Torreya State Park, Northwest Florida  

TOPIC: Torreya State Park, Northwest Florida

== 1 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 10:27 am
From: Larry

On Saturday the 24th I traveled 170 miles east of Pensacola to the
beautiful Appalachicola River, Torreya State Park. One of the Oldest
tracts of Forest in the state. Cut around 1840-1850, to make room for
growing cotton along the rivers edge. The trees here are much like
Georgias Northern Forest. Mostly hardwoods, with mixed pine on the

Torreya%20State%20Park%20Cypressa01.jpg (116854 bytes)

Torreya State Park, FL

Sweetguma01.jpg (124540 bytes)


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Tulip Poplar

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Water Hickory

 I arrived there at about 1000 AM, notified the
Rangers of my extended hike off the trail. In case I got lost they
could find me. Having been in large swamps most of my life I felt
comfortable going deep. The western trail I took flanks the river
floodplain for about a mile. A ridge begining approx. 150' runs along
the plain and desends to approx 50' on the other end. From Northeast
to Southwest. I followed the trail about a quarter mile, then droped

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Bald Cypress

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Loblolly Pine

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Mockernut Hickory

The forest floor is loaded with Large Palmatto, Cane, Vines,
etc. With a few sloughs that meander to the river, typical bottomland
swamp. Loaded with deer, while measuring and photographing trees I had
7 deer that stayed around me for about 2 hours. I didn't mind them,
and apparently I didn't bother them either. I zig zaged through out
the plain enjoying the moment. My time there was limited so I
concentrated on measuring.

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Old Growth Palmetto

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Swamp Chestnut Oak

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Swamp White Oak

Tulip Poplar- 135' 6' 10", 129'  7'2" 

Loblolly Pine- 135' 10' 8", 132' 9' 4" 

Spruce Pine- 123' 6' 8" Bald Cypress- 123' 7' 4",  121' 17' 9" 

Sweetgum- 126' 8'

Water Oak- 126' 14',  120' 17'

Sycamore- 120' 10' 8",  117' 8' 

Winged Elm- 129' 8' 6"

Water Hickory-126' 9' 10"

White Oak- 120' 8' 6" 

Swamp White Oak- 111' 10' 10" 

Swamp Chestnut Oak- 111' 8"

Beech- 114' 7' 8" 

Mockernut Hickory- 105' 8'

Rucker Index of the 10 tallest trees- 126.3 

Water%20Oaka01.jpg (109096 bytes)

Water Oak

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White Oak

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Winged Elm


== 2 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 10:31 am
From: "Will Blozan"


Nice work, Larry! How much more could there be to discover?


== 3 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 10:45 am
From: Larry

Will, A lot more species. Not much more height wise. I got lots of
photos, I'll post a few on the webpage the rest I'll send to Ed. Its
probably alot like Congaree (Spelling?) 


== 4 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 11:07 am
From: "Gary A. Beluzo"

Hi Larry,

Interesting report. Given that you do go in "deep" did you see many
coral/eastern diamond back/water moccasins?

Also, did you happen to see any tulip trees (Liriodendron) down
there? Supposedly Liriodendron is distributed down to central Florida.

I recently read about two sub-species of Liriodendron. Apparently
there were two refugia during the Wisconsian for Liriodendron and over
the past 10,00 of so years a distinct uplands subspecies and a hybrid,
of the upland and previously isolated coastal subspecies developed,
although they are both a single species, Liriodendron tulipifera. It
is interesting to note that about 13 million years ago during a
relative cold period a glacier split the parent species of
Liriodendron tulipifera into two subspecies, Liriodendron tulipera and
Liriodendron chinense. But again, these two groups will hybridize so
some researchers conclude that they are still a single species.


Gary A. Beluzo

== 5 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 11:22 am
From: Larry

Gary, No snakes that day, 45 degrees, been waiting for the cold.
Lots of Tulip, the tallest I got was 135'. I posted some photos on
the webpage

== 6 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 11:46 am
From: Gary Smith

I believe tulip trees (aka yellow poplar, at least in my locality) are
closely related to magnolia trees, are they not?


== 7 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 11:57 am
From: dbhguru


I second Will's congratulations. Super job! The winged elm was a real surprise. I had no idea that they could achieve those dimensions, but then I've never seen them in their optimal habitat.

We've got so little data from Florida. Your contribution is especially important.


== 8 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:07 pm
From: "Gary A. Beluzo"

Thanks Larry. I need to get down there and see those Liriodendron
that are the coastal-upland hybrids. How close do they grow to the
water table?

On Nov 26, 2007, at 2:22 PM, Larry wrote:

== 9 of 9 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:15 pm
From: "Gary A. Beluzo"

Liriodendron and the Magnolias are all part of the same family:
Ancient trees with complete, perfect flowers.

The evolution, and increasing the ecology as well, of this genus
Liriodendron is very interesting.

Gary Beluzo

TOPIC: Torreya State Park, Northwest Florida

== 1 of 8 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:18 pm
From: Larry

Bob, This park is really special, places like this don't exsist.
Will,and Yourself are much more knowledgeable than I. I belive I'm
correctly identifiying these species, I checked my books before
reporting. I know you guys are real sticklers for accurracy. I don't
spend near the time I used to in the forest. I'm little rusty, it was
nothing for me to travel a mile or more off a trail. The Pascagoula
Swamp was my learning ground for navigation. Next Bienville Nat.
Forest, and finally Noxubee Nat. Wildlife Refuge. You better no how to
navigate in these forests, or you might not make it out!

== 2 of 8 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:19 pm
From: "Will Blozan"


I think Jess has measure 3 winged elm over 130' in Congaree. They are unsung
tall trees!


== 3 of 8 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:30 pm
From: Larry

Gary, They grow in the flood plains and on the edges of the
ridges. Also just a little up the ridges, the tallest seem to grow
here. Some are fat trunked with medium heights and some are narrowed
trunked with towering heights. I guess it depends on Soil, Water,
Sunlight, etc. Ms. has a lot of Tulip also I'll see about finding you
some there. Where is the National Champion Tulip? Larry

== 5 of 8 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 12:52 pm
From: dbhguru


Can you share with us some of your learning experiences in developing your swamp navigational skills?


== 7 of 8 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 26 2007 1:06 pm
From: Larry

Bob, One thing that has helped me the most other than the compass,
is noticing subtle differences in the lay of the land. Say a odd shaped
tree or stump, use it for a reference point. Then traveling on,
usually in the same direction finding another way point, say a fork in
a creek, a downed tree, etc. I think memorization of the area your in
is the key. Try and remember the way you went so you can come out the
same way. This is how I did it when hunting, I also used ribbons on
occasion, making sure I removed them on the way out. I also used
reflective tape on close pins to see before light or come back out at
night. It was Awesome! I miss doing those adventures, who knows maybe
I'll get to do it some more. Larry