Of the 58 trees on our plot the most common tree species were Sourwood, 16 trees, followed by White Oak, 14 trees, and finally the Red Maple with 10 trees. Sourwoods and white oaks are commonly associated with each other because they share a similar optimal growing conditions, on slopes or ridges, in dry, moderately acidic soils. Red Maples generally do well in a wide range of soil types and are commonly found in eastern North America. The tree species with the lowest occurence were the Sweetgum and Shortleaf pine, which grow better on wet,poorly drained soils yet still can be found together in abundance within the Piedmont area. The lack of pines and sweetgum, species that move in quickly when an area has been distrubed, suggests that the high elevation woods plot is rather old and has been relatively undisturbed.
The heights were determined for the largest member of each tree speices, the largest member being determined by diameter. Tree height was approximately determined using a pencil method. One person walked far enough away from the tree, until they could cover the whole tree with a pencil held out in front of their face. Once the tree was covered, the pencil was turned to the side, parallel with the ground, with the eraser lined up with the trunk. Another group member waited near the tree for instructions, and once the pencil was turned by the first group member, they walked away from the tree until they reached the end of the pencil from the first member's view point. Once they reached this point, we measured from the base of the trunk to where the person was standing, and this distance was the approximate height of the tree.
When examining the tree diameter and age it is interesting to note that the trend that the average trunk diameter increases in direct proportion to the average tree age for each tree species within this plot. The white oaks on average had the largest trunk diameter and tended to be the oldest tree species found within this plot. This trend can be noted across most of the tree species within our plot that age was proportional to the width of the trunk. It is hard to draw too many conclusions based on the relationship between height and average trunk diameter based upon this data because not all tree species were represented equally in of the number of samples provided. For example we only had two young pine trees that had an average age of 83.3 years, and an average trunk size of 42.3 cm. Normally pine trees make up the thickest and tallest layer of the canopy within a forest, however in our plot, white oaks tended to have an average older age of 95.3 years and a higher average trunk diameter of 48.4 cm. Out of all the trees sampled there were 14 white oaks and only 2 pine trees, which were younger. So perhaps if we had sampled more pine trees the average height and age would increase. Yet it is still important to note that the tallest tree species on average had the widest diameters and were the oldest trees. The prescence of so many oak trees and the fact that the largest oak was larger than the tallest pine adds to evidence that the plot has been largely undistrubed.