Super shrubs!    Will Blozan
   Jun 28, 2005 18:10 PDT 

I had the fortunate experience to meet, and act as tour guide, to Darian
Copiz, our newest Maryland ENTS, in the great Cataloochee Valley of the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past weekend. We toured the
Boogerman Loop Trail and a section of Caldwell Fork and Hoglen Branch.
Darian measured the Boogerman Pine to 186.65' on the way around the loop
trail. We saw the 141' chestnut oak on Sag Branch and of course the Sag
Branch Tuliptree. 

On the way out, down Caldwell Fork, we measured some "shrubs" for my 
forthcoming champion tree list requested by the National Park Service. 
Turns out, we bagged a new NATIONAL CHAMPION mountain winterberry 
and a potential NC State Champion witch-hazel.  The witch-hazel set a 
new eastern height record as well as a nearby mountain winterberry. 
Here are the details.

  • We remeasured the national champion cinnamon clethra, which has 
    grown a whopping 3 inches in height since 1997! It is now 33.2' tall 
    and 9.5 inches in girth. 
  • Near it was the tall witch-hazel. Its 24.4 inch girth supported a tip 
    53' high! The previous record was 47.3'.
  •  We also found a new eastern height record mountain holly at 38.2' tall. 
  • Next to this tree was the "big one", 27.8" in girth and 32.9' tall. Crown 
    spread was a whopping 33' average for a total of 69 points - a new 
    national champion mountain winterberry (Ilex montana). The 
    current National Champion is 65 points, but has been damaged by 
    hurricane Ivan last fall (email from owner).

It was a pleasure meeting Darian and putting a face to the name. His
measuring accuracy is evident and a valuable asset to ENTS.

Will Blozan