Sag Branch, Cataloochee, NC, GSMNP   Will Blozan
  May 16, 2004 10:21 PDT 


Hey folks,

I want to get some trip reports out as I know many of you are awaiting the
news. I have not been out much lately and have been super busy with work and
family. Fortunately, some of my best excursions lately have been work
related, namely the Joyce Kilmer and Kelsey Tract old-growth hemlock climbs
and last week a trip to Mt. LeConte in the Smokies to collect Fraser fir

4/24/04 Sag Branch, Cataloochee, NC, GSMNP

I led a Wildflower Pilgrimage for the Tremont Institute to the Sag Branch
Tuliptree. On the way I remeasured a huge chestnut oak (12'1") that has
given me trouble in the past. Shooting straight up from beneath the tree I
was able to get a solid 140' multiple times. Having identified the tall
leader, I went way upslope to get a solid shot from the ridge above the
tree. From here I was able to get 140.9', which makes this tree one of the
few known over 140'. This tree is the archetypal forest grown giant chestnut
oak! It is absolutely massive and untapered with a full crown. I really have
never seen one quite like it, so maybe it is NOT the archetypal specimen!

I also was able to concentrate height efforts on one particular tip of the
Sag branch Tuliptree. Ed Coyle and I identified the high point during our
climb of the tree with Van Pelt. I was able to repeatedly get a height of
168.5' with the help of several volunteers. The Sag Branch tree now has 462
big tree points (268" + 169'+ 25'). Only the Greenbrier Giant (TN) has more
points in the Smokies (466).

That's all for now. The tree hunting season has basically closed in with the
spring canopy. I may try to do some volume climbs before it gets too hot and
buggy. I will be in northern Ohio the end of next week so I hope to at least
confirm the giant cottonwoods I saw near Detroit, Michigan while I am there.

I'm sure I will let you all know...eventually...;)

Will Blozan
President, Eastern Native Tree Society
ISA Certified Arborist