Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
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Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:34 pm

NTS- Keaton Tower Wilderness Area is a 3 ¾ mile hiking trail in the northwestern area of Noxubee NWR. It’s a great trail surrounded by Cypress Creek, Chinchahoma Creek to the north and Oktoc Creek to the south they come together forming the Noxubee River. The trail is a large loop beginning from a small metal bridge that crosses Oktoc Creek.
Bridge
Bridge
Bottomland Forest here consists of mostly Cherry Bark Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, White Oak, Water Oak, Sweetgum, Hickory, Sycamore, Holly, Beech, some Loblolly Pine with Cypress, Gum around the Creeks and River. I spent one evening hiking the trail to the west and north measuring many trees looking for three 140’ hits that Lidar had found.
Cypress Creek
Cypress Creek
Most of the Forest has trees with heights in the 120-125’ range with an occasional 130 footer. I measured a nice Tulip that was growing near Cypress Creek to 130.5’ with a CBH of 9’2” which for Tulip is big down here.
Tulip Poplar
Tulip Poplar
Tulip Poplar is in its southern range down here and it’s rare to find one over 135’ tall and I’ve yet to see one to 4’ Diameter.
Twin Tulips
Twin Tulips
This is a photo of two growing together and made for a nice image real tranquil. While there I had a Turkey fly in less than 20 yards from me and watched him for a few minutes till I decided to move along for more measuring. Then next I measured a couple of Bitternut Hickory trees one of which was 130.5’ tall and had a CBH of 9.5’ a new height record for me! I was .57 in on the trail with much more finds to go.
Bitternut Hickory
Bitternut Hickory
I had been seeing a lot of tall American Beech but not as large as the one in this photo.
American Beech 1
American Beech 1
This tree measured a whopping 11’ circumference at 6’ above the ground with a huge Crown of 90’ x 104’ another record with a Height of 114’!!
Beech 1a
Beech 1a
Beech
Beech
I continued on the trail looking for a large Loblolly the Area Manager had told me about. The trail passes around several some Gum Ponds one of which had some nice Loblolly mixed in with Oak. I measured a few in the 125’-130’ class until I found the big Pine right on the trail by water.
Loblolly Pine 1
Loblolly Pine 1
This Loblolly measured CBH- 11’ 1” and had a Height of 138’. The big Loblolly is the second largest that I have documented in Circumference on the refuge and the largest of the Wilderness Trail Grove. I didn’t find the three 140+ trees in this area but I will. I was about .75 of a mile straight line in and the Sun was setting fast so I decided to head out and come back the next day. The following morning I headed back on the trail this time I went south and east. The trail here follows along Oktoc Creek and I decided I would walk the whole 3 ¾ mile loop and hopefully find the 140’+ trees Lidar detected in the southern area.
Oktoc Creek
Oktoc Creek
I measured many trees along and around the trail to 125’, Oak, Tulip, etc., and at .59 miles in a nice Sweetgum to 135’ which is the tallest I’ve measured in the state second only to Delta NF. At 1 mile I began seeing more and more Loblolly all in the 120’-130’ class.
Old Loblolly
Old Loblolly
Water is present here and there in Ponds and ditches with a nice grove of Loblolly.
Loblolly Witches Broom
Loblolly Witches Broom
Loblolly 2
Loblolly 2
I measured several Pines towards the back of the trail where it begins turning more from heading east to north, the tallest being #1-127’, 10’ 9”, #2-131’ 11’ 3” another Circumference record and #3- 132’!
Loblolly 3
Loblolly 3
I continued on and came across a small pond with a beautiful stand of Bald Cypress with Heights to 100’.
Cypress Stand 1
Cypress Stand 1
Cypress Stand 1a
Cypress Stand 1a
The trail then turns more westward and follows Cypress Creek again this is where I measured a nice Cypress in a dry spill over formed by the Creeks flooding to 120’ with a CBH of 13’. I kept walking west then south eventually running into the big Loblolly that I measured the day before. My trip was over for now so out I came but will return for there is much to document along beautiful Keaton Tower Wilderness Trail. Larry
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Cypress and spill over
Cypress and spill over
Last edited by Larry Tucei on Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Will Blozan
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Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Will Blozan » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:19 pm

Larry,

Sweet finds! Man I love those bottom land forests.

The photo of the green ash looks like a bitternut or some kind of hickory??? Bark is not what I would expect but I don't know much about the western expressions of "eastern" species...

Will

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Matt Markworth » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:22 pm

Larry,

Wow! I've really been enjoying all of your recent reports. You're on a roll! It makes me want to get out in the woods.

When I was down in Georgia in 2013 I really came to appreciate the bark of loblolly pines and the ones you've posted are super cool. Great photos all the way around. For the green ash photo, I agree the bark has some hickory character to it. Good to see some nice sized tulip poplars down there too. I think that area has a neat mix of species.

Matt
Last edited by Matt Markworth on Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dbhguru
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Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by dbhguru » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:50 pm

Larry,

You've become a one man army. You make us all proud. You started as Live Oak Larry (LOL) and now you Large Oak Larry.

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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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:28 am

Thanks Guys for all the comments. Will you are right as usual it is a Bitternut Hickory. I had never seen one before and knew it was either some type Hickory or Ash. Thanks. I corrected the post with the change. Larry

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Jess Riddle » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:26 pm

Larry,

I had wanted to measure some of the beech in that area, but didn't have time. I don't think any of the ones I saw were as large as the one you measured. That hickory is huge too. I feel like that area still has lots more potential.

Jess

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Keaton Tower Wilderness Area Noxubee NWR

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:34 am

Jess- No doubt about it and not only there but in several other locations throughout the refuge. Again thanks for the Lidar it makes finding a needle in a Haystack so much easier. I finally figured out to change my Lat and Long to match Google, Bing Maps. I hope to make at least one more trip back up before spring. Here is a listing that I have been working on Tallest Trees of Ms. Larry
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Mississippi_Tree_Listing1_(1).xlsx
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