Northeast of Clingmans Dome

Looking northeast from the top of Clingmans Dome toward Mt. Mitchell. All the dead trees are spruce and fir probably killed from a combination of sustained drought, insects and pollution. October 2001

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PrairieClimber

PrairieClimber - Dec 19, 2006 2:27 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice view.

The result of all of the dead trees are from a combination of the balsam woolly adelgid and all of the pollution that 9.5 million tourists a year bring while driving through the park. You see this even on the most remote of NC/TN's 6000'+ peaks, but it is especially severe in the GSMNP and along the blue ridge parkway. I would almost guarantee if the park began to charge a fee, yearly visitation would be cut in half. The sad thing is, almost all of the "visitors" to the park are only traveling through as a way to bridge the gambling/shopping havens of Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN. Sad state of affairs, and I don't see it getting any better. But I grew up here and I still love the area no matter what.

mrh

mrh - Dec 19, 2006 6:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice view.

I notice there are lots of young trees growing up below the dead ones. Are they also being hit, or did the bug mortality come as a wave that is past? Is there recovery or will we just see dead wood continually stacked up? Seems we could be getting set up for a huge fire some day.

PrairieClimber

PrairieClimber - Dec 21, 2006 11:17 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Nice view.

Not sure, I've wondered that as well. From what I hear all of the factors contibuting to this problem are getting worse and i'm not sure if a lot is being done to help prevent it in the future. I guess time will tell.

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