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