Camp Creek, Georgia
  Jun 13, 2005 20:39 PDT 

In the vicinity of Cliff Creek and Opossum Creek, Camp Creek empties into
the Chattooga River at slightly below 1000' elevation. The lowest mile
of the stream flows in a narrow ravine produced after the Chattooga River
captured the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River dropping the stream's
base level and accelerating downcutting. Old logging roads parallel the
Camp Creek through dark, moist forest dominated by eastern hemlock. Near
the Chattooga, white pine and sweetgum are also major canopy components,
but tuliptree and basswood are more abundant along most of the sheltered
section of the stream. Not surprisingly, rhododendron lines much of the
stream, but large open areas also occur. Partridge berry, christmas
fern, and barren strawberry are the most widespread herbaceous species
along the creek; the latter species is endemic to a small section of
Georgia, South Carolina, and one county in North Carolina. Small rich
pockets directly on the stream support dense herbaceous layers including
stinging nettle, plantain-leaved sedge, blue cohosh, foam flower, and
glade fern, a scarce species in Georgia

Species                        Cbh            Height            Comment
Ash, Green                   NA            114.3
Basswood, White         711          ~104.5
Basswood, White         102          ~116            3rd largest cbh
in state
Basswood, White         NA            129.1             4th tallest
known in state
Beech, American          117.5      109.8
Beech, American          NA            125.8            3rd tallest
known in state
Birch, Black                 32            101.0            4th
tallest known in state
Hemlock, Eastern         44            114.1            83:1 HDR
Hemlock, Eastern         55            122.1
Hemlock, Eastern         49            123.7            82:1 HDR
Hemlock, Eastern         85            135.0
Hemlock, Eastern         NA            136.3
Hemlock, Eastern         NA            142.7
Hemlock, Eastern         NA            144.1
Hickory, Bitternut        511          131.5            2nd tallest
known in state
Hickory, Mockernut    56            127.5            2nd tallest known
in state
Oak, White                 66            124.0            3rd tallest
known in state
Pine, Shortleaf             48            125.9            3rd tallest
known in state
Pine, White                 85            154.9
Pine, White                 99            165.2
Sweetgum                   NA             120.9'
Tuliptree                     NA             140.1
Tuliptree                     NA             141.7

Camp Creek
White Pine         165.2
Hemlock            144.1
Tuliptree            141.7
Bitternut             131.5
Basswood         129.1
Mockernut        127.5
Shortleaf Pine    125.9
Beech               125.8
White Oak        124.0
Sweetgum         120.9'
Rucker Index    133.57

Using the point system based on maximum known cbh and height of a species
within a certain area, discussed a few months ago on the listserve, the
basswood listed above earns 180 points for Georgia and the beech 178.
The Rucker Index is the third highest documented so far for a site in
Georgia. Due to the similarity of the forests and close proximity, this
site could be considered part of a larger lower Chattooga site that would
also include Cliff Creek and Camp Branch in South Carolina, although Camp
Branch is generally moister than the other sites. Several other factors
also point to unusual conditions in the area. In addition to the
occurrence of species with restricted distributions such as barren
strawberry and glade fern, other species occur in unusual settings; the
abundance of basswood would be expected in a rich, mid-elevation, north
facing cove, but not along a low elevation creek in a region known for
conifers. The abundance of conifers along the Chattooga often correlates
with lower herbaceous diversity, but this site maintains moderate
diversity even under pure hemlock canopies. The hemlocks themselves
appear to thrive at the site to an exceptional degree. The high height
to diameter ratios point to favorable conditions for the species, and the
144.1' tree is one of the tallest second -growth individuals thus far
located anywhere. Surprisingly, hemlock woolly adelgid infestation
remains low or nonexistent at the site even though farther up river trees
are succumbing to the insect.

Jess Riddle
RE: Camp Creek, Georgia   Will Blozan
  Jun 14, 2005 18:23 PDT 

Could the basswood by T. americana? That may explain the site anomaly. I
have seen T. americana in the western Smokies but only at very low
elevations, but still in steeply incised small coves.

Re: Camp Creek, Georgia
  Jun 14, 2005 19:55 PDT 

Definitely a possibility. I think T. americana may be more widespread in
Georgia than in the. I've been meaning to key out the basswoods for a
while, but keep forgetting to collect samples.