Big Creek

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:22 am

Big creek

The creek itself has reasonably tall trees but they mostly pale in comparison to the heights in the coves. One exception is a tall, low branching chestnut oak. It doesn't appear to be as tall as it is and looks shorter than what I'd seen in the coves but the laser said otherwise. I believe this was measured by Will at 143' in 2010.
139.9' chestnut oak
139.9' chestnut oak
139.9' chestnut oak
139.9' chestnut oak
Quercus montana 139.9' 127.1'

Betula lenta 100.9'

Betula allegheniensis 86.4'
6" red salamander, measured sin/sin/laser of course!
6" red salamander, measured sin/sin/laser of course!
Last edited by bbeduhn on Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:54 am

Mouse Creek

I fought the rhododendron for a while but gave up before I got to the awesome upper coves of Mouse Creek. I'll approach from the top next time as Will suggested, "gravity helps with rhododendron". The tulip numbers are a mixed bag as the tops vary. Some are very easy shots and some have slightly larger crowns which may or may not reveal their true tops from below. I'd read that railroad grades ran all through the cove, leading me to believe that travel would be easy but the grades are more choked with rhodo than the slopes are. I just got a handful of numbers. Tulip and bitternut do better higher up and a few coves have yet to be explored by any ENTS.

The red oak was above me on the grade I hiked on initially. I came back out on a higher grade and it reveled itself from this grade. This tree has a better chance of hitting 160' than the red oak on the Whitewater River in SC. It appears to be quite young (75-80 years). It's put on some girth since 2010, about 10". It slipped my mind to get a photo but Will posted one in 2010.

Lirio tulip 169.7' 169.0' 167.6' 166.8' 159.6' 159.1' 158.2' 156.3'

Quercus rubra 132.7' 155.7' cbh 12'2" or 146"

Robinia pseudo 136.0'

Carya cordi 131.5'

Halesia monti 121.6'

Betula alleghen 88.3'

Prunus serotina 120.6'
Mouse Creek forest
Mouse Creek forest
Mouse Creek forest
Mouse Creek forest

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dbhguru
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Re: Big Creek

Post by dbhguru » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:39 am

Brian,

Heck'uva red oak. You had that one hid in the numbners. Tulips aren't slouches, assuming their fairly young. We're so used to 170s and 180s in the Smokies, that we're spoiled.

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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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:14 pm

I went back to Baxter Creek to see which tulip was the 185 footer. I don't know exactly what happened but every possible was measured and none fit the bill. Some better numbers did arise. The Rucker tulip and its next door neighbor are a little taller than I previously measured. I noticed a mighty fine silverbell along Baxter Creek that i missed before. It is one of only three known to top 130', and had been measured previously. A very old silverbell resides a bit further up the trail. Bitternut hickories are almost as ubiquitous as tulips. I missed quite a few on my initial visit. Some of the tulips are remeasures.

Lirio tulip 175.3' (by bend in trail) 173.8' & 172.1' (Rucker tulip group) 171.9' 170.8' 169.5' 168.7'
168.5' 168.6' 167.9' 167.0' 166.9' 166.4' 166.0' 165.3' 164.4' 164.3' 164.2' 162.8' 162.8'
161.6' 161.3' 161.0'

Magnolia acuminata 126.1' 124.2' 122.9'

Halesia monticoloa 131.3' 118.6' 117.3' 116.7' 113.4' 112.1'

Robinia pseudo 134.1' 126.0'

Quercus velotina 114.1'

Carya cordiformis 152.5' 143.8' 143.6' 134.7' 130.8'

Fraxinus americ 143.6' 130.9'
Rucker tulips
Rucker tulips
Rucker tulips 172.1' & 173.8'
Rucker tulips 172.1' & 173.8'
Old silverbell
Old silverbell
Beech and tulip
Beech and tulip
Tulip relic
Tulip relic

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:38 pm

I revisited a rich cove I went to last year to check out the old growth above the second and third growth and to hopefully find a Smokies record for sweetgum. I came close with sweetgum on the flats below the rich cove and Baxter Creek but fell four feet shy on the sweetgum. A quick remeasure of the Triple Sick Sycamore yielded 159' for the tallest trunk. This was from the same vantage point as I'd used last year. I decided to head uphill to make sure I was hitting the tops. The crown is confusing because two different trunks share the crown and it's difficult to tell which twig is to which trunk as they are a little bit intertwined. After careful sorting and crown scouting, each of the two tallest trunks breaks the sycamore record.

