Sycamore Flats, Pisgah National Forest, NC  

TOPIC: Sycamore Flats_Pisgah National Forest NC

== 1 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Apr 13 2008 9:10 pm
From: James Parton


Today I had a very rewarding day of tree measuring. The weather was a
bit cool and breezy but hospitable. Upon leaving home I stopped on
nearby Deep Gap road to measure a tall White Pine that I noticed a
while back that towered above all of the hardwoods surrounding it.
Unfortunantly I had only one vantage point to measure the tree from
since it sits on private property. But being well back from it I had
no problem finding the top and I had a clear shot to the base. I
expected the tree to be about 135 feet tall or so. The Sine-Sine
method with the lazer & clinometer measured it out to be a whopping
156.74 feet tall! WoW I was impressed. A 150 ft class White Pine a
quarter of a mile from my home. Cool! I could not get a girth
measurement because of it being on private land. I love the lazer/
clinometers stand-off capability. You don't have to trespass to
measure a tree! Of course one can ask if they have the opportunity.

On the way to Sycamore Flats I remembered seeing a decent lone
Ailanthus tree on hwy 64 across from Etowah Grading. The tree turned
out to be a decent 49.28 feet tall and 4' 3/4" cbh.

Sycamore Flats is a picnic area about a half mile inside of Pisgah
National Forest. It is a popular place for picnics, fishing and
tubing. I noticed about 8 years ago that it had some really nice
trees. A huge poplar used to be behind the bathrooms. I have not
visited the place in a couple of years and was hoping to measure it
today. I returned to find the huge tree gone. They had cut it down to
run city water and sewer from Brevard to the facility. It was the
largest girthed Tulip Poplar I have seen in PNF. I would have guessed
it to have been about 13' 6" in girth. Now I will never know. It was
quite tall also. Another large Tuliptree is located a short distance
down the loop. I measured it to be 134.12 feet tall and 12' 7 1/2" in
girth. Not bad! The main reason I visited Sycamore Flats was to
measure some outstanding Hawthorn trees located there. They are
probably the tallest ones I know of around here, rivalled only by the
ones I found at Memorial Mission Hospital a little while back. The
hospital ones have more mass but these may be taller. I always have
trouble telling many of the hawthorn species apart. They are many
types and they often hybridize. But the thorns and often twisted form
make the genous unmistakable. The largest was 41.73 feet tall and 3'
9 1/2" in girth! One hawthorn was a triple trunked tree. I did not
measure it. Naturally they are Sycamores there too. Some pretty darn
big. There are also Buckeye and Hemlock there. Judging by the greeness
of them, they have been treated. In the future I will visit some more
large hawthorns I know of off the Parkway. I have always loved these
unusual trees.

I met one fellow fishing there and he asked me if I was working for
the National Park Service. I said " No " and told him about ENTS. He
told be of a large Dogwood tree in Brevard that I will have to check
out. His name was Jarrod Bracken. Hopefully he will be curious enough
to look us up.

Here are todays measurements. In height and cbh ( girth )

White Pine 156.74'!
Ailanthus 49.28' 4' 3/4"
Tuliptree 134.12' 12' 7 1/2"
Tuliptree 140.88' 10' 1/2"
Hawthorn 39.30' 2' 5 3/4"
Sycamore 89.76' 11' 2"
Sycamore 10' 2"
Hawthorn 35.50' 2' 0"
Sycamore 11' 8"
Tuliptree 13' 7 3/4" ( MT )
Hawthorn 34.43' 2' 1/4"
Hawthorn 41.73'! 3' 9 1/2" ( Significant Spread! )
Hawthorn 36.21' 2' 8 3/4"

I have uploaded some pictures of the hawthorns to the file page and
one of the big tuliptree that was cut down. These pictures were taken
about three years ago. I forgot to take my camera today. Maybe the
pictures will help someone identify those hawthorns for me.

James Parton

== 2 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Apr 13 2008 9:43 pm
From: "Edward Frank"


Glad to see you in the measuring spirit. I would measure the triple trunk hawthorn anyway, mostly because there is so little data on the species, just note it is a triple stem. (Read the multitrunk guidelines on the website -  ) I have posted a list of the best Hawthorn sites I could find on the Web  There are some books that others might suggest as well. Make a good effort to identify the species. You may need to check several times to see their leaves, flowers, and fruit, to be sure of a good ID. The hawthorn dilemma - one of the better listings that tries to reconcile the hawthorn species is a list from Wisconsin:  Who knows some of the one you are finding might be National Champs, but you need to take a good stab at identifying them first. Nice report all around.


== 3 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Apr 13 2008 9:57 pm
From: James Parton


Thanks! There are several smaller hawthorns there that I did not
measure. But I did get the majority of them.

What is your favorite tree? Mine is the Hawthorn, and American
Chestnut. Live Oak ranks high on my list too. My favorite conifer is
the White Pine.

On measuring, I do everything more than once to try to get the most
accurate reading possible. I also try to find the best vantage point &
scan around the top with the laser to find the highest point. Some
trees are easier than others. Will was right about the Nikon laser. It
cuts through foreground twigs pretty well. But I am sure my accuracy
will improve with practice.

I am waiting for leaf-out on those hawthorns so it can aid me in
identifying them.


TOPIC: Sycamore Flats_Pisgah National Forest NC

== 1 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Apr 14 2008 5:07 am
From: JamesRobertSmith

I've hiked up from Sycamore Flats to the summit of Stony Knob. It's a
pretty place, for sure! I didn't know that they'd felled such a large
poplar. Very sad.

That's a heck of a White pine you measured!

Bob Smith.

== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Apr 14 2008 10:17 am
From: James Parton

James S, ENTS,

I walked down to re-measure that tall White Pine to make sure I did it
accurately yesterday and then overviewed the mathematics. The Sine-Sine
method is definitely repeatable. Pretty much dead-on-the-money! I also
got a better look at the pine. It towers above all the surrounding
hardwoods. Only the trees on the hill above it stand as tall and that
counts the hill they are on! I am new at this and find a White Pine
over 156 feet tall! I guess I have beginners luck!

I also measured a nice Pitch Pine in Paris Woods on my way back. It is
a nice 110.56 feet tall and has a girth of 5 feet 8 inches.

James P.