Scored in Linville   Will Blozan
  Aug 31, 2003 07:28 PDT 

Yesterday I joined Jess Riddle in a Carolina hemlock hunt in Linville Gorge.
We found some beauties (though well into serious decline from HWA) and broke
the height record for the species four times!

Tsuga caroliniana

9'3" x 93.65'
5'7" x 95.72'
6'10" x 101.8'
7' x 101.86'
8'7" x 102.55'
6'5" x 109.47' Breaks old record by 11' or so!

These trees only have a few years left as HWA is rampant and widespread.
From the overlooks all hemlocks were gray and some dead ones may be
attributed to HWA but I am not sure. Needles were falling like rain.

Re: Scored in Linville   Michael Davie
  Sep 01, 2003 17:06 PDT 

Those are some great finds. I went out there last month, following a lead of
big Carolinas around the base of Hawksbill mountain. There were a few nice
ones, but I only measured one, I hadn't sent a report because I wanted to go
back and measure some more, which I haven't done yet, of course. Since it's
on subject, though...The one I measured was the largest I saw, 10'9"
circumference, 108 feet tall. The spread was nearly fifty feet, quite a
beauty. I intend to go back, but travel around there is very treacherous,
with layers of forest on shelves covered with slabs between cliffs, sloping
steeply down into the gorge. Some of the rock terraces had dwarfed table
mountain pines and pitch pines. A very cool place. It was sad to see so much
HWA, on trees already stressed by years of drought, many already infested
with elongate scale.
A few back-logged tree hunts    Will Blozan
   Mar 21, 2004 15:41 PST 


Oh where to start! The last few weeks have been very busy! The epic mapping
climbs of the Middleton Oak (SC) and the Sag Branch Tuliptree (NC) have left
me dazed and in wonderment of the new information coming out of the ENTS
exploits! I am embarrassed to have not even mentioned the great (and perhaps
unsurpassed) live oak as one of the East's biggest trees in the first
edition of "Stalking the Forest Monarchs"! Shame on us... but now we know!

Anyway, I wanted to share a few trips I have done lately...

Full text of this report including material from other localities in this report

2/23/04 Linville gorge with Dr. Robert Van Pelt.  

This was Bob's first introduction to native Carolina hemlock. Glad he saw them before they are
dead from HWA!

Carolina hemlock 10' X 96'
" 7'6" X 100.79'
" 9'3" X 81.52'
" 10'9" X 90'
" 7' X 109.55'

Linville Gorge    Jess Riddle
   Sep 17, 2004 06:51 PDT 

Linville Gorge, with somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 uncut acres, is
the largest uncut tract in the southern Appalachians outside of the
Smokies that I can think of off the top of my head. Cutting occurred in
some flat areas around the rim of the gorge and probably along the lower
stretch of the river, but extensive cliffs and large areas of poor growing
conditions resulted in the rest of the area being untouched.

In terms of big trees, Linville Gorge is best known for carolina hemlock.
Stands of large trees, including a former national champion and the
tallest known tree in the wild, grow on the gentle slopes at the top of
the gorge, and picturesque individuals perch at the top of cliffs and
along the river. Eastern hemlocks, white pines, tuliptrees and white oaks
are big trees in the gorge, but do not achieve the sizes the species reach
elsewhere in the southern Appalachians.

Jess Riddle
Re: Linville Gorge
   Sep 17, 2004 07:08 PDT 

My best memory about Linville Gorge is having hiked all over the rocks on
Grandfather Mountain and being there at sunrise. That part of the Blue Ridge
really impressed me when I was still based in New England and the only sunrise
place I have been to that was more impressive in the East was Cadillac
Mountain in Arcadia NP. I know the Linville Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway
probably was a very long time coming but they appear to have done a good job of
protecting the area.

Russ Richardson