Cooper Creek WMA, GA

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pattyjenkins1
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by pattyjenkins1 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:05 pm

We're just waiting for Eli to have some time to get into a basic tree climbing class. Imagine what he'll report from the treetops!
Patty Jenkins
Executive Director
Tree Climbers International, Inc.
Get High / Climb Trees

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eliahd24
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by eliahd24 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:40 pm

Brian- i've certainly mistaken Blackgum for Sourwood in the past (Jess can attest), but I'm pretty sure this was the real thing. More of a cinnamon/reddish-brown bark with ridge-like protrusions. Though they don't call Blackgum the coyote tree for nothing- it is a trickster! .... now I'm second guessing myself.

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by Jess Riddle » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:03 pm

Eli, Brian;

Definitely a sourwood. All the subtle bark characteristics are right for sourwood, and very straight sprouts, as seen at the base of this tree, are also characteristic of sourwood.

Jess

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Chris
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by Chris » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:28 pm

I love that birch! Maybe not as classically pretty and graceful as the Poplars, but damn, she has character!

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eliahd24
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by eliahd24 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:33 pm

Made it back to Cooper Creek and the "Valley of the Giants" today. Boy oh boy was it chilly (for Georgia at least). Didn't do much measuring, but did get some neat pictures. Mostly just explored the old growth. Had a fantastic time. I'll try to post the pictures soon. Such a neat spot.

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by Bart Bouricius » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:23 am

Damn impressive trees and if I did not live in MA, I would certainly go with you. There is nothing like a human to beat out a tape rule or a dog of unknown dimensions for comparison, but I get the picture nevertheless.

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eliahd24
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by eliahd24 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:58 pm

Yesterday was a really magical day in the woods. I took 2 fellow tree enthusiasts, a local ecology professor (and tree enthusiast) and my dog, Ophelia. It was cold with temps in the 20's/30's after a dusting of frozen precip the day before.
dusting of sleety snow
dusting of sleety snow
The hike in to the old growth at Cooper Creek is short and non-strenuous. The trailhead, however, is not marked. I think is a good thing. I'd hate to see this special spot get "Disneyfied" like many other natural areas.

One of the highlights of the trip was the "discovery" of a giant tuliptree shell. It was a stubby standing dead spire of the trunk. The cbh without any bark (and after some decay) was 13'7". The massive trunk was splayed out on the sloped hillside below, now covered with moss, lichen, fungi and serving as a nurse log for many other trees such as hemlock, white pine, basswood, etc.
Dead LiTu spire_GORGEOUS
Dead LiTu spire_GORGEOUS
The cavity in the big standing snag was completely accessible and just amazing
Sara in the bowels of a dead tuliptree
Sara in the bowels of a dead tuliptree
LiTu inside_out
LiTu inside_out
I could count some of the rings in a vertical segment of exposed wood in the giant tuliptree- clearly growth was slow in the last few decades (or centuries)
LiTu rings_TIGHT
LiTu rings_TIGHT
There were scattered old oaks as well... mostly Quercus alba, but some gnarly Quercus rubra like this beauty
N. Red Oak stitch - 13' x 118'
N. Red Oak stitch - 13' x 118'
FYI- my dog is a tall and leggy 85 pound puppy, so you can get an idea of the size of this tree
N. Red with 85lb pup for scale
N. Red with 85lb pup for scale
The professor I brought along reminded me of one of the geographical/aesthetic indicators of old growth- "pits and mounds" on the forest floor...
Pits and Mounds_Old Growth indicator
Pits and Mounds_Old Growth indicator
Besides Liriodendron, Basswood is the next most impressive species in this old growth cove. Numerous giants exist and with a little more searching a state champion will be found here.
Multi-trunked Basswood_BIGGIE - 8'7" x 98'
Multi-trunked Basswood_BIGGIE - 8'7" x 98'
Many of the tuliptrees had already shed what I refer to as their "primary bark", thus showing the neat balding and swirly patterns of the "secondary bark", however some of the giants still had deeply furrowed bark that was 6"+ thick. Here's moderately thick piece.
LiTu bark
LiTu bark
And the gnarliest beast without a fully blown out top... also the point champion for the species at 390 Big Tree Points! What a beauty!
BIGGIE!
BIGGIE!
Happy New Year fellow NTSers,
~Eli

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edfrank
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by edfrank » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:49 am

Eli,

Fantastic shots. I really like the ones of he tuliptree snag.

Happy New Year!!

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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dbhguru
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:23 am

Eli,

Coopers Creek and other north Georgia sites are fading memories for me. When I was visiting those sites, I wasn't into measuring trees. However, I never forgot the images of big and tall trees. It is great to have numbers to apply to the best of what we have left in the Peach State. Thanks for all your work and Happy New Year.

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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eliahd24
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Re: Cooper Creek WMA, GA

Post by eliahd24 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:53 am

Here's to more adventures and continued high profile research and professional collaborations for NTS in 2013!

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