Arborist Certifies Biggest, Tallest Trees

Pittman Center (AP) -- The Smoky Mountains contain the two champion Eastern Hemlock trees.

The biggest is on the Tennessee side of the national park. The tallest is on the North Carolina side.

Professional Arborist Will Blozan from Asheville, North Carolina, measured a big old tree in the Greenbrier Area of the park and found it contains an estimated 1,583 cubic feet of wood. That's 19 cubic feet more than the previous champ, a tree in Highlands, North Carolina.

The tree known as the Laurel Branch Leviathan stands 156.3 feet tall.

That's not as tall as Usis, one of three giant hemlocks in the Cataloochee area on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. Usis, Cherokee for "antler", stands 173.1 feet, the tallest known Eastern Hemlock in the world.

Blozan climbed both the Leviathan and Usis recently to measure them.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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