Brasstown Bald   Jess Riddle
  Nov 29, 2004 20:35 PST 

Last week, my dad and I hiked along two sheltered Creeks on the east side
of Brasstown Bald, the tallest mountain in Georgia at 4784' and home to
several state champion trees. For most of the length of the streams
rosebay rhododendron lined the streams and grew beneath a canopy of second
growth hardwoods. White oak was the most common hardwood at lower
elevations while northern red oak dominated the upper slopes and hemlock
grew scattered throughout. The top of one the two streams was never
cleared, and continues to support one of the finest yellow birch forest
and boulderfield in north Georgia where the species is scarce.

Cbh     Height    Species
6'0"      85.7'     Birch, Yellow
9'10"    85.9'     Birch, Yellow    Potential state co-champion
11'9"  ~89.7'     Birch, Yellow   Swollen base
9'5"    133.3'     Hickory, Pignut
7'6"    125.8'     Oak, Black       Tallest known in state
11'3" ~134'       Oak, N. Red     Tallest known in state
3'10"    86.7'      Sourwood

The current state champion yellow birch grows in the same cove, and has
large stilt roots enlarging the circumference. Another potential
co-champion grows elsewhere on the mountain. The black oak grows with a
cluster on well formed northern red oaks having similar dimensions on the
edge of the only clearcut conducted in the area in the last 30 years. The
northern red oak is a gorgeous remnant with a straight, columnar trunk and
intact crown.

Jess Riddle

Rucker 5 Index = 113.9