A state record red elm resides just down the dry run from the sycamore. A likely 170' tulip resides just uphill and 143' and 136' buckeyes reside right next to it. I should have remeasured all of these. The red elm is a new find. these trees are right on the edge of second/third growth with old growth just a hundred or so yards away. The ages just below these tall trees appear to be about 60 years while the tall second growth is likely 80-90. I assume the third growth is actually second growth that had been managed as open fields for a couple of decades after the park was established. The flats were likely farmland. There are stone ruins among the flats, as well as a few relic old growth trees.

Rich Cove

Platanus occidentalis 165.5' 163.4' 147.3'
Liquidambar styraciflua 133.4' 130.9'
Betula lenta 110.3'
Acer sacharrum 122.3'
Fraxinus biltmoreana 132.7'
Halesia monticola 98.7' 97.7'
Tilia heterophylla 144.3' 11'6" cbh
Ulmus rubra 134.0' 131.2'

Last year's measurements

Aesculus flava 143.1' 136.0
Lirio tulipifera 168.3'
Robinia pseudoacacia 137.0'

Apron between Rich Cove and Baxter Creek

Liquid styraciflua 138.1' 133.6' 132.7'

Flats along Big Creek

Liquid styraciflua 134.5' 133.9' 131.3'
Pinus strobus 139.7' 134.6'
Pinus rigida 102.2'
Juglans nigra 113.8'
large chimney
large chimney
11'6" basswood 144.3'
11'6" basswood 144.3'
144.3' basswood (formerly 150')
144.3' basswood (formerly 150')
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick trunks
triple sick crowns
triple sick crowns
butterflies and horse...
butterflies and horse...

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sradivoy
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Re: Big Creek

Post by sradivoy » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:21 am

Brian,

I'm curious about the locations of the 160 class tulips that you measured in Baxter?

" 175.3' (by bend in trail) 173.8' & 172.1' (Rucker tulip group) 171.9' 170.8' 169.5' 168.7'
168.5' 168.6' 167.9' 167.0' 166.9' 166.4' 166.0' 165.3' 164.4' 164.3' 164.2' 162.8' 162.8'
161.6' 161.3' 161.0' "

I was there the other day for the first time and got measurements of 168, 167, 167, 165. 164, 163, 163, 162. I'm trying to determine if I missed the tops of the 170 class trees or if I passed over those trees entirely and just measured some of your 160 class trees instead. Pretty critical info from my standpoint. thx!

Regards,
Stefan

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sradivoy
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Re: Big Creek

Post by sradivoy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:51 pm

The average canopy height of the grove is much more compatible. I added them up and divided by the number of trees and I got a 165' ( I didn't include my 164 tree it is in a separate grove up and over the ridge to the west) for my hits. I did the same with your measurements and I got a 167' average height canopy for the grove. At least we're in the same ball park in that regard.

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:16 am

Stefan,
The 175' is at a 115 degree or so turn on the trail as it heads up a small drainage and then makes the sharp turn and traverses a slope. The Rucker tulips are a group of four tulips that are on the left of the trail. They are nearly in the low drainage that you follow at Baxter Creek climbs, perhaps 2/10 of a mile before the sharp turn. The best way to measure them is obviously 20 to 30 yards uptrail. The second tallest known mountain silverbell is lower down in the drainage at 133' or so.

