Davidson Creek   Jess Riddle
  May 04, 2003 13:44 PDT 

Davidson Creek flows at the bottom of a gorge in the Brevard Fault Zone
in northeast Georgia. The Northwest side of the gorge is dissected by
several small branches and supports primarily dry oak forest. The steeper
southeast side, which is still largely soil covered, is cloaked in eastern
hemlock and white pine. While most of the gorge appears fairly acidic,
small areas of marble substrate give rise to the small, circumneutral
stream flats. Consequently, the area supports high tree species
diversity; In slightly less than two miles of the stream that varied from
just over 800' elevation to a little over 1000' elevation, I saw 47 tree
species. Unfortunately, no old forest remains on the lower slopes. The
forest in the lower, more acidic section may be 60 to 70 years old, and 50
years is probably about the maximum in the rich stream flats, which
already support sycamore to around 110'. 15 year old sycamore farther
down stream looked to be 40+ feet tall.

Species                    Cbh    Height      Comment
Hemlock, Eastern       NA       109.8'     Representative of area
Hickory, Mockernut    7'6"      134.3'    Tallest known in GA?
Hornbeam, American   3'8"       49.9'
Oak, White              11'4"       130+    Tallest known in GA?
Pine, Shortleaf           3'7"       115.4'   H:D 101:1
Pine, Shortleaf           4'4"       116.3'
Pine, White                NA        133.4'  Representative of area
Redbud, Eastern        1'10"     ~51.2'
Redbud, Eastern          2'1"       52.2'
Redcedar, Eastern       3'4"       61.8'
Walnut, White             NA      ~79.6'

[ed note RI5 = 124.8]

The mockernut is growing in an area that does not appear very rich, but
may be somewhat older than the trees in the surrounding area. I have not
noticed any other trees of the species in north GA that approach 130'.
The white oak is a straight tree that was simply left when the forest in
the area was cut. The shortleaf pines are representative a small grove on
a tributary that was larger primary to pine bark beetle infestation. The
white walnut was growing on the opposite side of the creek, but had a
large, healthy crown.

Jess Riddle