Rucker Index: A Smoky Mountain Perspective   Will Blozan
  Nov 21, 2004 10:20 PST 

I was interested in the Rucker Index discussions and thought I'd post the
indices for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, estimated North
Carolina, and the entire ENTS database. GRSM is 98.39% of the estimated
state Rucker Index, and 97.81% of the entire Eastern US. All but three
species are in NC, and of those all but the eastern hemlock are in the
Cataloochee/Big Creek District. As far as the NC comparison goes, I think
the RI could be slightly higher, with taller sweetgum, cherry bark and
loblolly pine. However, such trees have not been found yet. Jess and Mike
let me know if you have taller trees. I wonder if NC or SC has the highest
ratio to the entire Eastern US. Right now, with the projected numbers below,
NC will be at 99.41%. As long as the Boogerman Pine holds strong, I think NC
will slightly exceed SC. Jess, what do you think?



White pine          186.1
Tuliptree             177.4
Eastern hemlock  168.1
White ash            167.1
Black Locust        162
Sycamore            162.2
Bitternut              156.3
Red spruce^        154.7
Sugar maple^      151
Pignut hickory^    150.9

Rucker Index=    163.58

Projected NC State Rucker

White pine            186.1
Tuliptree               177.4
Eastern hemlock    168.1
White ash             167.1
Pignut hickory       163.3
Sycamore             162.2
Black Locust          162
Loblolly pine (est)  160
Sweetgum (est)     160
Bitternut                156.3

Rucker Index=       166.25

Eastern US

White pine             186.1
Tuliptree                177.4
Eastern hemlock    168.7
Loblolly pine          167.2
Pignut hickory        168.2
White ash              167.1
Sycamore              162.2
Black locust            162
Sweetgum              157.1
Bitternut                 156.3

Rucker Index=        167.23


Re: A Smoky Mountain Perspective
  Nov 21, 2004 14:32 PST 
     I was hoping you would join in and bring us up to date on NC, SC, and the GSMNP. It is difficult for me to imagine where all this is leading, but the individual statistics we've been compiling hint at a few predictable trends, north to south for super site indices versus state indices, etc. There are many areas of investigation that have surfaced since we have been preoccupied with Rucker indices.   
    Using the Rucker index, it appears that a differential of 20 to 25 feet exists at the state-region level from NC-SC to PA-NY. At this point, it isn't clear what this differential tells us, but it does serve as a reality check for anecdotal accounts of big/tall trees.