Tanglewood Park, NC   Jess Riddle
  Jan 06, 2007 15:05 PST 


Tanglewood Park, owned by Forsyth County, lies in the Piedmont of
north-central North Carolina. A mosaic of cleared land, much of it
for ponds and golf courses, and woods covers the park's rolling hills
that rise from 680' elevation by the Yadkin River to 850' at a hilltop
cemetery (curiously, "Yadkin" is a native Catawba word for "big
tree"). The park came to ENTS' attention in 2004 when Will Blozan was
taken to see the park's state champion black walnut at the old manor
house. He quickly recognized that the surrounded hardwood dominated
forests had potential for even more significant trees, and set off to
explore them. With scant time available, he located a new eastern
height record southern red oak, and saw that some of the numerous
northern red oaks would exceed 140' tall. An account of that first
brief visit is available at

We returned to those hardwood forests a few weeks ago to more
thoroughly explore and sample them. Counting rings on stumps revealed
the older sections of forest to be slightly over 100 years old, but
later successional species have yet to grow into the midstory leaving
the forest essentially two tiered. Tuliptree dominates the upper tier
along with an abundance of oaks. Drier broad ridges favor black oaks
while northern red oaks grow more commonly on lower slopes and white
oaks are common throughout. Hickories, mostly pignut although
mockernut is also common, also form much of the overstory on upper
slopes. Those species rarely occur in the sparse understory; instead
ash, boxelder, redbud around gaps, spicebush, and umbrella magnolia in
part fill in that canopy layer. Exotic species have not reached the
overstory, but tree-of-heaven grows around the forest edge, and
Japanese barberry and an introduced viburnum, probably guelder-rose,
occur scattered in the understory. However, Chinese privet is
surprisingly infrequent in these moist Piedmont woods.

Forests of strikingly different composition grow in the narrow
floodplain of the Yadkin River. Tuliptree, sycamore, and river birch
dominate, but the canopy is much less continuous than in the
surrounding upland forests. Boxelder and Carolina silverbell grow in
the midstory above a covering of Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora

Lower slope positions and shallow coves support conspicuously taller
forests than surrounding areas, but forests on broad ridges and flat
uplands still often have canopies over 120' high, including exposed
areas adjacent to golf courses. The mafic bedrock underlying the area
probably helps to account for the high canopies and abundance of
northern red oak in a relatively hot climate.

Species                      Cbh       Height
Ash, Biltmore            5'4"       126.2'
Ash, Biltmore            5'0"       128.3'
Ash, White                7'5"        131.0'
Ash, White                7'5"        137.5'
Beech, American       6'0.5"    117.6'
Beech, American       6'3"       118.1'
Elm, American           6'11"     119.8'
Hickory, Bitternut      8'8"       110.7'
Hickory, Mockernut 8'5.5"    100.0'
Hickory, Mockernut 10'1"     112.5'
Hickory, Mockernut 7'11"     114.3'
Hickory, Mockernut 6'1.5"    123.9'
Hickory, Mockernut 7'8.5"    127.0'
Hickory, Pignut         6'9"       129.7'
Hickory, Pignut         4'10.5" 132.0'
Hickory, Pignut         8'11.5" 138.3'
Hickory, Pignut         6'3.5"    142.1'
Hickory, Shagbark    6'8.5"     135.7'
Locust, Black            4'10"      128.1'
Maple, Red                6'4"       108.5'
Oak, Black                 9'7"       119.9'
Oak, Black                 9'8.5"    121.6'
Oak, Black                 6'2"       123.4'
Oak, Black                 7'1"       125.3'
Oak, Black                 8'9"       127.8'
Oak, Northern Red    12'1"     136.8'
Oak, Northern Red    9'9.5"    137.0'
Oak, Northern Red    11'4"     138.5'
Oak, Northern Red    10'7"     138.8'
Oak, Northern Red    8'9"       139.0'
Oak, Northern Red    9'5.5"    139.4'
Oak, Northern Red    8'6"       140.3'
Oak, Northern Red    10'4"     141.1'
Oak, Northern Red    8'1"       141.6'
Oak, Northern Red    6'5"       145.3'
Oak, Northern Red    7'5"       148.3'
Oak, Northern Red    10'4.5" 148.3'
Oak, Scarlet               8'10.5" 121.0'
Oak, Scarlet               7'8"       128.2'
Oak, Scarlet               7'4.5"    138.9'
Oak, Shumard           10'0"      140.7'
Oak, Southern Red    11'8"     106.2'
Oak, Southern Red    7'4"       116.9'
Oak, Southern Red    8'7"       122.7'
Oak, Southern Red    9'4"        126.6'
Oak, White                9'1"        122.7'
Oak, White                5'9.5"     129.5'
Oak, White                11'1.5"   132.8'
Persimmon                4'0.5"     102.6'
Redbud, Eastern        1'8"          41.7'
Sweetgum                  5'9.5"     131.4'
Sycamore                   6'3.5"    125.0'
Sycamore                   9'6"       128.5'
Tuliptree                    10'6"     146.4'
Tuliptree                    10'10"   149.9'
Tuliptree                    7'2"       151.7'
Tuliptree                    9'1"       152.7'
Tuliptree                    8'6"       160.4'
Tupelo, Black            5'7.5"    113.5'
Walnut, Black            8'6"       126.2'
Willow, Black            3'8.5"    87.9'

