Big South Fork
1 29.9/2: B 48/2
A Guide to
This self-guiding trail
has been developed in
conjunction with the
1991 Biology Classes
from Scott County High
School through the Part-
gram. Students from
those classes selected
and identified the trees
to be included, made the
numbered posts, placed_^
them along the trail and
assisted in the develops
ment of this guide book.
Most trees are located
on the left hand side of
the trail. Trees #5 and
#27 are on the right.
Red Mulberry - The Mulberry tree has
reddish-purple fruits which are edible.
Leaves can be either deeply lobed or entire
with coarse marginal teeth. The leaves are
hairy below and turn yellow in the fall.
Leaves are used as food for silkworms.
Mulberry trees were grown in the historic
colony of Rugby, TN for this purpose.
2 Virginia Pine - The needles of this tree grow
in groups of two and are twisted. The bark is
dark brown and scaly. This tree grows in
abandoned fields where it invades shrubs
and brush. It is a pioneer species in forest
succession and creates a habitat for the
more desirable trees. Virginia pine is used
for pulp and firewood. The tree is located to
the right of the post. The stump in front of
you was an old Virginia Pine that died and
was cut down. This species is an upland
tree and usually does not grow along the
Eastern Hemlock - This conifer grows in
moist, cool and shady ravines. It has flat
needles with two white bands underneath,
small oblong cones that are 1/2 to 3/4 of an
inch long, and scaly dark purplish brown
bark. These trees are quite majestic and
are often used for their ornamental beauty.
4 Eastern White Pine - Slender, soft, blue-
green needles in clusters of five are charac-
teristic of this pine. Cones are 4-5 inches in
length. The bark is fissured and dark grey-
brown in color on mature trees. The White
Pines that grow in the Scott State Forest
and Bandy Creek area are genetically ozone
resistant which make them valuable to
Resource Managers and Foresters.
5 Umbrella Magnolia - Found on the right of
the trail. This is a deciduous magnolia that
loses its leaves each fall. The leaves are 12
- 20 inches long and taper to an acute base.
Winter buds are purple, smooth and shiny.
Bark is light grey and may be smooth or
warty. The large flowers bloom in April-May
and are creamy white with a unpleasant
6 Yellow Poplar - This member of the magno-
lia family has leaves with a tulip-like outline.
Blooms from this tree are yellow green with
orange at the base of each petal and are
seen in the spring after the leaves develop.
The wood from the Tulip Poplar is used for
furniture and construction. These trees are
resistant to insect pests and disease.
7 American Sycamore - Look for this tree in
areas that are wet, along rivers and bottom-
lands. The bark on older trees makes it easy
to identify being white with scaly brown
plates which fall off. Leaves are large, 4-7
inches across and are similar to a maple leaf
with a palmate pattern to the leaf and 3 to 5
lobes. The leaf is shiny above and hairy
along the veins below. These trees often
have large trunks which easily succumb to
8 White Oak - This is a very versatile tree
highly valued for its wood. White oak can
be used for shingles, baskets and furniture.
The leaves on this tree are 5" to 9" long
and have 7 to 9 bluntly pointed lobes. The
acorns are 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long and
are oblong. One quarter of the nut is
enclosed in a bowl-like cup or cap. These
acorns are highly prized as food for the wild
turkey, deer and boar that live in the Big
South Fork. The tree's bark is light grey
which is often broken into vertically aligned
blocks or plates with deep fissures in-
between. Tree leaves turn a deep red in
American Holly - During the Christmas
season this tree's green leaves and red
berries make it a popular ornamental
decoration. Leaves of this tree are leath-
ery, shiny and have spiny edges. The tree
stays green year-round. Male and female
trees are found separately and only the
female tree has berries. Female trees were
dug up extensively throughout the area and
moved out of the forest. People transplant-
ing them in their yards for ornamental use
found that they didn't bear fruit later. This
of course was because no male tree was
nearby. Many male trees remain in the
forest today, but trees with berries are
difficult to find. The berries provide many
birds with food during the winter.
