John Muir Tree
Evans Property, Waynesville, North Carolina (planted July 2008)
"John Muir" (#11), with Michael Dowd 7/31/08
on steep, south-facing slope.
Nov 08: Top of seedling highly stressed. See sockets
where 2 branches in the top-most whorl fell off post-planting.
Nov 08: One of the dead branches is held near socket.
LEFT: November 2008. Lee Barnes is directly behind "John Muir".
This south-facing slope is the hottest, driest part of the property.
Canopy here is entirely oak and hickory whereas trees from
Loren Eiseley #23 to Celia Hunter #31 are near ravines and
seepages, and the canopy there is oak, maple, tuliptree,
John Muir was by far the most stressed tree in November.
Lee recalls that, when planted, it was "the runt of the litter."
September 23, 2010: noonish on sunny day
September 23, 2010: mottled sunlight beneath deciduous canopy
9/10: Finger atop dead main stem. Healthy side sprouts.
9/10: New main stem growing from center of side sprout.
Dead original main stem 1" below finger.
Location is south-facing slope beneath a mostly oak-hickory canopy, with sourwood mid-canopy and lots of shrub-size sassafras, plus some azalea and crossvine. A lack of evergreen and deciduous ferns also indicates dryness. (3,400 feet elevation)
LEFT (May 18, 2012): The main stem (still standing vertical just left of center) is entirely dead. Only a single fresh coppice sprout at the base gives this specimen any hope of continuing life. We have no idea why this specimen is so stressed. There are actually some good indicator species nearby of moisture: lots of false Solomon seal, a Christmas fern, and even some poison ivy. (Poison oak was a very positive indicator plant for Torreya californica habitat in California.)
On a scale of 1 to 10, this specimen obviously rates only a 0.5 in health.
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