TOPIC: The Leaning Tower
== 1 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Oct 15 2007 8:48 am
From: "Will Blozan"
On September 28th I met up with new ENTS member James Parton to show
some of the trees we had been discussing in Cataloochee. During a
see the Usis Hemlock we went up the east side of the small creek
that I had
not seen before. Two tall hemlocks caught my eye, and we went about
up targets for the obscured bases and found clean laser shots. Both
came out over 160' tall; one 42.4" dbh X 161.8' and another at
53.6" dbh X
166.8'. The latter tree would qualify for the top fifteen tallest
the Tsuga Search Project so I went to climb it yesterday and perform
drop. The "shorter" members of the tallest tree list
differ by mere inches.
For the climb I was joined by fellow tree climber Bob Weber out of
Highlands, NC. He also climbed with me on another Tsuga Search tree
In contrast to the Winding Stair tree, the Leaning Tower was dead
bark was being scaled off by woodpeckers. Bob stayed on the ground
tape drop before joining me in the top (s) for the volume
formerly gorgeous tree had a heavy lean and three tops, each over
The tape drop was 166.1' which tied the fifteenth tallest known
a way I was glad- since if it was just 1.2 inches taller a
would be called for- and looking at the surrounding carnage of
shrapnel on thick rhododendron, Leucothöe and blackberry this was
on my list of fun...
Bob came up and we went ahead and modeled the tree for volume on the
down. It scaled exactly 900 cubic feet; a bit more than my guess of
cubes. The trunk of this slender tree, after the basal swell, was
columnar and was still 18" in diameter at 130' up where it
split into three
From the dead top I was offered a view of several scenes of
interest. One of
course was the splendid crystal fall day with dark green spruce on
ridges and various degrees of fall color descending the slopes.
The other was an overview of the Nellie Cove preservation area; some
which had retained decidedly green hemlocks. The third scene was
that of the
top of the height record Usis Hemlock sticking up over all else at
tall. The top of Usis was completely dead but readily identified.
At this time, ENTS has identified 69 eastern hemlocks 160' or
these 69 hemlocks, four are on the TN side of the Smokies, five in
in GA, and one in NC on private land. That leaves 58 (84%) of them
Cataloochee! Of those 58, 33 (57%) are on a single ridge system (Big
Ridge) within 3.4 miles of each other. ALL hemlocks over 170' are in
Cataloochee on or adjacent to the same bedrock. Considering the huge
of eastern hemlock, this is far from insignificant!
President, Eastern Native Tree Society
President, Appalachian Arborists, Inc.
== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Oct 15 2007 9:14 am
From: James Parton
It looked like a great climb! I wish I could have been there on this
one. Still it was nice to have played a part in this find. It's a
shame that so nice a tree is dead. Damned adelgids! Cataloochee is
awesome! having so many large hemlocks as well as big tuliptrees,
oaks, cucumbertrees and a really tall chestnut. And the tallest
TOPIC: The Leaning Tower
== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Tues, Oct 16 2007 7:03 pm
From: "Dale Luthringer"