Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Highland County Sugar Maples

Last year, early in our days of pouring through the pages of  Remarkable Trees of Virginia, we read about Highland County’s Maple Sugar Festival.  We knew we wanted to go.  So for many months we have planned to drive to Monterey, VA, not only for the festival, but to visit a couple of Remarkable Tree sites as well.  About an hour into our trip on Friday, I realized that I had completely forgotten about the tree visiting portion of our trip, and had neglected to bring our book that would contain the necessary clues to find a particular group of sugar maples, and another state champion tree as well.  Turning around wasn’t an option, so we just decided that we would have to try to figure something out online once we arrived at our rental house, or give up visiting the trees.  I could not believe that I totally forgot about such an important part of the trip.  An online search once we arrived yielded photos, but no location clues for the sugar maples.
Saturday afternoon though, as we were driving to visit a sugar maple farm, suddenly Jonny shouted, “There they are!  Those are the sugar maples from the book!”  I hadn’t even noticed, as I was looking at the sheep across the street.
The funny thing is that there were lots of different farms on the tour, and we only chose to visit the farm on this particular road because they sold maple donuts.  Those maple donuts led us to the trees we had hoped to visit.
This particular group of sugar maples is estimated to be about 250 years old and they show the wear and tear of many years of work, being tapped for the sugar water that makes our beloved maple syrup, not to mention growing on a hillside known for fierce winds and lightning.
I am just so glad we found them, and glad that we were able to use the promise of maple donuts to bribe our kids into getting their pictures taken with these wonderful old trees.

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