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🌲georgiaforestwatch🌲  Working to preserve, protect, and restore Georgia's National Forests. Photos by Forest Ecologist Jess Riddle and Sue Harmon.

https://www.facebook.com/Georgia-ForestWatch-182733328441085/

False foxglove or oak-leech is a parasite on oak trees and seems to be unusally abundant in some of the burned oak forests. It is difficult to say if this is due to the fire, the drought, or if the species is just common in this area.

In the fall of 2016, the Rock Mountain Fire burned nearly 25,000 acres along the Georgia-North Carolina state line. While the arson fire threatened the community of Tate City and homes in other valleys, it mostly burned through the Southern Nantahala Wilderness.
Photographs from July 2017 by forest ecologist Jess Riddle. See Jess's related Facebook post for detailed descriptions of the fire effects. Link in bio.

Daylight is waning, and the blue cohosh is checking out for the year, but that means our Fall Retreat is coming soon - Oct 7. RSVP link in our profile. Come hang out in the forest with us and learn more about the work that we do.

Forestwatching in the Licklog Mountain Treasures Area revealed the roots of an oak growing on top of Duncan Ridge. Even though oaks are generally drought tolerant, note that most of the roots lie very close to the surface, and a well defined taproot is a juvenile phenomenon. Slide 2 shows how last fall's drought killed trees in small patches where soils were thin. Slide 3 is a view of the Cooper Creek project area, looking east from Akin Mountain.

Running through the heart of the Licklog Mountain Treasures Area, the Duncan Ridge Trail provides 11.4 miles of one of north Georgia's more challenging hikes...and this particular time a bear encounter as well.

Our fearless forest ecologist, Jess Riddle, explores the Three Forks Roadless Area. Help us protect special places like this. To learn about our work and become a member of the ForestWatch family, go to the link in our bio. Hope you'll consider supporting us!

Found hiding in another #gamountaintreasures area - These blue chanterelles (Polyozellus multiplex, not really chanterelles) are typically found in the conifer forests of the West and the far North, but also occur in the Chattooga River's white pine forests.

Another USFS Foothills Landscape Field Trip, this time with our friends @chattoogaconservancy (Mr Buzz Williams and Mr David Cozzo with Cherokee Artisans/Significance Project) sharing their work to restore canebrakes on our National Forests!

Not a pretty forest picture today 😔 Most of the landscape in and around the Oconee National Forest is now dotted with patches of dead pines of varying size due to the 
Ips engraver beetles, a native insect, that only attacks pine trees. This year the damage has been extensive. Large patches of dead pines are common. This kind of damage is typically only seen during outbreaks of southern pine beetle, a different native insect. Private land owners have been clearing stands before they lose any more economic value. Most recent Forest Service activity in this area has been in preparing salvage timber sales. Most national forest stands will not be harvested though. Outbreaks like this are alarming, and may become all too common with climate change. To some extent though, this outbreak is a natural rebalancing since past land use left pines overly abundant in this area.

Old-growth forests in Georgia don't always look like what you might expect. The second shot in this series shows a trio of old white oaks, one if which cored out at 240 years old! The third shot is a 353 year old chestnut oak disguised as an ordinary tree. All these are located in the Mountain Treasures area called Grassy Mountain near the Emery Creek Trail.

Following up on the effects of the Rough Ridge fire, we can see that the exposed soil is great for Virgina pine regeneration. Red maples and sassafras are resprouting, too.

Mountaintown Creek has the second largest roadless watershed in North Georgia. Only the Conasauga River in the Cohutta Wilderness is larger. Yes, we are working to promote greater protection of this Mountain Treasure area.

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