The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Tree, Plant and Wood I.D. => Topic started by: Dodgy Loner on July 04, 2007, 12:15:34 AM

Title: A walk in the woods
Post by: Dodgy Loner on July 04, 2007, 12:15:34 AM
I was on vacation last week, and I took a nice 11-mile hike through an old-growth forest with my camera in tow.  It was probably the most impressive stretch of forest I've ever seen, and I've got lots of pictures to show for it :).  There have been a lot of topics about tree and plant ID in this discussion room, but I thought I'd offer sumpthin' a little different.  I'm going to post pictures of the trees I saw, and see if you can figure out where I was.

Yellow birch
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/yellow%20birch.jpg)

Red spruce
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/red%20spruce.jpg)

Pin cherry
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/pin%20cherry.jpg)

Eastern hemlock
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/eastern%20hemlock.jpg)

Black cherry
OK, I have to elaborate a little bit here.  The tree in this picture (or in any of the pictures) was in no was exceptional, but completely typical of what I was seeing along the trail.  I went through three coves where the dominant tree was, by far, black cherry.  They ranged from 20-40 inches in diameter and averaged 120' tall.  Many of the trees were 70-80' to the first branch.  It would have been impressive if it were a stand of yellow-poplar, but these were black cherries, and there were thousands of them!  It's nothing short of a miracle that these stands never saw a loggers axe.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/black%20cherry.jpg)

This was a northern red oak that had fallen across the trail.  I counted 230 rings in this little tree, about 18" in diameter.  That was about 20' up, so I suspect that the tree was at least 250 years old.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/dead%20red%20oak.jpg)

Northern red oak
This tree was about 100 yards from the fallen tree.  I wonder how old it is ???
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/northern%20red%20oak%7E0.jpg)

This little 9" tree doesn't look like it belongs with the others, but I included it here for a reason.  Unlike all of the other pictures in this post, this is the largest tree of its species I have ever seen!
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/chestnut%20dbh.jpg)

It's an impressive specimen of American chestnut at nearly 40' tall.  To be honest, the fact that I consider this a impressive specimen is quite sad, considering how big they used to get :(.  The largest specimen ever measured was 17' in diameter.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/american%20chestnut.jpg)

So, what think ye?  Anyone want to guess where I was last week?
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: WDH on July 04, 2007, 12:52:37 AM
I think I know but I ain't saying ;D.  Those are some beautiful trees.. Wish I could have been there :-\.  Re-charges the soul :).  I see that you had your trusty loggers tape in tow!
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: beenthere on July 04, 2007, 01:49:21 AM
Hikin the Appalachian trail.....
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Jeff on July 04, 2007, 09:03:28 AM
Thats my guess as well.

The only place I have seen Cherry like that is in the Ludington Michigan State Park in the "Dune Forest".  Its just a very thin band of forest land but it has some very impressive trees. The best way to describe it is to quote Horace Kephart from his 1917 "Camping and Woodcraft" I posted this once before in its entirety HERE. (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=45.0)

SAMENESS OF THE FOREST. --
All dense woods look much alike.  Trees of most species grow very tall in a forest that has never been cut over, their trunks being commonly straight and slender, with no branches within, say, forty feet of the ground. 

This is because they cannot live without sunlight for their leaves, and they can only reach sunlight by growing tall like their neighbors that crowd around them.  As the young tree shoots upward, its lower limbs atrophy and drop off. 

To some extent the characteristic markings of the trunk that distinguish the different species when they grow in the open, and to a greater extent their characteristic habits of branching, are neutralized when they grow in dense forest.

Consequently a man who can readily tell one species from another, in open country, by their bark and branching habits, may be puzzled to distinguish them in aboriginal forest.

Moreover, the lichens and mosses that cover the boles of trees, in the deep shade of a primitive wood, give them a sameness of aspect, so that there is some excuse for the novice who says that "all trees look alike" to him.
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Lanier_Lurker on July 04, 2007, 09:55:12 AM
That would be my guess as well.

A buddy of mine has a place on the Tallulah River (Seed Lake) over in Rabun County - and there are a bunch of those big spruces and hemlocks over there as well (although not quite as big as the ones in your pictures).  The elevation profile in his immediate area goes from 1750 to about 2000 feet.

The conifers are very dominant in that area for some reason.  There are some large eastern white pine specimens as well.  There are some nice hardwoods in the area, but the canopy is dominated by the big conifers.

Maybe this has something to do with the lost chestnut trees.
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: asy on July 04, 2007, 10:06:50 AM
Well, I have no idea where you are, but I must admit, If'n I EVER get to the USA I want to go there.

