Potpourri from Parkway

Project documenting the old growth and special forests along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shennandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina.

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dbhguru
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Potpourri from Parkway

Post by dbhguru » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:37 pm

ENTS,

Here are a few images that illustrate features of interest to Monica and me on our just concluded Blue Ridge Parkway excursion.

1. Start of nature trail on Onion Mtn. It is OG, but not recognized as such.
OnionMtn2S.jpg
2. An old oak on Onion with Monica for scale.
OnionMtn1S.jpg
3. The OG continues in these next three shots of the OG on Apple Orchard Mtn
AppleOrchardMtn1S.jpg
AppleOrchardMtn2S.jpg
TwistedGnarledS.jpg
4. Here is a shot from Thunder Ridge on Apple Orchard Mtn - site of the 464-year old white oak dated by Ed Cook in the 1980s. The tree, if standing is now 491 years old.
ThunderRidgeS.jpg
5. A scenic view of the James River. The gently rounded mountain the background, center, is 4226-foot Apple Orchard Mtn. Near milepost 69 on Apple Orchard is where I measured the 152.9-foot tulip, quite visible to passing vehicles.
JamesRiverS.jpg
6. Pitch pine bark anyone? This image is of the 7.8-foot girth, 95.7-foot tall pitch pine at Otter Creek Flats.
PitchPineBarkS.jpg
7. And the signature of the scenic southern Appalachians - waves of blue
WavesOfMountainsS.jpg
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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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Potpourri from Parkway

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:01 pm

I really have enjoyed my trips to Apple Orchard Mountain. The last time I went hiking in there I didn't realize until I was well into my hike that it was hunting season and there were hunters all around. I was wearing bright red, and so were most of the hunters. That's how I spotted most of them. Very uncomfortable feeling, and I was glad to get that hike done and myself back to my vehicle. We were staying at Peaks of Otter Lodge, which is my favorite place to stay when on that part of the Parkway. The oaks up on Apple Orchard and vicinity are impressive. Not huge, but just very old and gnarled. I can believe that they're old growth, even if they're not what most people think of when they talk about old growth forests.

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dbhguru
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Re: Potpourri from Parkway

Post by dbhguru » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:59 pm

James,

The Apple Orchard Oaks are indeed old growth. According to Neil Pederson, the oldest white oak on record was dated by Ed Cook in the 1980s on Thunder Ridge. It was 464 years old at the time. Many, many oaks are between 200 and 300 years old, and some obviously much older.

Yes, Monica and I love the Peaks of Otter Lodge. That is where we stay when we're in that area.

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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