Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2014
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Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 pm

NTS- I made one more trip back to the first area that I reported on Feb 2 which was off trail at Black Creek just west of where Beaver Dam Creek meets the Black.
Black Creek
Black Creek
The Forest here was really beautiful and I wanted to see it again and continue east as far as I could go then turn south along Beaver Dam. This area has lots of nice White Oak, Water Oak, Darlington Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, and Magnolia, mixed with some Pine, Holly and a few Cypress. As I walked the trail just before I got off I spied a few tall Long Leaf Pine and measured them one was a new state height record to 108.5’ the champ is 105’ but has a much larger CBH this one was only 5’ 11”.
Long Leaf Pine 1
Long Leaf Pine 1
Long Leaf Pine 1a
Long Leaf Pine 1a
Next I measured a couple of Loblolly one to 120 the other 126’ in a branch just before the creek.
Loblolly Pine 1
Loblolly Pine 1
The Oaks on an around Black and Beaver Dam Creeks were in the 90 range. Next I measured some Water Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, White Oak to 93’, 96’ and the Pine to 100’.
Swamp Chestnut Oak
Swamp Chestnut Oak
White Oak
White Oak
White Oak 1
White Oak 1
I then went south and west along Beaver Dam Creek where the Forest opened back up into a really nice clear area loaded trees. I found a Black Crerry to 81.5 and a CBH of 4’ 3” the second tallest I've found in the state.
Black Cherry
Black Cherry
I then noticed a really large Loblolly that measured CBH-9’ 1” with a height of 114’.
Big Loblolly
Big Loblolly
This is the largest CBH Pine that I have found yet the second largest was the Spruce Pine I reported on the other day to 9’. I had lunch at the big Pine and after enjoying the find I measured 4 nice Spruce Pine growing in line just west of the big Loblolly.
Spruce Pine
Spruce Pine
They measured 111’, 105.5’, 109’, and 108.5’ all in the 7’ CBH class. Next I drove to the east side of the Wilderness area where the trail starts and travels west crossing Mill Creek then again reaches Black Creek. As you begin the hike the trees are younger for the next ½ mile but they start to become older as you near Mill Creek.The Forest around the Creek is made up of mostly Loblolly, Long Leaf, mixed Oak with Bay and Gum in the Creek.
Mill Creek Crossing
Mill Creek Crossing
I crossed the Creek at the 1.20 mark where I started to see some Short Leaf Pine, larger Loblolly and Long Leaf.
Short Leaf Pine
Short Leaf Pine
I measured a few Short Leaf just past the Creek crossing the tallest to 115.5’ with a CBH of 7’7”. The trail gets closer to the Black here and I started seeing much more Oak and Magnolia with the Pines. I measured a twin pair of Loblolly right by the trail one to 129’ CBH-7’4” and the other to 123’ CBH-8’.
Twin Loblolly
Twin Loblolly
I then measured nice a Slash Pine to 127’ with a CBH of 7’ 2”.
Slash Pine
Slash Pine
The Pines stole the show in this location where I also measured a Long Leaf Pine to 103.5’ with a CBH of 7’ which is the largest CBH that I have every measured for the species.
Long Leaf Pine 2
Long Leaf Pine 2
I would have really enjoyed measuring the Old Growth Long Leaf that once existed here which would have been much larger.
Black Creek near Mill Creek
Black Creek near Mill Creek
I walked along the trail which passed right by the Black for another ¼ mile and stopped to measure the first Big Leaf Magnolia that I have seen to 25.5’.
Big Leaf Magnolia
Big Leaf Magnolia
Before Hurricane Katrina I would park over at Hwy 29 and walk the trail for a short distance then would turn north off trail to enjoy the over 200+ Big Leaf Magnolia that made up most of the under story all the way to Black Creek. Unfortunately a Tornado spawned by Katrina went right through that area changing it drastically. Afternoon was quickly coming to a close so it was time for me to walk the 2 mile hike back to my truck. I will return to this side of the Wilderness Area soon for the trail continues from where I stopped another 2 miles till it reaches Beaver Dam Creek where I have already reported on. There will be many more discoveries coming in future postings for this special place. Larry
Last edited by Larry Tucei on Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dbhguru
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

Post by dbhguru » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:03 pm

Larry,

You are a one-man army! Keep the reports coming. Great stuff.

How about I make a cast of a couple of giant primate-like footprints and send them to you. You can strap'um on and wander through the swamps. It will create the trail of the wild Tucei Monster known to inhabit the swamps of Mississippi. We'll make a million.

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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Rand
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

Post by Rand » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:43 pm

How are you telling these types of pine apart? Superficially, the bark in your pictures looks way to similar to call. Any crown shots to show what you are seeing?

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

Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:02 pm

Bob- Funny that's good. Randy- I'm looking at the bark, crowns, needles and cones. I've noticed that all these Pines can have some minor bark differences that can vary from dark to light, long plates to short etc. Slash and Long Leaf are easy to distinguish by the bark, cones and needles- Loblolly has several forms of bark but the needles are shorter than Slash and LL. Short Leaf needles are way shorter than all pines in Ms except Spruce but the bark is easy to ID. I've also been reading where Ms has Virginia Pine- I'm no Forester and it can be difficult at times on some of them. I also have been reading that some Pines can cross pollinate and one more thing most of these older Pines where planted back in the 1930's from nurseries. Larry

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail and Mill Creek

Post by Jess Riddle » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:04 pm

Larry,

Another nice report. I think that longleaf is the tallest we have outside of Cheraw State Park, SC. 7' cbh is no slouch either.

Jess

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