01 January, 2013

Exceptional forest along Oxbow tributary of S. Peachtree Creek

**This is a trip report from Winter 2012, that I'm just now getting around to blogging about, but was a trip deserving of documenting**

Another amazing winter day in Atlanta. Mid 50's and insanely sunny and dry. This was my second outing in as many days. The goal was to revisit a few tall trees I measured in 2010 and do some more thorough searching for hidden gems. This site is a sliver of a green space in NE Atlanta on a tributary of Peachtree Creek. I inventoried exclusively on a steep East facing slope along with a few trees in a floodplain area. I started off by entering the woods much further South than I intended, which was a blessing in disguise, allowing me to "discover" 2 particularly amazing trees- a Northern Red Oak and a Beech Tree. Creek bed at South end of forest:









































This was no run-of-the-mill Beech. Upon closer inspection, I realized this would be the new city champ, which is quite impressive b/c the current champ is no slouch at 12'2" x 116'! What a trunk!












































































 






Having both great girth and extraordinary height, this will likely be state co-champion for the species (current champ is 327 points, though I believe the height may be exaggerated at 135') It was right along the creek and had neat little pockets in the root flares with native ferns:








































Next up was a magnificent Quercus rubra. This is the first confirmed over 140' in Atlanta at 141.3' tall x 10'1.5" CBH. It's also one of the tallest in the state, though I know Jess Riddle has found a few taller in the mountains. Might be a champ for the Piedmont??










































Next up was a remeasure of a tall Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) down in the floodplain. This skinny tree (CBH: 5'6") faces a 75' slope and has it toes in very moist substrate. Again, another impressively tall tree which may be the tallest in the state: My other remeasure was a big Quercus rubra also in the oxbow. It was 10'9.5" x 133.1' tall.


In addition to big/tall trees, I found some sizable vines- check out this poison ivy with my hand for scale:
































Finally, I found this interesting piece of hardware left in a creekside Ironwood:









































Full inventory and R10: 

QuRu    10'1.5" x 141.3'*
LiTu                       133.9' 
CaCo          5'6" x 133.9'** 
PiTa            9'5" x 129' 
FaGr         14'2" x 126.9' 
TiHe       6'11.5" x 126.7' 
LiSt                       124.9' 
PiEc          6'10" x 122' 
CaGl                       119' 
QuAl                      118.1' 
MaMa          1'7" x 56.9' (Bigleaf Mag.)
-----------------------------
 R10    =    127.6' (this will rise with additional measurements on QuAl and LiTu species)

*Tallest in Atlanta and top 5 in state
 **tallest in GA?

Jess Riddle has documented a few of similar height in N. Georgia The forests of Atlanta continue to surprise and amaze. Overall, in terms of diversity, tall trees, and big trees, metro-Atlanta is more impressive than any other urban center east of the Mississippi (aside from possibly Memphis?). Cheers, ~Eli

02 January, 2012

Late 2011 wanderings

Due to a heavy school load, new job, and marathon training I wasn't able to get out in the woods much at all during fall 2011, but I did manage a few quick trips.

Beautiful fall color from my enemy, Poison Ivy:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

My first national champion tree nomination- Baccharis halimifolia. This specimen is in the fantastic native plant garden at Georgia Perimeter College in south Decatur, GA:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

This shot is from a huge tuliptree that fell in a park just east of where I live in the city of Decatur. It was so neat to be able to explore this tree from rootball to the highest sprigs- especially since it seemed to have recently fallen
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
The rootball alone stood 10'+ above a huge crater. You can see into the (partially) hollow trunk too. Very neat.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I walked from near the base into the crown. It's like a secret portal into a world normally reserved for birds, flying squirrels and the ever-so-rare tree climber.

I also found some large native vines in the floodplain of this park. I believe this is Virginia Creeper (or possibly Crossvine):
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here's a nice vertical shot of a tall Sweetgum near the PATH and Agnes Scott that I took in November:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Kousa Dogwood blooming near the GSU campus in NOVEMBER!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The always lovely Angel Oak tree- I took this shot during the Kiawah Island Marathon weekend in early December:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Ripe persimmon I ate at Davidson-Arabia mountain in late December- many of them were full of fire ants, thankfully this one was not:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I found this so neat. The loblolly pine seen here at Arabia mountain looks as if it was just peeled from the surface of the bare rock. Until falling it had survived many years with a rootball only 18" deep (more or less). Fascinating!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here's a shot of the first maypop fruit (native passionfruit) that I've found in the Southeast. These were at Woodlands Garden in Decatur:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

This was part of a really nice grove of Beech trees and a few scattered White Oaks on Emory's campus. It's here that I found the first Beech documented over 130' tall in Atlanta (and the second tallest in the whole state):
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Amazing shelf fungus:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Finally, I'll end with a couple shots from the new Champion Tulip Poplar for Atlanta. It's quite a doozy and was hiding out in plain site on the campus of Emory University. It's 16'(192") circumference and 152' tall! Even had some old climbing rope tangled at the base... I wonder who climbed it and when?! The first limb is 75 feet off the ground!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

till next time....

23 February, 2011

My latest tree news

It's been awhile and this clearly should be updated. Here are some musings from my recent tree outings this winter:

My buddy Mike found some American Chestnut burs on the tip-top of Blood Mountain, GA. This was confirmed by the president of the American Chestnut Foundation and they'd like to collect pollen this summer!






I finally made it to Big Trees Nature Preserve in Sandy Springs, GA to explore and hunt for.. well... big trees! I found some very nice Virginia Pines up on the ridge:


found a state co-champion Shumard Oak on the property of Brookwood Hills Community Club:




this led to a very interesting series of events, including making contact with the community landowners, exploring an extensive mature floodplain forest along Clear Creek (a large tributary of Peachtree Creek), and the discovery and nomination of numerous (new) city and state champion trees!


Big Beech along the floodplain:



Clear Creek:



Champ Sweetgum:



Celtis spp. (probably Sugarberry, but could be Hackberry):




Finally, i got an increment borer and finally started coring some trees on the Fernbank property. I've only just begun and it's quite a challenge. So far I've done 2 Tuliptrees and a Northern Red Oak (this one threw my back out for 4 days!):





zoom on Tuliptree core:

01 January, 2011

Congaree

Photobucket

Photobucket

grapevine
Photobucket

we saw wild boars, this is the kind of destruction they do
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

you should go: www.nps.gov/cong

much belated updates from late 2010...

Holiday time building fire with the nieces!
Photobucket

New city champ European Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Photobucket

Casey, Pop pop, and I ventured into Oakland Cemetary
Photobucket

Waiting for the MARTA during fall semester
Photobucket

Making lefsa with Pop Pop
Photobucket

Hangin' with our old buddy Charlie
Photobucket

new city champion Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) in Cascade Springs, ATL
Photobucket

this tree had a hollow filled with ice!
Photobucket

the falls of Cascade Springs on a cold December day
Photobucket

knarly = old
Photobucket

cool bark on tuliptree = old
Photobucket
Photobucket

city co-champion White Oak (Quercus alba) in Connally Oaks Nature Preserve
Photobucket

gettin' paid
Photobucket

coldest december in Fernbank Forest in years
Photobucket
Photobucket

winged elm = winged root flares
Photobucket

champion Tuliptree I found in Storza Woods (Atlanta Botanical Gardens)
Photobucket

Is this a scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) leaf??
Photobucket