Cataloochee's Finest  James Parton
  October 10, 2007

TOPIC: Cataloochee's Finest. 

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Wed, Oct 10 2007 6:33 pm
From: James Parton


2 weeks ago friday Will & I went to Cataloochee to see the Usis
hemlock & check out other trees in the area. The Usis tree was
impressive. 5 ft diameter at breast height and 173 feet tall. It was
still alive but not in the best of health. Will has treated it so
hopefully it will survive. Several other nice trees were in the area
including what may be a record hickory ( Bitternut? ) for the smokies.
Will & I measured what may be a new tree. It was a hemlock which
topped 160 feet. Will probably will climb it at a later date. From
Will, I learned to identify 3 new trees. Cucumbertree, Striped Maple
and Mountain Holly. Thanks Will!

At the beginning of the excursion we visited a nice American chestnut.
75 feet tall. It was in good shape overall but has a canker about 15
feet up & the sprouts at the trees base show the orange-colored blight
fungus. Burrs were found but the nuts inside were undersized &
probably sterile.

It is really depressing to see all those hemlocks in Cataloochee
dying. Will has given hope that some will survive. He and his
accomplaces have treated a surprising number of trees. More than I
would have thought possible. If only the forest service would have
contracted him 4 years earlier. Still, many trees show signs of
improving health. Next spring will tell alot.

James Parton.