Tsali Hemlock, GSMNP


 Tsali Tree hemlock (Cherokee)

Bob Leverett wrote May 19, 2006:

Several years ago, Will Blozan and I tackled the challenge of
calculating the trunk and limb volume of some of the great hemlocks in
the GSMNP. Will suspected that they were going to set some volume
records for eastern evergreen conifers. Just based on what hed seen,
his eyes told him that. But how does one get good volume modeling data
on trees that top 160 feet, are sandwiched in among each other, and are
engulfed in rhododendron hells? Will decided that there was just one way
to get valid data. He would climb a hemlock and measure its
circumference at intervals of a yard or meter. He initially climbed what
we later named the Yonaguska hemlock and taped its height at 168.9 feet.
He took circumference measurements at intervals of 3 feet. He later
climbed the nearby Tsali hemlock at 169.8 feet, Tsali is the tallest
hemlock weve ever measured. That event was televised and covered by Dan
Rather. Unfortunately of us, Will had to compete with Dolly Parton whose
DBH exceeded that of the Tsali Tree. Alas, Tsali looked positively puny
by comparison. Sadly, today, both trees are now standing dead, but not
from the adelgid, from drought. But such happens and has made us more
philosophical toward the deaths of individual trees.