10 American Beech - Often the tree is called
the paper dollar tree because the leaves
when held and rustled sounds like a new
crisp dollar bill. The leaves on this tree are
oval with slightly in-curved teeth along the
margin that are barely noticeable. The bark
is light blue-grey and thin. The nut from
this tree is edible. It is found inside of a 1/
2" to 3/4" bur covered sheath and is trian-
gular in shape. Buds on this tree are dark
brown, long and pointed and look rather like
a miniature cigar! Smaller trees in the
winter months can easily be recognized by
their old dead leaves which are reddish-
brown in color and will remain on the tree
for several months after other trees leaves
I Rosebay Rhododendron -This woody shrub
loves the cool, moist ravines and will form
impenetrable thickets in these areas. It has
leathery, oblong leaves that are 4" to 1 2"
long. Flower clusters appear in the late
spring or early summer. Flowers are white
with a hint of light pink and quite showy.
12 Red Maple - Sometimes this tree is referred
to as a "swamp maple" because it likes to
grow along streams and wet locations, but it
has been found in drier sites as well.
Leaves are 2" to 6" in diameter and are
palmate in pattern. Each leaf has 3 to 5
lobes and has jagged or serrated edges.
Often the leaves have reddish stems.
Seeds are found growing in winged pairs
and mature in the late spring. The bark is
dark grey and rough on older trees.
13 American Hornbeam - This tree has numer-
ous common names such as: ironwood,
muscle wood and bluebeech. The tree's
trunk makes it easy to identify even in the
winter. It looks like muscles in our arms or
legs. The leaves of this tree are simple,
oval and have double-toothed leaf margins.
It is a small understory tree of poor value for
timber, but the convoluted trunks and roots
of this tree have been made by pioneers
into mauls for splitting wood.
14 Yellow Buckeye - The Buckeye is a tree
with a compound leaf in a palmate pattern
and has 5 elliptical leaflets. The terminal
buds are large and non-resinous. Flower
clusters are yellowish-white in color and are
found blooming in early spring. Nuts from
this tree are found encased in a mostly
smooth, fleshy, shell. The Buckeye nut is
often carried in people's pockets for luck.
This tree is usually found in bottomland
areas. Buckeye nuts are toxic, please do
not eat them.
10 River Birch - Commonly seen along stream
banks and in moist places, the tree can be
identified by its salmon-pink colored bark
with papery scales. Leaves are ovate with
double-toothed leaf margins. It is the only
birch which has its fruit develop in the late
spring. Fruit are catkins that are about 3/4"
long. Many birches are used for decorative
purposes due to their beautiful bark.
I D Sweetgum - Leaves from this tree resemble
a 5 to 7 pointed star. They turn multiple
colors in the fall from orange to purple.
Fruit from the tree are found as spiny balls
and may hang from the tree even into
winter. Bark on branches can develop corky
projections which look like wings. The
leaves have a spicy aroma when crushed.
The sweetgum sap or resin could be chewed
as a gum, but watch your dental work! This
"gum" has been known to cement teeth
1/ Black Oak - Black oak trees have lustrous,
dark green leaves above and are coppery
yellow below. They are somewhat hairy
below. Leaves may have 5 to 7 lobes with
pointed tufts at the tips. Acorns are 1/2" to
3/4" long and light red-brown in color.
Acorns are enclosed 1/3 to 1/4 of the way by
a deep bowl-like cup or cap. Leaves turn
dull red or dark orange in the fall. The bark
from this tree is black and has deep vertical
D Sugar Maple -This tree is called the "sugar
tree" because of the maple syrup and sugar
made from its sap in the late winter or early
spring. Leaves are 3" to 5" across and
found in opposite arrangement. They are in
a palmate pattern with 3 to 5 blunt pointed
lobes. Leaves turn lovely shades of yellow,
red, scarlet and orange during the fall.
1 9 Box Elder - Does this tree's leaves look like
poison ivy to you? The leaves are com-
pound with 3 to 7 leaflets in each leaf and
although they resemble poison ivy leaflets,
this tree is not poisonous. The bark of small
branches and stems is green. This a
favorite food for beaver along the river.
Older trunks of trees are light brown with
20 Big-Leaf Magnolia - This tree has huge
leaves just like its name implies. Leaves
are 20" to 30" long. At the base of each leaf
are two "ear lobes" which are similar to your
own ear lobes. In April or May creamy white
flowers bloom on this tree that can be up to
12 inches in size. When these leaves fall to
the ground in autumn it looks like paper
litter scattered all over the forest floor.
2 1 Flowering Dogwood - This is a small tree
that grows underneath the main canopy of
larger trees. It has simple leaves that are
oval in shape with smooth leaf margins.
