I spent a few weeks in Mena, Arkansas, doing stand exams. My Mom tells me that her father used to come here, from the Quad Cities, to do his hunting thing. At one time, he was considering moving his family to Arkansas. (I wonder if the fact that Mena is in a “dry” county had any influence on my Scotch-Irish grandpa) You can see that these forests are thick. While I still remembered a lot of my Dendro class, the rest of my co-workers didn’t all know their southern species. Amazingly enough, the poison ivy didn’t bother me, despite wandering through the knee-high growth. I’m very reactive to poison oak, in the west.
I spied this odd shortleaf pine, and immediately called it the Medusa Tree.