01 January, 2013

Exceptional forest along Oxbow tributary of S. Peachtree Creek

**This is a trip report from Winter 2012, that I'm just now getting around to blogging about, but was a trip deserving of documenting**

Another amazing winter day in Atlanta. Mid 50's and insanely sunny and dry. This was my second outing in as many days. The goal was to revisit a few tall trees I measured in 2010 and do some more thorough searching for hidden gems. This site is a sliver of a green space in NE Atlanta on a tributary of Peachtree Creek. I inventoried exclusively on a steep East facing slope along with a few trees in a floodplain area. I started off by entering the woods much further South than I intended, which was a blessing in disguise, allowing me to "discover" 2 particularly amazing trees- a Northern Red Oak and a Beech Tree. Creek bed at South end of forest:

This was no run-of-the-mill Beech. Upon closer inspection, I realized this would be the new city champ, which is quite impressive b/c the current champ is no slouch at 12'2" x 116'! What a trunk!


Having both great girth and extraordinary height, this will likely be state co-champion for the species (current champ is 327 points, though I believe the height may be exaggerated at 135') It was right along the creek and had neat little pockets in the root flares with native ferns:

Next up was a magnificent Quercus rubra. This is the first confirmed over 140' in Atlanta at 141.3' tall x 10'1.5" CBH. It's also one of the tallest in the state, though I know Jess Riddle has found a few taller in the mountains. Might be a champ for the Piedmont??

Next up was a remeasure of a tall Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) down in the floodplain. This skinny tree (CBH: 5'6") faces a 75' slope and has it toes in very moist substrate. Again, another impressively tall tree which may be the tallest in the state: My other remeasure was a big Quercus rubra also in the oxbow. It was 10'9.5" x 133.1' tall.

In addition to big/tall trees, I found some sizable vines- check out this poison ivy with my hand for scale:

Finally, I found this interesting piece of hardware left in a creekside Ironwood:

Full inventory and R10: 

QuRu    10'1.5" x 141.3'*
LiTu                       133.9' 
CaCo          5'6" x 133.9'** 
PiTa            9'5" x 129' 
FaGr         14'2" x 126.9' 
TiHe       6'11.5" x 126.7' 
LiSt                       124.9' 
PiEc          6'10" x 122' 
CaGl                       119' 
QuAl                      118.1' 
MaMa          1'7" x 56.9' (Bigleaf Mag.)
 R10    =    127.6' (this will rise with additional measurements on QuAl and LiTu species)

*Tallest in Atlanta and top 5 in state
 **tallest in GA?

Jess Riddle has documented a few of similar height in N. Georgia The forests of Atlanta continue to surprise and amaze. Overall, in terms of diversity, tall trees, and big trees, metro-Atlanta is more impressive than any other urban center east of the Mississippi (aside from possibly Memphis?). Cheers, ~Eli

No comments: