Black Locust   Jess Riddle
  Mar 03, 2005 09:11 PST 

Wadakoe Mountain, elevation 1865', rises some 900' on the southern edge of
the Blue Ridge in Pickens County, South Carolina. 

7'1" 153.4' Locust, Black

The black locust seemed like the real find of the day although it too had
been previously measured. On the original summertime measurement for the
tree I had to guess the location of the base, and the tree was still the
tallest measured on the mountain at 136'. Revisiting the tree, I
discovered the grapevine shrouded silverbell, spicebush, and pawpaw around
the base had hidden more of the lower trunk than suspected. Extending a
telescoping pole to 15' did little to help counteract the effect of the
vines, which are likely largely responsible for the three foot discrepancy
in heights. The 153.4' figure comes from throwing out the highest
measurement and averaging the other two. The tree looks every-bit of it's
height since natural disturbances have afforded a clear view of the entire
tree down to the grape vine shroud. The tree stands just upslope of talus
produced from a low volume waterfall. Even though the tuliptrees farther
down the cove have only reached approximately 150', the locust now stands
approximately 20' taller than any other locust on the mountain and over
nine feet taller than any other locust in the state.

Jess Riddle

RE: Wadakoe's north end   Robert Leverett
  Mar 03, 2005 10:59 PST 


   Will Blozan has measured them to even greater heights in the Smokies.
He has broken 160. Reference the ENTS website tall tree Listing

   162.0 6 1.0
   152.2 N/A
   148.4 4 10.0                                    

   In the Northeast, so far, roughly 126.6 ft is our best. Black locust
is a remarkable species, north or south.

   When we review our discoveries/confirmations of the past decade, a
picture of species potential begins for me that leads to the possibility
of even grander pre-settlement forests than I had heretofore believed -
at least in large areas of the South.


Darian Copiz wrote:
What an impressive height for the black locust. I would have never
expected that it gets that tall.

RE: Wadakoe's north end   Darian Copiz
  Mar 03, 2005 11:17 PST 

Rob, Will, Jess,

Amazing! I have viewed Black Locust as a short lived pioneer species
incapable of survival under serious forest competition. However, these
heights indicate that they can, at least to some extent, hold their own
in a forest. The trunk circumferences, though, do seem to indicate that
they are not very old - is this the case? As skinny as they are these
trees must basically be flagpoles with a few leaves up top. Even in
general, I am surprised at how skinny many tall trees are.

Re: Wadakoe's north end   John Eichholz
  Mar 03, 2005 18:46 PST 

At least here in the northeast, black locust reaches quite respectable
girths and ages. On our trip to the Hudson River valley last fall, we
came across some monsters, easily 10' in girth, maybe 12'-14' at their
max. In the Vanderbilt trip report we had a black locust at 8.7' girth
and 124.1' height. Here in western Massachusetts there are several
roadside black locust I pass regularly that are also quite wide.
Nothing like the 150'-160' heights though. 

I have attached a photo of
one of the large ones from the Hudson trip.


RE: Wadakoe's north end   Will Blozan
  Mar 04, 2005 03:31 PST 


The eastern height record for black locust is 162', borne on a mere 6'1.5"