Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

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bbeduhn
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Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:51 am

Fish Hatchery, Horse Cove, John Rock

I met up another trail runner to get in some much needed miles and, of course, to scout out trees, or as I like to say, do treecon.

I'd read somewhere that there was some old growth in the area but i did not come across any old growth. The best I could do was some old second growth, but it was fairly impressive in height but extremely species limited. I noticed one high bluff well below the trail that yielded quality height but I was not able to get back to it. I assume it was tulip dominated. Horse Cove was so thoruoghly dominated by tulips that I didn't do any extensive measuring. Beech got relatively fat as did red oak. White oak had a presence but white oak and beech were fairly short. Only red oak and tulip seemed to get tall. I ran with a laser so I got some straight up shots.

Horse Cove

Tulip NLT 155'

red oak NLT 130'

Just below Horse Cove, the forest looked pretty ordinary except for the emergent white pines. One pine was easily aged by whorls to 60-65 years, at 143.8'. The others were likely a bit older, perhaps 85-110 years.

white pine 152.0' 151.3' 144.5' 143.8' 143.7' 142.2'

sycamore 116.5'

pitch pine 108.2'

black birch 90.5'

hemlock 121.8'

white oak 114.5'

The hemlocks at the Hatchery were treated and thriving. On the trail, the upper crowns were intact but were defoliated 2/3 to 3/4 up the trunk. I'm assuming beetle releases are responsible for the upper crowns surviving. I wonder if they'll be able to recover long term. I'm seeing much more of this defoliation in other areas as well.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:05 am

Looking Glass Rock Trail

I hadn't hiked this trail in probably 14 years or so. It was one of the first trails I'd ever hiked in NC after I moved here in 1998. The trail has been rerouted and graded nicely. It's a tree measurer's dream as it winds gently through coves and doubles back frequently to give easy shots of quality trees. I ran out of time and did not get to where I think the best stuff is located. The black birch got very tall at the turn around point as did the bitternut. the black birches are the tallest I've seen upland and one mockernut was surprising tall. I expect to get into the 140's on bitternut and there may be some tall tulips as well, since it gets a little steeper and then is protected by a huge granite wall at the top of the cove.

Liriodendron tulipifera tulip 152.8' 145.5' 141.0' 140.3' 140.3'

Carya cordiformis bitternut hickory 135.0' 123.2' 122.7' 120.6' 120.1'

Carya glabra pignut hickory 115.5'

Carya alba mockernut hickory 128.7' 116.7'

Acer rubrum red maple 118.2'

Magnolia acuminata cucumber 107.6'

Tilia heyerophylla white basswood 114.5'

Fagus grandifolia beech 119.1' 118.2'

Quercus alba white oak 121.2'

quercus rubra red oak 120.2'

Pinus strobus white pine 133.2'

Betula lenta black birch 107.9' 105.0' 98.1' 96.1' 95.9' 95.2'

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Matt Markworth » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:24 am

Brian,

Wow, those white pine seem impressive. How unusual is it for a white pine to reach that height at such a young age?

I wish I lived closer to the native range of white pine.

Matt

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:39 am

Matt,
white pines can shoot up like rockets in the right soils. They often attain 100 feet in 40 years. That kind of growth is generally along streams on floodplains but it can happen on higher flats as well. In the Cataloochee region of the Smokies, their growth is unreal. Will knows a good deal more about the growth rates there but they are off the charts! The Boogerman pine is on a moderate slope but it's about 300 years old. A flat above the Boog has a 150'+ canopy and it's much, much younger forest. Another flat in 'Loochie I haven't explored has a crazy amount of tall, older pines as well.

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Matt Markworth » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:34 pm

Brian,

Wow, that's awesome. I kind of hope that some day a white pine will overtake tuliptree as the tallest known current tree in the East.

Matt

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:27 pm

Brian- Some really nice numbers on both of your posts! Larry

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:56 pm

The hemlocks in my mother-in-law's back yard in Matthews were gathered from North Mills River. My late father-in-law planted three and two survived (indeed, they are thriving). I've posted on my blog about them several times. I keep tabs on them to make sure that there is no sign of hwa and so far there has not been any indication of it.

http://tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.c ... locks.html

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by Jess Riddle » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:39 pm

Brian,

There are some significantly tall non-tuliptrees around the edges and in adjacent coves. Did you see the post from when Michael Davie and I visited?

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en# ... o1uO4kgYQc

I've been impressed by that area in general, and feel like it has been a bit under-appreciated in the past. Thanks for shining some more light on this area. Other reports from the area:

http://ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=1874
http://ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=3536

Jess

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:05 pm

Jess,
Horse Cove had a familiar ring to it and I'd obviously read that post in the past but I hadn't realized it had been surveyed. I'll get back to Looking Glass and continue off trail and likely hit up horse Cove off trail as well. Most of the canopy along the trail in Horse Cove appeared to be about 130' with some 140's mixed in. The 155' tulip was ~11' cbh so it was a bit older than most of the forest. I often make the mistake of not wandering enough off trail when the trail trees are just ordinary. Looking Glass looks very promising.

King Creek looks tremendous. Just below Cat Gap at the head of John Rock Creek there's a high flat which looks intriguing. I didn't have time to get back to it. Any chance you still have LiDAR for the area?

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bbeduhn
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Re: Pisgah National Forest, Davidson River Area, NC

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:17 am

Jess,
King Creek doesn't even look appealing for tree hunting on the map. I actually went down the headwaters of King, just below Cat Gap, and it had been logged some time in the last 50 years. I turned around at the main logging road. A new trail goes up there from Brevard. We were scouting the trail and saw nothing even remotely appealing about the area. I guess they didn't log the creek a second time further down due to the easy access of the land adjacent to the primary logging road.

Saddle Gap is near some areas I'd like to check out. It's been years since I was up there but I recall some old growth looking trees at Buckhorn Gap. I found a few promising areas searching with Google Maps.
Brian

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