Leaves are from 2" to 5" in length. The leaf
arrangement on the branch is opposite. This
tree is a colorful addition to many yards.
During the spring, this tree is easy to find
because it has large white flowers. The
flower petals are not petals at all but bracts,
which are actually leaves. In the autumn,
the tree's leaves turn red and are among the
first tree leaves to turn color. Bright red
berries appear where flowers were in the
spring. These berries provide a delightful
food source to birds and squirrels in the
22 Mountian Laurel - Also called "mountain
ivy", this woody shrub is quite plentiful within
the park. This is an evergreen shrub which
produces beautiful white to light pink flowers
in the late spring. It has small oval leaves
that are 1" to 1 1/2" in length.
23 Sassafras - The leaves from this tree
come in different shapes; some are oval,
some have lobes on them that look like a
right-handed or left-handed mitten and still
other leaves have three lobes. A wonderful
spicy aroma can be detected when the
leaves are crushed. Tea can be made from
the root bark of this tree. Have you ever
had sassafras tea? The leaves are used in
Cajun cooking to thicken Creole. Twigs of
this tree are bright green. In September,
blue-black berries may be found on the
24 Bitternut Hickory - One of the more com-
mon hickories found in the area. The nuts
from this tree are very bitter and even
squirrels dislike them. Leaves are com-
pound with 7 to 9 oblong leaflets. Each
leaflet is 3"-5" long. The terminal buds on
the branches are sulphur yellow in color.
The bark is smooth in younger trees, but
becomes slightly furrowed when older. The
nuts are about 1" long and are encased
within a husk that splits away in sections.
The husk will be bright green at first and
turn brown with age. If the husk is
scratched when green it will be somewhat
25 Witch-Hazel - This is a peculiar shrub. It
flowers in the autumn! The flowers are
bright yellow with 1/2" to 3/4" long, narrow,
twisted petals. Capsules form where
flowers were present and split open the
year after flowering occurs. Leaves are 2"-
4" long, oval and have an oblique base.
This tree is a favorite for those who are
"water diviners". Witch-hazel twigs are
preferred for their water finding art. Witch-
hazel has also been used medicinally in a
rubbing lotion that is extracted from small
branches and bark.
26 White Ash - Wooden baseball bats are
usually constructed from this tree's wood.
White ash trees are large (up to 100 feet in
height) and have long straight trunks.
Leaves are 8"-12" long and are compound
with 5 to 9 leaflets. Bud scars left on
branches from leaves are U-shaped. The
bark is ashy grey and will be furrowed on
older trees. Fruits are samaras or winged
seeds that are 1" to 2" long and 1/4" wide.
3 1604 010 223 966
27 Shagbark Hickory - As its name implies, the
bark of this hickory is shaggy, giving it an
untidy appearance. The nuts are 1"-2 1/2" in
diameter and are a treat for those who take
the time to crack their shells. Squirrels help
to distribute these trees throughout the forest
when hiding the nuts for their winter food
supply. Leaves from the tree are compound
with 5 to 7 ovate leaflets and are 10" to 14"
28 Black Locust - Fragrant, white, pea-like
flowers bloom on this locust in early May.
Leaves are compound with 7 to 19 oval
leaflets and are 8"-14" long. Bark on older
trees are deeply furrowed. The trunks of this
tree make excellent fence posts. The black
locust tree is planted extensively in areas
where strip mine reclamation is necessary.
This tree species improves soil through the
nitrogen fixing bacteria nodules found on its
roots. Once the Black Locust has revitalized
the soil other tree and plant species can be
reintroduced into reclaimed areas. This has
occurred at Anderson Branch Mine site along
the Angel Falls Trail (located across from
sign post #1 9).
Striped Maple - This small understory tree
loves cool moist places. Leaves of the tree
are 3 lobed and 4"-6" in length with finely
toothed leaf margins. The bark on young
trees and bright green branches are striped
with vertical white lines giving the tree its
National River and Recreation Area
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
30 Chestnut Oak - Chestnut oak or rock oak is a
medium sized tree 50 to 70 feet in height
which can grow on poor, dry and rocky
uplands. On older trees, its bark is deeply
furrowed and is nearly black in color. Its
leaves are 4" -8" in length and elliptical in
shape with rounded teeth along the leaf
margin. The acorns are 1"-1 1/2" long and
very shiny. The acorn cap is thin with scales
and it covers about 1/3 to 1/2 of the nut.
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