Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Locating the Sag Branch Poplar, 2006

As I recounted earlier, one of the most miserable hikes of my life was a winter 2005 attempt to locate the Sag Branch Poplar. This is currently the world's largest poplar tree. There are poplars that are a bit wider at the base, but none that has the wood volume of this tree. To stand in the forest and look up at this eastern giant is indeed an impressive sight.

I finally located it in Spring 0f 2006 with Jack Thyen and Hank Pownell along. I was in good health on that trip with no flu bug nagging me and I was about forty pounds lighter than my previous attempt to hike to the tree.

Since the shocking death of the world's largest bald cypress, The Senator, in Florida, the Sag Branch Poplar may now be the largest tree in the eastern USA. I'm glad that this tree is off the beaten path and that its location is not widely known. Will Blozan reports that part of the crown came down last year, but that the tree is still likely the biggest here in the east.

Along the Boogerman Trail. At this point we were getting close to the tree.

This is where you have to leave the trail and do a short bit of bushwhacking to locate the champion poplar.

There I was, at last, standing beside the world's largest tulip tree.

The phenomenal thing about the Sag Branch Poplar is how massive the tree remains so high above its base. It seems to hardly taper at all.

Hank Pownell, Jack Thyen and I stand to have our photo taken with the tree.

And a composite stitch of me with the grand Sag Branch Poplar tree.


stan said...

That looks like a great hike!
This made me think of a champion tree that I noticed recently while I was running on a trail here in Mecklenburg County. A sign indicated a champion tree along the trail.
Apparently NC's largest sourwood tree is located along the Sherman Branch biking and hiking trails, near Mint Hill.
Thought you might be interested.

HemlockMan said...

Always interested in champion trees. I can't get that link to work, though.

Jack said...

That was a good one! What ever happened to Hank?

HemlockMan said...

I don't know. I liked Hank! Heard from him a couple times and then that was it. I know that he and his wife owned a historical mansion they'd renovated somewhere here in NC, but I don't know if they're still around.