote:Today Monica and I returned to Baxter Creek. My mission was to remeasure several outstanding trees by request of Will Blozan. I managed to do just a little before the rain showers put an end to the measuring. One of the trees to check on was a mountain silver bell. I settled on 131.7 feet. I have to check with Will on where that stands in terms of the absolute tallest of the species. But, I think the 131.7 is pretty far up there.

    I confirmed another 172.0-foot tuliptree, and can't be sure that I found the absolute top. It bring the total number of 170-footers remeasured in Baxter Creek on this trip to five. A huge one that Will wanted me to check on fell short. I got up to 168.5 feet, but couldn't go higher. The rain stopped any further measuring.

    Today, Monica and I identified 41 species of flowering plants within a distance of 1.5 miles. A few had finished blooming or were getting ready to. Baxter Creek is a major area for wild flower viewing. Lots of groups come up to see the bloom. However, none are aware of the exceptional stature of the trees, or if they are, they don't look up. Pity.  The trees of the Smokies Mountain coves make a heck of an impression on tree lovers. They give one pause to reflect. The surrounding cutover lands look absolutely anemic by comparison. Here are four images from today. Yellow trillium followed by a white, then a look at silver bell bark. Finally, four tulip trees with the nearest being the 172-footer. I think the others are in the 160s.


Bob, you undoubtedly measured the silverbell I had previously measured and it is one of only four over 130'. In your photo of the tuliptree clump the smallest tree is one we mapped (Michael Davie, Nich Maidment, Josh Kelly, and I) for the NTS Tuliptree Study. Your tree is not a new 170 footer... sorry. I think all of that group (which is directly across from the Rucker Tuliptree) is at or over 170'. Anyway, the little tree stands as determined via tape drop at 171.5' (52.27 m). It has 354 ft2 (10.03 m3) cubes of wood. First branch is at 127.7 ft (38.92 m). Here is rendering of the tree based on the mapping:
               
                       
Baxter01 220 degree view small.jpg
                                       
               

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#14)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby Joe » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:43 am

Don wrote:Bob-
My Alaska eyes are wondering about the number of YB root systems being so exposed...my guess is that over the time they've resided there, there have been enough weathering events to have in some measure, eroded original soil base?
-Don


Don, I don't think they're exposed due to erosion- YB often grows on stumps or on a little bit of dirt on ledge, then the roots grow down to the soil.
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#15)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby dbhguru » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:34 am

Will,

  When did you climb that tree?  Yes, it is a part of a cluster just down hill from Colby's tree.

Bob
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#16)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby Will Blozan » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:01 am

Bob,

9/11/2011. It was selected for a superlative young tree. Here is proof!
               
                       
Down the trunks.jpg
                                       
               

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#17)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby pdbrandt » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:20 pm

^ I love that picture, Will.
Patrick

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#18)  Re: Alum Cave - GSMNP

Postby AaronMcGarity » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:38 pm

Wow. About time I made it back to the smokies. Amazing...this website/blog is blowing my mind and I can't wait to start seeing some of these trees in person. Being a climber of course I am very interested in one day exploring some of these trees aerially...though I am sure opportunity is limited and these trees are very protected. Exciting stuff for a Nashvillian to read.

If anyone needs help in measuring or searching tennessee forests just let me know!

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