Brasstown Creek   Jess Riddle
  Nov 02, 2003 06:11 PST 

Brasstown Creek follows the Brevard Fault Zone, and empties into the
Tugaloo River, the GA-SC state line, below 700' elevation. White oaks and
other hardwoods are common on the southeast facing slopes on one side of
the stream, while white oak, tuliptree, northern red oak and beech for the
canopy over rosebay rhododendron on north aspect slopes in the area. Most
of the broad flats along the creek were cleared, and probably farmed
within the last 40 years. Dense stands of most likely planted loblolly
pines occupy portions of the flats, but a well defined canopy has not
formed yet over most of the flats. Tuliptree and sweetgum followed by
sycamore are the most common overstory species in the flats. American
hornbeam and paw paw are abundant in the understory. At the intersection
of the flats and the surrounding steep slopes black walnut, presumably
native, and redbud are common. Hemlock sections of the steam where the
flats are small and poorly defined. Sweetgum, tuliptree, hemlock, white
oak, and black birch grow over rhododendron on Boatwright Creek, one of
the lowest tributaries of Brasstown Creek.

While typical rich cove species like yellow buckeye, basswood, and white
ash grow on the north-facing slopes in the area, the well formed, fertile
coves free of rhododendron that support towering trees elsewhere in the
Brevard Belt do not occur or are in this area. However, the soils along
the stream appear quite rich, and the juxtaposition of the mountains and a
low elevation river allow for some unusually species assemblages; in a few
small, north facing coves near the creek, hemlock and water oak mix
naturally in the canopy.

Species Cbh Height Creek Comment
Ash, White 6'11" ~128 Brasstown
Beech 9'9" 111.2' Boatwright
Hophornbeam 2'7" 53.1' Brasstown
Hornbeam 4'3" 55.8' Boatwright In Brasstown floodplain
Hornbeam 4'3" 56.1' Boatwright W/in sight of above tree
Hornbeam 2'10.5" 59.9' Boatwright
Oak, White 9'3" ~124' Brasstown
Oak, White 9'0" ~127' Brasstown Comparable oaks on Boatwright
Oak, ? 8'0" 100.2' Brasstown Swamp chestnut of chinquapin
Pine, Shortleaf 6'9" 134.8' Boatwright 2nd tallest confirmed in state?
Redbud 1'6.5" 54.5' Brasstown Two fallen trees looked as tall
Redbud 2'2.5" 66.2' Boatwright Tallest known?
Sweetgum 8'0" ~134' Boatwright
Sweetgum 6'5" 135.0' Brasstown Glade fern in area (State rare)

19 or more species probably reach 100' at the site, including the
unidentified oak and black birch. Tuliptree, northern red oak, and
sycamore are probably the tallest of those listed above with all of them
reaching 120'.

Jess Riddle