Champion Trees and Wannabes
The trail through the Bay Gall region of Seabranch is a wonderful walk. There are many wonderful things to see – ferns and mosses and Dahoon hollies. But one of the prettiest is the Loblolly Bay. The tree abounds and you can find the creamy white petals scattered throughout the trail.
Most of the Loblolly Bays at Seabranch are about 35 to 40 feet high and have a trunk with a 10- to 12-inch diameter trunk. So when I spotted this angled trunk I had to take a closer look.
Moving in closer I could see that the trunk was really big and worth photographing from both sides. Talk about a trunk with character
When I looked up I could see that the wonderfully ferruled trunk continued high in the canopy. And I spotted a creamy white flower way up in the crown
This Loblolly is the biggest one that I have ever seen. There exists the possibility it might might be a champion big tree, so I took a GPS on the location.
And I took some measurements. The trunk had a 70 inch diameter (at 4.5 feet), I estimated the height to be about 45 feet and a crown spread of about 30 feet.
When I got home and looked in the record book I found that the Loblolly Bay national champion is located in Ocala National Forest and it has a circumference of 164 inches, a height of 95 feet, have a crown spread of 60 feet.
So the tree isn’t a national champion - but it’s big and it’s impressive - and it’s worth visiting.