Tellico Oak   Jess Riddle
  Aug 23, 2004 09:06 PDT 

The Tellico Creek Valley drains into the Little Tennessee River some ten
miles south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the Forest
Service owns the upper half of the watershed and the Appalachian Trail
follows the western rim, the lower part of the creek still flows through
sections fields and open space. Century old homes and newer homes stand
scattered along the road through the valley. Next to one old home, stands
a single stemmed, 1710 x 60.3 silver maple.


Within site of that tree grows the Tellico Oak, which a friend of mine
recently took me to see. When he told me about the tree, I was expecting
another 15 cbh open-grown oak, common around old home sites in the
southeast. The white oak, said to be a Native American meeting place, was
immediately identifiable as belonging to a different class. One edge of
the massive crown extends over a rock wall to a patch of young forest, bee
hives and isolated trees fringe another side, and open land with some
recently planted fruit trees afford good views from the other two sides.
The tree maintains a central stem most of the way through the crown that
supports branches up to 78 long. The tree grows at about 2200
elevation, and is 2010 x 108.4 x 132.

Jess Riddle