Cave Bluff Trail, Mount LeConte, TN, GSMNP
16, 2004 10:21 PDT
I want to get some trip reports out as I know many of you are
news. I have not been out much lately and have been super busy
with work and
family. Fortunately, some of my best excursions lately have been
related, namely the Joyce Kilmer and Kelsey Tract old-growth
and last week a trip to Mt. LeConte in the Smokies to collect
Alum Cave Bluff Trail, Mount LeConte, TN, GSMNP
I ascended this trail for the first time last week. I have
always avoided it
due to the intense crowds associated with the hike to the caves
and Mount LeConte. However, I was being paid so it was much more
tolerable, and in fact we only saw four people the entire way up! It was a
gorgeous day- foggy
on the way up and clear and sharp on the way down. In spite of
my desire to
end the trip as soon as possible, I spotted some nice red spruce
on the way
up that I just HAD to measure on the way down. After all, I
needed to rest,
~11' X 143.4'
8' X 143.4'
7'2" X 139.1'
11'1" X 154.7' New GRSM and Eastern height record, near
I confirmed this height from ~180 degree differing locations
with a "pole"
for the base; 154.6' and 154.7'. I was also able to get some
composite shots of the entire tree that I will send to Ed Frank
This tree now brings the GRSM Rucker Index up to 163.34, which
is about 3.4
points shy of the ENTIRE Eastern US Rucker Index. Jess Riddle
has a new
addition of a existing RI species for the Eastern Rucker that I
hope he will
soon confirm and post.
That's all for now. The tree hunting season has basically closed
in with the
spring canopy. I may try to do some volume climbs before it gets
too hot and
buggy. I will be in northern Ohio the end of next week so I hope
to at least
confirm the giant cottonwoods I saw near Detroit, Michigan while
I am there.
I'm sure I will let you all know...eventually...;)
President, Eastern Native Tree Society
ISA Certified Arborist
17, 2004 05:52 PDT
With the abundant talent that ENTS puts into
big tree-tall tree
documentation, with our numerous internet posts, and with our
website (thanks again, Ed) it is easy for us to become
numbers, comparisons, and discussions about measurements. And
to add to
the deluge of numbers, we now have Will Blozan catching up
with his tree
measurements - and when he catches up, watch out. It is Katy
How does Will's latest conquest, the monster
red spruce affect our
notions about the best the species can do? Well, to put Will's
height champ into perspective, it would impress all of us in
Northeast if it were a white pine, but a red spruce? Okay,
here is the
emotional impact. If we broke a height of 140 and a
circumference of 10
feet in the Northeast, the rest of you from as far away as
would hear ape calls from the direction of north by east. What
happen, were we to break 150? We would all collapse, revert to
and ascend into that great forest in the sky, singing praises
Creator. We would be in rapture for a 1000 years. That's what
happen. So, it's important to put these things into proper
and perhaps the intensity of our emotional reactions serves
relate the importance of a new discovery.
To come back down to Earth and put a
numbers perspective on Will's
confirmation, red spruce in the Northeast can be stately, but
imposing. We can reach 8 feet in circumference and 105 feet in
in the Adirondacks - on occasion. In Massachusetts, we can
reach 8 feet
in circumference and 120 feet in height - on occasion, with
max at 129. New Hampshire red spruce are seldom impressive.
I've been disappointed. However, I've seen evidence that in
Green Mountains have some fairly large red spruce. I would
in historical times, on occasion, a 9-footer reaching to 110
be found. Many 7-foot circumference, 100-foot spruces could
found and 6-foot circumference, 90-foot tall spruces would
common as weeds.
So where does Will's 11.1'
circumference and 154.7' in height red
spruce weigh in? Off the scales, folks. Off the scales. Off
scales! Will anyone but ENTS members get excited or even
existence? Not now, but that gives us good reason to increase
of the ENTS voice as the real voice of the trees.
Again, congratulations Will.
That was one heck of a find.
Will Blozan wrote:
here is a small scan of the new height record red
Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society