Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Asheville, NC James Parton
February 15, 2009


Today Joy and I took a three mile hike into the Bent Creek Experimental Forest which is located near Enka and Asheville NC. Here is the official website to the forest.

We hiked the Wolf Branch trail and came back by a gated forest road and the Deer Lake Lodge trail. The majority of larger trees measured were on Wolf Branch. Starting the hike the forest was younger with smaller trees. They got taller as we got further on the trail.

The first large tree we found was a beautiful White Oak. It was much bigger than any tree in the surrounding forest. The tree is 97.4 feet tall. It has a massive crown which is nearly as wide as it is tall. I need to learn how to measure crown spread. It was on a bluff and has a fair amount of growing space to spread out.

The tallest tree was found by Joy. She called it the " Cupid " pine stating she found it on Valentines Day weekend. It was an impressive 134.9 feet tall. She was proud of the find!

Near the trail we found a massive 11' 8" cbh White Pine. It split into two trunks about 12 feet above the ground. It's height was 130.5 feet tall.

Remembering the very tall Virginia Creeper that Will measured in the Bradley Fork Tuliptree I measured a really big Poison Ivy vine climbing a Tuliptree. The tuliptree was measured at 107.7 feet tall. Using the laser's 8 power optics I traced the vine up as high as I could see it and measured it from there. The vine climbed to 100.3 feet. Almost to the top of the tuliptree.. The vine was massive at 4.5 feet above ground. It clung too close to the tree to wrap a tape around it but I still would guess it was close to 2ft cbh.

Many of the tuliptrees on Wolf Branch roughed out to around 120 feet. A few probably would make 130. The oaks, red & white would have been only a little shorter. White Pine is the height champ but some nice Pitch Pine was present also. The Pitch Pines were more impressive than the few Shortleaf present. Virginia Pine was here also.

Here are the measurements

                            CBH                  Height

White Oak            11' 10" !              97.4'       Huge crown spread.
Pitch Pine             5' 5 1/4"            114.0' !
White Pine            8' 5"                  134.9' !
White Pine           11' 8"!                130.5'
Tulip Poplar                                   107.7'
Poison Ivy                                     100.3'

The place surprised me. Two trees over 11 feet in girth. I did not expect that. Also check out
the fused together oak and white pine pictures. Both grew nearly to the same height!

A nice Chestnut Oak was found on a neighboring trail two weeks ago. It was 9' 3 1/2" cbh and 105 feet tall.

James Parton

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