Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Nashville

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bbeduhn
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Nashville

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:25 am

Radnor Lake was created in 1913, to hose down locomotives. The area had been logged previously but it appears that no logging took place after 1923. Citizens wanted the land to be conserved and a grassroots movement kept it that way until 1971, when a developer purchased an option to develop it into housing. An uproar occurred and the option was withdrawn in 1973. The state of Tennessee then created its first Class II Natural Area.

I explored the South Cove Trail and the South Lake Trail, representing a fairly small chunk of the Natural Area. I was surprised at how few oaks and hickories resided there. The dominant species are Biltmore ash, hackberry, chinkapin oak, Shumardi oak, and Florida maple. Also present in respectable numbers are walnut, southern shagbark, sassafras, tulip, and sycamore. The only particularly old trees are a balding tulip at 130-150 years and a large sassafras at I assume 150+. I had never seen a large sassafras before so I really don't have much of an accurate guess on its age.

The Florida maple would be a new height record as far as I can tell. I wasn't certain of the id at first. These maples did not look like sugar maples in bark or in leaf. I assumed black maple at first but the leaves are not droopy enough and the bark doesn't match. I put images out on the Facebook ID group and got responses for sugar and Florida. Will Blozan also thought Florida. The id was clinched when I found the samaras on Vanderbilt's website. They are smaller than black and sugar, they mature in midsummer as opposed to autumn for the others and they have a different angle. Sugar and black samaras are almost parallel. Florida has about a 65 degree angle in addition to being noticeably smaller.

I saw one buckeye tree which I assume is Ohio buckeye. The bark was fairly smooth. I didn't see any fruits bur it was on a steep slope so I didn't venture to the base of the tree. The hackberries vary in bark. Some are almost beechlike while most have excessive wartiness. This is the first time I've seen an abundance of hackberries.

Several times while measuring, I found myself surrounded by deer. They are very thick in the natural area. Heights may be a bit low as it is midsummer.

Biltmore ash 121.9' 115.0'
Chinkapin oak 101.3'
Shumard oak 133.1' 129.5' 126.0'
Florida maple 119.2' 118.9' 110.0'
Tuliptree 143.9' 139.3' 134.9' 134.0'
Sycamore 132.4' 120.8'
Walnut 118.9' 115.0' 114.7' 113.0'
Hackberry 110.6' 104.2'
Sassafras 104.3' 97.1' 3'd
Bitternut hickory 117.1'
Mockernut hickory 114.0'
S. shagbark hickory 106.0'
Cottonwood 113.3'
Black locust 102.4'
Ohio buckeye 84.1'
American elm
American elm
Honey locust
Honey locust
Florida maple
Florida maple
Florida maple
Florida maple
Florida leaf
Florida leaf
Florida leaves
Florida leaves
Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras grove
Sassafras grove
Sassafras grove
Sassafras grove
Deer
Deer

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mdavie
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Nashville

Post by mdavie » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm

Shoulda told me you were coming! There are some big sassafras, and lots of ash- they're about to die with EAB here now.

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bbeduhn
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Nashville

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:23 am

Michael,
I wasn't sure when I'd be tree hunting and I was there for just one night. The sassafras was easily the largest I've ever seen. The amount of ash was very surprising. They still looked healthy at Radnor. In Asheville, EAB is taking its toll. Ash that were healthy looking last year have about a quarter of their foliage this year, with sprouts shooting out of the fat parts of the branches.
Brian

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