Baxter Creek boasts many more 170' than I found. It is one of the most measured spots due to its incredible richness and its relative ease of access. The surprising thing is that no 180's have been found there, or in Big Creek, as far as I know, but that may change on Sunday, provided we don't get too much rain over the next few days.

The tallest sycamore is in the drainage that crosses the Baxter Creek Trail before it begins the ascent in primary cove. I'll check on that and all of the other records as well on Sunday.
Brian

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:06 pm

I got back to Big Creek but was not able to check out all that I wanted to. Some unexpected tulips caught my eye and I was stuck in one cove much longer than was expected.

First off, in Big Branch , the tallest white ash resides. Unfortunately, it appears that EAB has claimed it as a victim. All of the tips of branches have broken off. It still reaches to 161.4', but it previously topped 167'! The Ash King is not expected to leaf out at all this year. Some ashes send out epicormic branches as a result of EAB, but I didn't notice any.

On the good side, Big Branch's sycamores are growing rapidly. I didn't get to explore beyond the Ash King this time so I have just a few numbers from the cove. Tulips don't enjoy this cove but they are certainly enjoying the next cove.

Fraxinus Americana The Ash King 161.4'
Platanus occidentalis 153.0' 151.2' 145.5' 142.7'
Aesculus flava 130.0'

Dancing Sycamores Cove

I'd been in this cove on two occasions and measured a tall tulip but the tulips appeared to be so young and skinny. They are young and skinny but they are extremely tall. Big Creek has a new tallest tree, just one cove before The spot where the first 170' was recorded, The Rucker Tulip. The two tallest known sycamores reside here as well. The Smokies' new tallest red elm and sweetgum reside here. The elm has been measured plenty of times in the past but was supplanted by a red elm just upstream. It appears to have taken back the title, but just barely. The sweetgum is on the fast track to 150', and may even compete with the tallest in Congaree in another 6-8 years. I couldn't get the same numbers on the sycamores as I did three years ago. The trees may have suffered slight crown die back, but they are notoriously difficult to measure and may still be 165' and 163'.

Liriodendron tulipifera
186.1' 178.5' 172.5' 169.1' 164.0' 163.1' 162.2' 162.1' 161.0' 160.6'
159.3' 158.9' 158.6' 157.4' 154.0' 154.0' 153.8' 153.7' 153.2' 151.7' 150.8'
Ulmus rubra
135.0' 134.1' 128.8'
Aesculus flava
140.4' 139.6' 138.2' 136.3' 124.1'
Platanus occidentalis
162.9' 159.6' 147.5' 145.9' 144.3'
Halesia monticola
106.7'
Liquidambar styraciflua
147.9' 135.1'
Carya ovata
115.4'
Fraxinus biltmoreana
127.3'

Along Big Creek
Pinus strobus
150.3'

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bbeduhn
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Re: Big Creek

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:35 am

Dancing Sycamore Cove Rucker 143.97'

1. tuliptree 186.1'
2. sycamore 165.5'
3. basswood 150.3'
4. sweetgum 147.9'
5. yellow buckeye 143.1'
6. black locust 137.0'
7. red elm 135.0'
8. Biltmore ash 132.7'
9. sugar maple 122.3'
10. red maple 119.9'

Big Creek overall Rucker 157.53'

1. tuliptree 186.1'
2. white ash 167.1'
3. sycamore 165.5'
4. bitternut hick 156.3'
5. red oak 155.7'
6. cucumbertree 151.9'
7. white pine 150.3'
7. basswood 150.3'
9. sweetgum 147.9'
10. sugar maple 144.2'

Big Creek should have the second highest overall Rucker in the East. Cataloochee should still be number one but I don't have all of the Cataloochee numbers as most are from the previous forum. Deep Creek and Elkmont, also in the Smokies, shouldn't be far behind. Ourside of the Smokies, Tamassee Knob in SC has a Rucker of 155.4', in third place as far as I can tell. Congaree and Davidson River also top 150'. Davidson is at 150.9'.

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