I measured a big black walnut last week that may be a new NC
It grows on the French Broad River near the Biltmore Estate and
A few weeks ago (10/18/04) I measured one of the current state
walnuts in Clemmons, NC that had almost the same girth
(153") and height
(83') but a shorter spread. Unfortunately, it was struck by
is in decline. It has a more massive stem and dates to the
In fact, at the same site, I have "discovered", via a
state employee who
attended my ENTS measuring presentation a few weeks ago for the
County Treasure Tree Commission, a very significant site for
hardwood forests. At the end of my talk I asked if there was a
trees that I could measure since I had some time to spare.
Weavil, the Certified Grounds Manager for Tanglewood Park
agreed to lead me to the site. Based on my brief and
time there (I wanted to stay for hours, but couldn't) this site
Yadkin River, NC has some VERY impressive trees. Unfortunately,
I was only
able to spend less than an hour among a few acres of the nearly
acres they administer. In these few moments I found 3 species
over 140' and
the potential for a Rucker Index of 130 or higher.
As mentioned above, the NC State Champion black walnut resides
what was most impressive was a huge stocking of large northern
(Quercus rubra var. rubra) that COMMONLY reached 130' with at
least one over
140'. One of the most impressive trees was a forest grown
12'5" white oak
131' tall. As with this tree, the measurement was cursory as I
did not have
much time, and may in fact be significantly taller. Arboreally,
the site is
extremely diverse, which may be due to alkaline soils, as many
plants were present. Unfortunately, the park is likely
exotic earthworms, as the very dense and lush herb layer that
expected with the canopy tree associates was actually a
layer. Christopher indicated severe red oak decline, and I
wonder if it
could be associated with the earthworm invasion. Well, now is
the time to
collect data before we lose the species if that is the case. I
am planning a
winter trip, with no specific date in mind yet, to intensively
grove I saw and other areas on the site. I will need to rely on
the eyes and
experience of Christopher and his staff for other locations with
forests. I need to check into a permit for collecting core
samples as well,
if that may be an option.
Here are the few numbers I was able to obtain. Straight up
canopy shots with
the laser indicated tuliptrees over 150' and numerous species
130' or more.
The Rucker Index may in act reach the upper 130's, but I choose
conservative at this time. I think the southern red oak may be a
Girth Height Spread
White oak 20'1" 92.2' 132'
Black walnut 12'9" 83' ~60
River birch 9'7" 78.8'
White oak 12'5" 131.1'
N. red oak 10'3" 138.6'
N. red oak 10'+ 146'+ roughed
out from below- ran out of
Tuliptree(s) 9-13'+ 155'+ " " "
Sweetgum 8'3" 143.9'
S. red oak 7'10" 127.4'
Numerous hickories (shagbark, pignut, mockernut, bitternut and
will likely have comparable heights. Black oaks will too, and
scarlet likely grow there as well. Shortleaf and loblolly pines
and the sycamores by the river may hold some surprises.
Here is some
info on the park that I pulled from their website.
The History of Tanglewood Park
Tanglewood is rich in history, beauty and southern charm.
lies not only beneath the surface but can be experienced as an
living process. The property now known as Tanglewood Park was
part of land
claimed by Sr. Walter Raleigh for Queen Elizabeth on March 25,
the earliest European settlers of the Yadkin River Valley was
Johnson, an immigrant from Wales. In 1757, just four years after
Moravian settlement of the Wachovia Tract in the nearby
Bethabara and Salem, Johnson purchased the mile square central
the present property from the Ellis family to whom the land was
1753 by Lord William Linville. The Ellis family leased the land
for a short
time "for five shillings lawful money of Great Britain in
hand a yearly rent
of one peppercorn payment at he Feast of Saint Michael, the
After obtaining the property, Johnson built a fort overlooking
River to protect his family and neighbors from attacks during
the French and
Indian War. Currently, this spot is marked by a monument just
south of the
Manor House. In 1765, he died and is now buried on the highest
hill in the
area called Mount Pleasant. In 1809 a simple frame church was
to his grave and remains today as one of the park's
attractions. Although services are no longer held there, many
united in marriage at the Mount Pleasant Church each year.
In 1859, James Johnson had the 18 room Manor House built on a
hill in the
center of the estate. The house was a gift of love to his
for a wedding present. Two wings were added later.
The Johnson heirs sold their property in 1921 to William Neal
brother of tobacco entrepreneur R. J. Reynolds. At that time the
tract was enlarged to over 1,100 acres and the Manor House
expanded to 28
rooms. Mr. Will, as he was called, raised and raced thoroughbred
horses and established Tanglewood Farm as a home to some of the
finest pacers. In the Manor House, Mr. Will had a special room
his trophy's, called the "Trophy Room." A fire that
started mysteriously in
a trophy room display case in 1980 did considerable damage, but
the room has
been restored. The room is surrounded by plaques and horse
is obvious that Mr. Will was a horse lover, and this tradition
is carried on
with Tanglewood Farm. Trail rides, hayrides, and carriage rides
available by reservation.
Today, the Manor House is a Bed & Breakfast Inn with 10
sweeping staircases, the Trophy Room, 20's Room, and Rock
These facilities are used for weddings, meetings, and overnight
accommodations. It is rumored that Mr. Will's spirit makes
to the house from time to time.
Mr. Will's wife, Kate, a horticultural enthusiast, began the
native and ornamental plantings at Tanglewood and employed
gardener, Mr. Frank Lustig, who continued her plans and his
life's work. He
contributed the 800 bush Rose Garden on the Manor House lawn,
behind the house, and the nearby Fragrance Garden to the estate.
years, even after the death of his employers, and their gift of
Lustig poured his talents into Tanglewood. He is buried in the
Tanglewood next to the historic church.
In 1951, the Reynolds willed the Tanglewood property to the
Forsyth County to share as a public recreational park. The
couple had no
children. The Reynolds willed the property as a gesture to have
benefit from the beauty, elegance, history, and recreation their
estate had to offer. Thus, Tanglewood Park was born. The public
facility is owned by Forsyth County.
The combination of its streams, woodlands and grassy pastures
traditions of its architecture, horses, gardening, and wide
recreational activities make Tanglewood an ideal countryside
park to visit
over and over again. Whether your journey brings you on business
pleasure, we offer something for everyone.
How Tanglewood Got Its Name
There are several stories on how Tanglewood was named.
One version is that, while strolling through tangled underbrush
had been cleared, the name occurred to Kate Reynolds.
Another version is that the heirs to the Johnson family had
tangled undergrowth. She read Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel
frequently to her children, and named the family farm Tanglewood.
Apparently, Mr. Will asked if the name could be continued after
possession of the property, and the Johnson heirs said they
Both stories are told, no one thus far can prove either one. The
should decide which story they prefer to believe.
Kate Reynolds wrote this poem about Tanglewood:
"The seat of creeks and mighty trees,
Of fertile soil and balmy breeze.
Twould fill a page, had I a book,
To tell the joys of Tanglewood!"