The 10'1" x 112.5' mockernut hickory has enough points to qualify as a
new state champion, and is likely somewhat older than the surrounding

The 128.1' locust was the only live one encountered at the site
although locust logs were scattered around the forest floor.

Black oaks reaching 115 to 125' at the site are widespread and common,
but individuals over 125' difficult to find.

Similarly northern red oaks frequently reach 130' over much of the
site, and 140' individuals grow in multiple areas, including those
with little shelter.

Scarlet oaks are rare in the park, but appear to thrive where they
become established. The 138.9' individual is a new ENTS record by
over six feet, and grows on an upper slope amongst tuliptree, northern
red oak, and white ash.

The 140.7' shumard oak was the only one encountered at the site.

The 131'+ foot white oak measured on the previous trip was found to
have been destroyed by a storm. An open grown white oak exceeds 19' in
girth elsewhere on the property.

Tanglewood is only site where ENTS has measured southern red oak over
120' tall, although ENTS has very few measurements for the species.
In addition to the individuals listed above, we saw three others
approximately 120' tall, and Will Blozan measured the height record
127.4' individual on his previous visit to the site.

Black walnut has likely naturalized at the site from plantings at the
old manor house, but could be native.

The black willow above is the tallest ENTS has reported, but ENTS has
no measurements from the part of the range where the species develops
best. A snag at Meeman-Shelby SP in Tennessee may have been 30'
taller than the tree listed above.

Rucker Height Index 140.5'
Tuliptree 160.4'
Northern Red Oak 148.3'
Sweetgum 143.9'
Pignut Hickory 142.1'
Shumard Oak 140.7'
Scarlet Oak 138.9'
White Ash 137.5'
Shagbark Hickory 135.7'
White Oak 132.8'
Sycamore 128.5'

Rucker Girth Index 10'9.5"
Tuliptree 14'9"
White Oak 12'5"
N. Red Oak 12'1"
S. Red Oak 11'8"
Mockernut Hickory 10'1"
Shumard Oak 10'0"
Black Oak 9'8.5"
Sycamore 9'6"
Pignut Hickory 8'11.5"
Scarlet Oak 8'10.5"

The Rucker Height Index is the highest ENTS has found so far for a
southern Piedmont site. The Rucker Girth Index includes only forest
grown trees at the site.

Jess Riddle & Will Blozan
RE: Tanglewood Park   Robert Leverett
  Jan 08, 2007 06:04 PST 


   One heck of a trip report. Outstanding! I'm impressed with the
Piedmont. I had always written it off. Shows you how much I know. I
couldn't help but smile seeing the tuliptree height. Liriodendron rules.
We've just got to find one over 180 to beat BVP's black cottonwood