Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

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#1)  Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby Will Blozan » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:46 am


Way back in 1996 I spotted a grove of Carolina hemlock near Montreat, NC that had impressive trees, but did not go down to see it. As many of you know, Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) is a diminutive cousin to the much larger eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) with it's global population center in North Carolina. I returned to the grove yesterday to scope it out and am kicking myself for not returning sooner...

The small stand is on a NE running ridge on the east side of Brushy Mountain near the small town of Montreat. The ridge is classic xeric evergreen dominated by pitch and Table Mountain pines with a healthy dose of Carolina hemlock (yes, some were in fact healthy in spite of heavy HWA pressure). The ridge communities are stunted but occasionally a seed gets going in a wetter, more protected area and great things happen. As I approached the grove a large hemlock snag was seen near the creek and at first glance I assumed it was a moderate eastern hemlock. As I got closer the ID changed and expletives flew when I realized it was a Carolina and not an eastern. Man, was I bummed I did not revisit this grove in time to treat the tree in it's prime. Point total for this tree soars to 229 which shatters all previous National Champions to my knowledge (126" CBH X 93.3' tall X ~40' spread). A 200 pointer is hard to find! Regardless, I plan to climb and model it for volume as it likely is the largest specimen any NTS has seen.
10.5' CBH X 93.3' Carolina hemlock.jpg
The beast

Damn little sucking bastard adelgids!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#2)  Re: Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby bbeduhn » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:51 pm

That girth is simply awe inspiring!  and it's got significant height as well.  That one we crawled to at Blue Ridge Assembly...was that nearly 9' and 90'+ tall?  That was the largest I've ever seen and thankfully, still thriving.
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#3)  Re: Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby jamesrobertsmith » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:51 pm

When I think of the money our country wastes giving away to corporations and on military expenditures I get sick. The tiniest fraction of a fraction of a fraction of that would have saved our hemlock forests.
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#4)  Re: Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby PAwildernessadvocate » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:18 pm

Too bad about the Carolina hemlocks. I hope the same fate does not await the hemlocks here in NW PA.

Went to a conference at Montreat last fall, as it happens, what a beautiful little community nestled in the mountains! Video of a hike up Lookout Mountain in Montreat at sunset:

"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson
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#5)  Re: Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby KoutaR » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:15 am

Will Blozan wrote:Damn little sucking bastard adelgids!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn big bastard nurseries that transport vegetative plant material between continents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#6)  Re: Potential National Champion Carolina hemlock D.O.A

Postby Ashe County » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:55 am

that happens over, and over, and over.   even with adequate regulations someone sneaks something in, like the Chestnut Gall Wasp.  The American Chestnut breeding program may be on the verge of success vs. chestnut blight but no effective control for the wasp is known.
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