Chasteen Creek, Smokies    Will Blozan
  Jun 11, 2004 20:51 PDT 

Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 10:35 PM
To: ''
Subject: Michigan and the Smokies (RULE!)

Hello ENTS!

I bought a new computer and I have had quite a time getting it settled and
email working properly. I am almost there now and am relieved that I can
post some new finds from two recent trips.

Chasteen (a.k.a "Not bad for second-growth") Creek, GRSM, NC 3000'+
elevation. 6-6-04

This is a cove I have been meaning to get back to since a cursory survey
during the exit from a hellish backpack. On the last trip I was able to
shoot a few straight-up heights from the trail and found a black locust over
150' and several more species of near record heights (at the time ca. 1997).
Last weekend, Jess Riddle and I spent a few hours exploring the main flats
of the cove on the south side primarily, and were not in the slightest
disappointed! The microtopography was smooth and logging cables and relics
were common, indicating the place was hammered and entirely cleared. Tree
girths were minimal and most were skinny bean-poles. However, due to the
rich soils, "flat" cove with steep sides, and ideal elevations, trees of
many species were very tall for their girth, and we found a few new or near
height records for several species even though the trees are 75 years old or
less. Overall, the canopy was dominated by tuliptree, basswood, black
locust, oaks, black cherry and other rich cove species. Most people would
walk by this cove and not think twice about it due to the small diameters
and obvious disturbed history. However, it is an important site for studying
tree growth and inter-species growth rates after severe logging. The growth
rates of some species such as basswood (T. heterophylla) are impressive and
quite surprising. Jess and I both felt this was the densest stand of tall
black locust we had ever seen. The Rucker index of 138.1 can easily be
raised a few points by finding some taller species. Bitternut was
conspicuously under-represented and the ones we found were short. Tuliptree
will likely reach the mid 160's. I did not include the 153' locust from the
previous trip because we did not see it since we left the trail before it.
It may be dead. Yellow buckeye reached near 120' but I did not write it down
as I was "exploring" with the laser. We focused on the locusts, cherries,
and basswoods. Incidentally, the emergent canopy (Tuliptree and locust) will
average solidly at 150' or greater. I told Jess I should get a bumper
sticker that says, "SECOND-GROWTH RULES!!!" (in the Smokies.)

White oak

8'8"       X          130.9'

Black cherry

~5'        X          115.1'

~5'        X          124.5'

5'          X          132.6'

6'7"       X          140.9'   New lasered ENTS record? Next to the 151.1'

Sugar maple

7'8"       X          115.4'

Black locust

~8'        X          136.5'

5'2"       X          147'

4'1"       X          141.4'

4'7"       X          137.9'

4'7"       X          139.5'

5'1"       X          137.9'

8'3:       X          151.1'   X          38'= 260 points NC State

7'          X          145.1'

6'1"       X          147.4'

5'3"       X          151.5'

3'11"     X          140'


3'8"       X          130.7'

6'2"       X          132.4'

6'9"       X          133.9'

White basswood

4'7"       X          134'

4'11"     X          136.3'

5'          X          142.3'

White ash

3'8"       X          127.1'

6'7"       X          140'


~9'        X          154.6'

~9'        X          159'

~7'        X          149.8'

Black birch

4'11"     X          107.4'   Had around 110 feet on other side but not a
reliable shot.

Northern red oak

~7'        X          118.7'

4'10"     X          132.4'

American beech



Chestnut oak

8'5"       X          134.7'

Will Blozan w/ Jess Riddle