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Big South Fork 

1 29.9/2: B 48/2 


A Guide to 
Trees Along 

the Angel 
Falls Trail 

This self-guiding trail 
has been developed in 
conjunction with the 
1991 Biology Classes 
from Scott County High 
School through the Part- 
ners-ln-Education Pro- 
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 
heart rot. 

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 
the autumn. 

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 
have fallen. 

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 
winter months. 

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. 

Clemson I 

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" 
in length. 

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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