Magnificent photos, thank you so much for sharing them.

asy :D

PS: how long does it take to count 250 tree rings?!
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 04, 2007, 01:05:24 PM
You folks understand that the Appalachian Trail is over 2100 miles long and passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia right ???
I think you need to narrow it down just a little bit!
Like where did he hike the 11 miles? ;)

I'm gonna say he was in The Great Smoky Mountains N.P.!
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Dodgy Loner on July 04, 2007, 02:21:21 PM
Everybody was pretty close on this one - I was on a trail that crossed over the AT, but I didn't actually hike the AT itself.  Furby nailed it!  I was in the Great Smoky Mountains, specifically on the Sugarland Mountain trail.   It started near the peak of Clingman's Dome at about 6000 feet above sea level, and ended up only 3000 feet above sea level, so we passed through a huge variety of forest types on the way down, from the spruce-fir-yellow birch at the top to the oak-hickory-poplar at the bottom.  I've seen bigger trees, and I've seen older trees, but I've never seen such a diversity of big trees in one location.  It was truly a sight to behold!  I highly recommend the hike to anybody who's visiting the Smokies.

By the way, asy, if you do come to the USA, I'll be happy to be your tour guide if you want to hike the Smokies :).  You'll have to post some pictures of places that I can visit when I get down to Australia ;)!  Oh, and it took about 10 minutes to count the rings.  I had to count them with the tip of my pocketknife because the rings were so tight!
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 04, 2007, 02:24:18 PM
 smiley_big-grin2
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Tom on July 04, 2007, 02:36:18 PM
I hiked to the top of Clingman's dome as a youth.  That entire end of the Appalachian Trail is beautiful. 

I have trouble conceiving the statement, "only 3000 feet above sea level".  We have airliners trying to get down from that height around here every day and they have to drop 2985' to do it.  :D :D
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: WDH on July 04, 2007, 08:56:45 PM
I visited Clingmans dome with my family a few years ago.  We decided to pack a picnic lunch up to the dome and have lunch while enjoying the view.  The AT crosses nearby, and a couple of young lady hikers had stopped for a rest.  They were wet and pretty much bedraggled.  I asked them about their experience on the trail.  They looked very hungry.  So, we gave them most of our picnic lunch...chips, cookies, cold cokes, and several sandwiches.  You should have seen their faces :D.
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 04, 2007, 09:03:55 PM
I was kinda figuring that when I get around to hiking the AT, rather then mail drops, I'd have FF drops.  ;D
Sure sounds like it might be possible eh WDH? :D
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: WDH on July 04, 2007, 09:12:40 PM
Furby, that is brilliant :D. 
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 04, 2007, 09:13:53 PM
I'd eat pretty DanG good that way! smiley_big-grin2
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: pigman on July 04, 2007, 11:05:24 PM
This past Sunday the wife and I took a walk in the woods and climbed this fire tower.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10432/fire_tower2_op.jpg)


Then I took this picture of a University owned forest.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10432/forest_op.jpg)

The tower is the only still in use fire tower in Kentucky. The question is what is the forest's name. Furby, I bet you don't get this one. ;D


Bob
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 05, 2007, 12:05:45 AM
Nope Bob, I didn't!
But I sure do now!!! 8)
In order to keep this going, I'll IM you the info so ya know I'm not blowing smoke. ;)
Folks if you don't know where Pigman is talking about, do some digging and try and find it, I had fun looking. :)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: pigman on July 05, 2007, 04:29:29 AM
Quote
Furby, I bet you don't get this one.
  I was wrong again. :(  I should never underestimate the ability of a furby. ;)

Bob

Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Jeff on July 05, 2007, 08:06:49 AM
I'm guessing it has to do with spuds.  :)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 05, 2007, 09:12:49 AM
I'm guessing it has to do with spuds. :)
smiley_headscratch



Well Bob, I did take the hard route in finding it even though my gut said otherwise and it turns out my gut was right to begin with. ::)
Just remember......... google is your friend! ;)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: pigman on July 05, 2007, 09:17:01 AM
I siaid the tower was in Kentucky. I could not see a forest all the way to Maine.

Bob
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 05, 2007, 09:22:19 AM
Better get glasses then eh? ;)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Jeff on July 05, 2007, 10:27:27 AM
tater knob
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: pigman on July 05, 2007, 11:11:20 AM
 smiley_idea   Now I know what you are talking about Jeff.  I got out my Ky Delorme Map and did find a Potato Knob in the forest. It must be where the fire tower is located. :P   I did not see any potatos growing on the knob though. The local forester must have already dug and eaten the potatos. :-\



Bob
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Dodgy Loner on July 05, 2007, 12:52:36 PM
Here's a few more tree photos that I didn't include because they would have been a dead giveaway due to their restricted ranges:

Fraser magnolia
It's got to be my favorite magnolia, with huge, tropical-looking leaves and big white flowers.  The auriculate base of the leaves is distinctive and distiguishes it from umbrella magnolia and bigleaf magnolia, which also occur in the Smokies (though less commonly)
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/fraser%20magnolia.jpg)

Yellow buckeye
This big boy was over 130' tall, but it was still far from the biggest buckeye I've ever seen.  Sosebee Cove in north Georgia houses the biggest buckeye in my state, at more than 5 feet in diameter and nearly 140 feet tall.
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/yellow%20buckeye.jpg)

Yellowwood
One of the rarer tree species in the eastern US, this was fairly common in the lower elavations on the trail.  This was the largest yellowwood I had ever seen...until I walked another 1/4 mile ;).
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15533/yellowwood.jpg)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: WDH on July 05, 2007, 01:53:24 PM
I like the Fraser Magnolia too.  That was a DanG of a walk in the woods ;D.  Down here, if you walk 11 miles in the woods (as you well know, DL), you will be ticked, scratched, cut, lame, snake bit, poison ivyed, dehydrated, and if you are in Texas, drowned :D.

