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Thread: What will replace the Hemlocks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default What will replace the Hemlocks?

    Following my first trip to GSMNP this year, I began to wonder what will will the void left by the dying Hemlocks.
    Tulip Poplars grow rapidly and produce a lot of shade.
    Rhododendron loves to spread but will it happen without the shade of the Hemlocks?
    Will the increased light allow for more or less insect population?
    Most importantly, will the fishing improve or not?

    Just wondering? Nature abhors a vacuum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default

    If I remember correctly from my ecology class (which was a LONG time ago), the first to fill the void will be another conifer. Then, depending on some factors such as elevation, climate, precipitation etc, some deciduous trees could move in and either take over partially or completely.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Mooresville, NC
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    Default

    While I'm no dendrologist, I think the forest and the trout will be fine. There are plenty of other tree species out there that will take their place. In my humble opinion, fishing will not change and a variety of existing trees will fill the void, with no one particular dominant tree species attempting to recreate the great Hemlock's reign.

    With that said, it saddens me to see all the dead and dying Hemlocks. I also wish I could have been around to have seen the great Chestnuts in their day and I wish I could have seen the virgin forest as our ancestors saw it.
    Wild troutin, blue linin, fly flingin, camo wearin, redneckin elitist.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by ifish4wildtrout View Post
    I wish I could have seen the virgin forest as our ancestors saw it.
    I'll be happy to take you to Raven Fork Gorge below 47 sometime. I'd say that's pretty close to what our ancestors got to see
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
    I'll be happy to take you to Raven Fork Gorge below 47 sometime. I'd say that's pretty close to what our ancestors got to see
    You supply the horse, I'm not up for the hike.
    Wild troutin, blue linin, fly flingin, camo wearin, redneckin elitist.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Knoxville, Tn
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    706

    Default

    When you have a loss of large canopy like that, the first thing that comes in is scrub bushes, dog hobble, briars, poison ivy, etc. trees move in next with the fast growing and shorter life span species re creating a canopy first followed eventually by another slow growing large species eventually recreating a mature forest again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Lenoir City, TN
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    993

    Default Firewood Police

    I've camped about five times total in the past three years and only asked twice at same campgroud if I had brought firewood with me... and I'm glad I was. What has others' experience been?
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    Southern Appalachian Stream Maps sasMaps.com
    Formerly SmokyStreams.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    I've never been asked, I don't believe...maybe once and I told them the truth; That I bought it at the little kiosk/store by the ranger station.

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