07 February, 2015

Revisit to a tall tree site near Emory

Today my wife joined me on a short excursion to check in on a few superlative trees along a tributary of South Fork Peachtree Creek. 

Happy to be spending time in the woods on a warm winter day!

This forest is home to one of the only documented Northern red oaks, Quercus rubra, over 140' tall in Atlanta, GA. 

Here's a vertical pan of me and the tree:

Finding the true top of this beast was tricky. There's 3 main leaders where the main trunk branches. Lots of spindly branches jut in many directions high above that. My best shot showed 1 point slightly higher than the rest with a total height of 140.2'. I used a laser rangefinder and clinometer combined with the SINE method to get this number. Big thanks to the Native Tree Society for exposing me to (and training me in) this method of tree measuring. 

We also (re)measured a superlative loblolly pine, Pinus taeda, at 9'7" circumference by 130.2' tall, and Atlanta's tallest bitternut hickory, Carya cordiformis, at 131.1' tall. It's not often I find hickories over 130'. 

It was a short but fun excursion. I'll close with a picture of a mountain laurel shrub, Kalmia latifolia (sidenote- my iPhone wants to autocorrect this Latin name to "lay igloo"...weird). Though not uncommon, it's certainly not often I see this cliff loving mountainous species in the city of Atlanta. 

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