30, 2003 14:27 PDT
Last week I had a chance to do a brief and certainly not
survey of exemplary trees on the estate of the late author, Carl
Flat Rock, NC. I was simply focused on height but the estate has
massive white and chestnut oaks among other introduced and
native species. I
measured enough species to start a rudimentary Rucker Index that
will Loona Brogan
undoubtably creep up with more exploration.
Much of the estate is dry oak/pine forest with small ravines and
harboring more diversity. The ridges support, in some areas,
old-growth sub-xeric oak forests with individuals easily over
300 years old.
The estate has been settled for over 130 years and many trees
date to this
time period. The estate has a grand collection of big, old,
high-knarl-factor eastern white pines and open-grown giants of
chestnut oak. My company has been working on tree maintenance
preservation on the estate for 4 years. A limb removed two years
ago off one
of the huge white oaks had 180 growth rings. Sandburg has named
many of the
oaks after prominent individuals and the National Park Service
is doing what
they can to preserve them amid soil compaction and other visitor
Anyway, here is a tally from a brief walk that yielded a Rucker
White pine 9'3" 108.6'
White pine 8'9" 135.51'
Sycamore 8'2" 122.05'
Pignut 5'2" 92.78'
White pine 7'11" 143.24' Tallest tree found, 150' possible
Tuliptree 9'6" 109.06'
Persimmon 3'4" 93.58' Tallest I have measured outside of
Congaree Swamp NM!
Sycamore 6'7" 115.61'
White pine 7'3" 126.15'
Amer elm 10'6" 93.48'
Tuliptree 7'10" 117.22'
White oak 7'2" 106.12'
Tuliptree 10'3" 140.87' May not beat the height of this
Mockernut 7' 108.6'
White pine 10'4" 122.01' Classic knarled beauty with very
high knarl factor!
E. hemlock 13'8" 114.3' Giant single stemmed tree; may be
the largest girth
N. red oak 8'2" 98.6' Must be taller ones.
Black oak 6.4" 96.2' " "
Scarlet oak 5'11" 94.1' " "
More searching may bring the Rucker Index up to ~115, which is
considering the rather poor site conditions.
Carl Sandburg Home
30, 2003 15:13 PDT
Excellent. Good site to catalog because of
whose estate it is. Only by
canvassing the countryside and recording enough Rucker indexes
can we emphasize
the exceptional sites.
30, 2003 19:33 PDT
the elm was planted, but it is an indicator of site
maybe should be included as a representative of that potential
eluded to by
the Rucker #'s. All the other trees I presume were natural, as I
anyone planted scores of pines and tulips that would naturally
grow on their
own. I agree about unknown stock but they should not be
valuable indicators (as ENTS data are collected) of site
conditions/potential. There is a European larch in Asheville
tops 130' and I feel it should be included in a Rucker index for
(soon to be disclosed).