09, 2004 13:04 PDT
Alternating layers of gneiss and mica schist compose Paris
monadnock that stands next to Furman's campus a little over 15
the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. An increasing number of
developments occupy the slopes, which rise 1000' above the
piedmont to just over 2000', and the irregularly outlined Paris
State Park includes significant portions of the north and east
the mountain. Within the state park intensity of land use varies
some of the man-made ponds in the park focus recreational
another nearly disjunct section of the park lacks not only road
trail access. Past disturbance appears to have been similarly
Within 25' of the small streams on the mountain, trees over
200 years old, most often tuliptree, are common. At middle and
elevations over the mountain, relatively dry communities
dominated by oaks
and pines, which occur on all aspects, support scattered trees
years old although in some areas trees under 75 years old
entire canopy. However, some slopes appear entirely undisturbed
natural disturbances probably account for a portion of the
The moister lower elevations support more varied forests that
appear 75 to 100 years old.
Most of the trees listed below grow on or in the stream flats
an approximately 75' high ridge oriented northwest-southeast
sides. While a pure stand of northern red oaks covers about an
the northeast side of the ridge, a mixture of shortleaf pine and
species of oaks occupies more of the surrounding area. Tuliptree
sweetgum form most of the canopy in the flats with some
shortleaf pine in
areas. Hazelnut dominates the unusual shrub layer with some
and american holly and at least a few american snowbells. In
September, herbaceous plants were sparse.
Species Height Cbh
Birch, River 80.0' 5'0" Infrequent species
Hickory, Pale 87.4' 7'8" old tree, on dry slope
Oak, N. Red 124.1' 7'11"
Oak, N. Red 125.1' NA
Oak, Post 89.0' 6'2"
Oak, Post 98.6' 8'1.5" tied tallest Ents measured in state
Oak, Saul's 104.8' 7'7" old tree
Oak, Saul's 107.5' twin white x chestnut hybrid
Oak, Scarlet 107.3' 6'1"
Oak, S. Red 110.3' 8'9" partially open grown
Oak, White 111.8' NA
Pine, Shortleaf 104.8' 4'4.5"
Pine, Shortleaf 121.0' 8'6" young tree, near stream
Pine, Virginia 120.7' 5'1.5" heart rot likely
Pale hickories are common on the mid and upper slopes. The one
above is largest I've seen on Paris Mountain and essentially
tied with one
in the Blue Ridge in Jones Gap State Park for the tallest I've
the state. Some in Caesar's Head State Park, adjacent to Jones
be significantly larger.
The northern red oaks impressed me for being in the piedmont.
state champion, which fell within the last two years, grew on an
fertile part of the mountain and had a single stem slightly over
Hybrid oaks seem unusually common in the area. I don't know what
attribute the phenomenon to.
The southern red oak is taller than any currently listed in the
database, but this species is under measured, and I've seen one
in Georgia that is almost certainly taller.
The virginia pine is by far the tallest known in the east and is
potential state co-champion. The mountain also supports table
pines just under 100' tall and by far the greatest collection of
species I've seen anywhere in the southeast.
09, 2004 13:25 PDT
An impressive look at our downtown mountain. I have been up
there with Jimmy Walters. I was surprised not
see any chestnut oak. There are some almost
pure stands on the west part of the mountain. As well as hemlock
and white pine. I looked for A. chestnut
sprouts without success (though they do have some small hybrids
near the Ranger station). I dread the
urbanization of the south part of the mountain.
Last year I line-measured a huge 128-ft southern red oak in a
Greenville resident's backyard (for American Tree). Makes
you kind of wonder what is out there hiding. From time to time I
have noticed Will's postings including some impressive
"urban" trees. I have seen two huge
post oaks in the past week. I often run into natural red oak
hybrids while doing appraisals. Is Glassy your
next area mountain? Will stay tuned!
09, 2004 21:35 PDT
That was chestnut oak that I found in "limited", small
stands (though much is being developed as we speak). I
have not seen Castanea dentata on Paris, but I have seen sprouts
throughout Caesar's Head and Jones Gap. I
suspect the small chestnuts near the Ranger Station are Chinese
hybrids. As you drive up the eastside of Altamont Rd, for a
short distance, the road becomes flanked with hemlock and white
pine (introduced most likely). A welcome sight
come winter, when the rest of the mountain is bald. It
may be that these small stands of chestnut oak may have replaced
American chestnut. Also, I saw some decent
beech in the higher elevations of the park.
Some impressive pines. Not so surprised by the northern red oak. I
use to run into respectable specimens in
"southeastern" NC. What is the
botanical name for Saul's oak? I am not
surprised with the suspected age of some of the red oaks on the
mountain. I believe it is our first state park.
I think the List would be surprised if they were to see just how
urban this area is. Unlike Glassy, it is a true
monadnock. It stands all by it's lonesome some 1,100 feet above
Greenville and at least 20 miles from any other mountain. It
sticks out significantly, even from Caesar's head. Of
course, you have a great view from Furman ( I took my boy there
when the Falcons were training). I have tried
to encourage people to leave as many trees as possible, not top
trees for a better view of the valley, and to stick with earth
tone colors for homes. I proved to the
president of the Council that you could have a view without
topping (vista pruning). I highlight different
area mountain vistas on my (temporarily down) website. Seems
that far too many dream of living up on the mountain. But
it's the rest of us poorer Joe's in the valley that have to look
at their ugly homes and our thinning mountain.
This was before my introduction to laser measuring. I simply
dropped a low stretch, double-braided, 5/8" poly rope (not
as accurate as a steel tape I'm sure). I mentioned it to Will a
while ago because I was surprised that an open grown southern
red oak could get so tall. I suspect it's
location in a dip, next to a pond, between two tall yellow
poplars had something to do with the height.
Keep making us look great with all the impressive stats,
09 - 11 2004
I have seen chestnut sprouts at multiple areas
in the state park, but the species is rare in the area. The
white pine stands are surprising also since those species are
both the more fertile and sheltered areas on the north side of
...Chestnut oak is actually abundant at mid to high elevations in the state park, and
a sizeable area of chestnut oak dominated forest occurs along the west end
of Old Altamont Road on the lower slopes of the mountain.
...Saul's oak is Quercus x saulii.
...I was quite surprised by the height of the virginia pine. Paris Mountain
really is excellent habitat for pines.
Does "line measured" refer to either tape and
clinometer or chain and