Tip Top

Marcia and I have camp we call "Tip Top." It is 10 acres , elevation 4,500 ft, 6 miles from home, ideal.
The forest type is oak hickory . There are some major trees: chestnut oak, white oak, black gum, sourwood, and a number of azaleas and blueberries there. Over the last 10 years we have thinned the woods, put a road to within 100 yards of the top, and open the major views.
We have built a 16'x16'platform/deck. The platform has sitting area, an iron stove for cooking and heat, a table made from a rock slab and stump, and an old wooden sign for a kitchen table, only the essentials. From the deck both Rock Mountain and Chimney Top Mountain can be seen. Both have conservation easements which means no buildings. This is our hangout.
Recently we had a forestry mulcher open about an acre along the ridge. No major tress were removed, all the plants that were taken down were returned to the soil, mulch, and there is no erosion. Looking back from Chimney Top one can not tell any work was done. This is an ideal way to open up the woods and create a glade and wildlife feeding area.
This winter Marcia and I will selectively thin the surrounding under story and plant young red spruce trees. Red spruce is our native spruce and grows above 3500 feet elevation.They have been died out in all but a few locations due to fire and logging. We grew our plants from seed collected from local trees. several years ago we reintroduced over 600 transplants around the summit of Chimney Top(view enhancement.)
(The only red spruce we have found in our area)

We have leveled the under story for several years this provides young sprouts deer. We make sure there are plenty of rotting logs for bear search, and we broadcast fertilizer to improve acorn production.
The new open area will take several years to develop. The plan is to have indian grass, big and little blue stem grasses which take 2 years to establish. There will also be invited guest ( our favorite forbes) like angelica.

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JOHN McCarley

PO Box 524
Cashiers, North Carolina 28717
United States


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