That was sure a pleasant place for a nice stroll.
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Dodgy Loner on July 05, 2007, 02:42:38 PM
Yep, I'm already nostalgic :-\
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 05, 2007, 08:19:41 PM
Actually Jeff, that would be incorrect!
Different tower.
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: pigman on July 05, 2007, 10:14:49 PM
 :o  Furby is right again. ;D  I finally googled and discovered there is a tater knob tower, but that tower is a lot shorter, is located in a different place, is not still in use and is not owned by a University. I am going to have to start paying more attention. I suppose that is not necessary since Furby is on the ball. ;)

Bob
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Furby on July 06, 2007, 05:14:13 PM
Actually, I found and was thinking Tater Knob at the start, but did some more digging and found the truth.
The pics were the big give away though. ;)
Jeff's in the right ballpark and could have the answer with very little trouble. :)
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: SwampDonkey on July 07, 2007, 05:28:41 PM
Everybody was pretty close on this one - I was on a trail that crossed over the AT, but I didn't actually hike the AT itself.  Furby nailed it!  I was in the Great Smoky Mountains, specifically on the Sugarland Mountain trail.   It started near the peak of Clingman's Dome at about 6000 feet above sea level, and ended up only 3000 feet above sea level, so we passed through a huge variety of forest types on the way down, from the spruce-fir-yellow birch at the top to the oak-hickory-poplar at the bottom.

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us all. That's beautiful country, I can say first hand.  :)

I was going to guess the same because of the covertype or species you were documenting on your hike. And I didn't think you would be a long way from your home turf for your hike. But, as happens sometimes we are a little too late to find these posts or have been away from the 'puter for a few days. That Dome, is it the one you drive to by car and there is a big parking lot? I don't know the trails down there because I never spent a lot of time there. It was the route we took back to Va in 2001. So, I'm not familiar with the names. Those big old yellow birch sure don't look yellow when they are old growth.  :D

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_Tobique-YB.jpg)

On the Tobique.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_whitebirch-001.jpg)

Here's a big old white birch (18 inch) at the mouth of the Tobique on my uncle's lot.

The red spruce diameters down there are similar to the old growth we find on occasion here, but usually they are wind swept and shorter on our ridge tops. On the Wapske R. I did measure one 46cm at dbh and 32 meters tall. I couldn't believe the height and had to measure it 3 times.  ::) There were others about the same and the balsam fir was all dead or nearly.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_redspruce-crown.jpg)

Here's a picture of the stand. The tree I measured is the one in the middle and way back there in the background. See the snapped off trunk, typical of decadent fir, they rarely get uprooted.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_redspruce-stand.jpg)

The base of the tree, red tape. More fir snags leaning. Some trees had a tiny crown left on top, < 3 m live crown.

The tree was on the flood plain which is not typical, usually that is for white spruce and fir, the red's are on the hardwood ridges. A typical fir or spruce will top out at 24-26 meters on our best sites, where white pine goes to 35-40 meters. Balsam fir is more nutrient demanding than spruce.

Lots of old man's beard lichen around in those pictures. This is typical of a deer wintering area in our northern climate. Where these old stands have been almost completely removed from the landscape, the deer population has pretty much been nuked along with it. :-\ Deer typically migrate up and down the Tobique and Miramachi watershed. In winter when grand father took trips into the camps, there was no sign of a deer on the Serpentine Lake. This was near the divide (Graham Plains) of the Tobique and Miramachi Rivers. Once woodland caribou country, wiped out by brain worm and TB. There are many old deer paths around the lakes up there, some may have been caribou trails adapted by deer. I'm no deer biologist, but when you hang around a guide outfitter for the early part of your life, you learn about deer. A lot of what the experts know about deer came from these old timers whether they will admit it or not. They just had to spend a lot of tax payer money to confirm what they were already told  :D ;D ;)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_yellowbirch-wlt-022.jpg)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/SD_yellowbirch-wlt-023.jpg)

65 cm (25.5 inch) DBH on my woodlot.  ;D
Title: Re: A walk in the woods
Post by: Dodgy Loner on July 07, 2007, 10:59:31 PM
Nice pictures, SD.  Regarding your question, yes, Clingman's Dome is the mountain with the parking lot up near the summit.  My favorite peak in the Smokies, though, is Mt. LeConte.  It's the third-tallest peak east of the Rockies, and you have to hike at least 5 miles to get to the top - there are no roads.  Last time I hiked Mt. LeConte (it was several years ago), I saw several red spruce that were 4 feet in diameter and 120 feet tall.  Too bad I didn't have my camera with me :-\.