Tate's Hell State Forest

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James Parton
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Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by James Parton » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:35 pm

ENTS,

Tate's Hell Swamp got its name from a local legend that dates back to 1875. According to folklore, a panther had been killing the livestock of a farmer named Cebe Tate. Fed up with the beast, he went out into the forest with his shotgun and hunting dogs to track it down. Numerous variations of the tale exist, but most center around Tate getting lost in the swamp for seven days and nights, surviving the heat by drinking from the murky waters, and being bitten by a snake. He finally emerged in a clearing near the town of Carrabelle, where he was found near death. The only words he spoke before expiring were, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came through Hell!" Courtesy of Everything2.com.

http://everything2.com/title/Tate%2527s ... ate+Forest

After riding through Apalachicola National Forest Ian Tench and I rode into Tate's Hell State Forest on June 30th during our vacation to Panama City Beach. Tate's Hell is a beautiful place containing swamps and blackwater rivers. Pond Cypress is common here. Ian and I also found Longleaf and Slash pine as well as Red Cedar. I suspect these cedar may be Southern Red instead of the closely related Eastern Red Cedar. We looked for alligators but did not see any. My visit to THSF was brief so my descriptions are not very detailed. Larry Tucei visited there back in 2007.

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... s_hell.htm

Check out the attached pictures of the Red Cedar and see if anyone can id it as either Eastern Red or Southern Red. I measured both trees and they turned out quite tall. The first one I measured was 3' 1/2" cbh and 45.5 feet tall. The second one was a really nice 62.4 feet tall. I think that is rather tall for a Southern Red if that tree is indeed one. I measured the girth but like a moron forgot to write it down. It was roughly five and a half feet in girth. Ian is pictured with it for scale. Studying pictures online I believe it looks more like Southern Red. Id input is appreciated. Thanks. If a larger high-rez image is needed, I have it.

Jess Riddle in a reply below has identified the above " Red " cedars as Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides). Upon looking it up on various web sites it looks like a match.

Here is another link on Tate's Hell.

http://www.floridahikes.com/kendrick

The " Blackwater River in Tate's Hell " is a wallpaper sized image. All ENTS feel free to use it as such.

James
Attachments
White Cedar Foliage.jpg
White Cedar Trunk.jpg
White Cedar Trunk.jpg (42 KiB) Viewed 2820 times
Ian & Atlantic White Cedar.jpg
Ian & Atlantic White Cedar.jpg (48.74 KiB) Viewed 2820 times
Blackwater River in Tates Hell.jpg
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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edfrank
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by edfrank » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:42 pm

James,

I wish there was some way to better characterize stunted forests, like the stunted dwarf cypress here, besides just saying they are stunted. I guess it really is a question of age versus size, or maximum size, and there isn't a quick and easy way to look at a tree and tell how old it is. Do you have any other idea?

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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James Parton
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by James Parton » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:57 pm

Ed,

On this forest type I am a stranger in a strange land. Larry Tucei or Will Fell may have better answers or ideas.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by Jess Riddle » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:13 pm

James,

Have you checked out Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)? The bark and foliage fit, and that species is more common along blackwater rivers and some types of swamps. Southern red cedar is more likely to be found on well drained, sandy sites, especially right along the coast.

When asking species id questions, I can not emphasize enough the value of having a description of the habitat. What other species grow in the area, what the topography is, and what the soils are like in the immediate vacinity of the tree are often valuable clues for identification. Pictures are great, but it's hard to take a clear picture of the diagnostic features when you don't know what they are.

Jess

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edfrank
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by edfrank » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:19 pm

Jess, ENTS,

If you were trying to identify a tree based upon photos, what should the photographs show? (In addition to the description of the habitat mentioned above.) I know the details of what to photograph vary from species to species, and that some easy identifiers are present only during certain seasons, but is there a good place to start when trying to photograph an unknown species for identification?

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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James Parton
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by James Parton » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:06 am

Jess,

I think you are right concerning your id of Atlantic White Cedar. I thought the tree looked different than the Eastern Red Cedars that I am used to seeing and thought it may be Southern Red. I did not know that Atlantic White Cedar was found this far south and thought it was found from coastal Virginia northward. In fact it is found in coastal NC and the Florida Panhandle. This is the first time I had seen the tree though I have seen the Eastern White Cedar.

I agree on discribing the trees surroundings in addition to the photos. The cedars are located only a few feet from a blackwater river in a swampy area. Pondcypress grows close by.

Thanks for the id and advice.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Tate's Hell State Forest

Post by Jess Riddle » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:55 am

Ed,

Photos of bark, foliage, and flowers/fruit are a good starting point. If a tree has any fairly large, conspicuous distinguishing features they are likely to be visible in those photos. James's photos of the trunk and foliage were both helpful. I compared the foliage to foliage of both southern red cedar and Atlantic white cedar that I found online, and compared the bark to some photos I had taken. Difficulties arise when the key characteristics have to do with something like hairs on the leaves or some specific part of a flower.

Jess

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