Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Rockbridge County American Sycamore

This Amercian Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis,) the third largest in the state of Virginia, grows in the floodplain of the James River in Rockbridge County.  As we approached the tree, Seth exclaimed that the plants growing along the embankment next to it were poison hemlock, which are indeed deadly poisonous.  Evidently, all it takes is the ingestion of a little bit of the fresh plant material to cause death!  We kept Silas away from them!  Our children had a great time running around here despite the deadly vegetation.

(Our tree adventures are inspired by the book, Remarkable Trees of Virginia)


  1. does your just melt a little at that picture of all your children…… beautiful!!

  2. Charissa says:

    Love these gorgeous photos! I’ve never been to Virginia, but from the looks of the pictures you share on your blog, it must be beautiful!

  3. Oh man, good thing Seth recognized the hemlock!!

  4. You did a tick check, right? Lol, that’s all I can think of when I see kids running through tall grass. Ticks. The trees are amazing, though.

  5. You are really making me miss Virginia!

  6. We went to see this tree in January 2012, and it was beautiful all in white. How nice to see it again all dressed up in its summer plumage!

  7. lovely! 🙂

  8. Mikaela says:

    I think these are my very favorite posts; it’s such a fabulous idea to visit special trees in your state! And they are magnificent, those trees. I live in Wisconsin and was trying to think of something that might be our equivalent. I recently remembered round barns–from 1880 to 1920, round barns were sort of in vogue around here. However, they’re rare enough that they would make a perfect destination. Thanks for the inspiration, and the exquisite photos!

  9. Your blog, your kids, and the settings you capture make me think of Mark Twain… it’s about how I pictured the setting where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn had all their adventures – meadows, rivers, trees to climb… So beautiful. Yet again, your blog is a little refuge for my mind and heart, reminding me of beauty in spite of the brokenness around me.

  10. Love the blog, Ginny, and the fantastic photos of your magnificent family. I lived in Northern Virginia for nearly ten years before moving to California, and I deeply regret that I didn’t appreciate natural beauty then as I do now (it took a cross-country road trip to really open my eyes, and now they’re WIDE OPEN), so I missed so many amazing sights. Thanks for sharing the world in your eyes.

  11. I love the photo where Larkspur is annoyed with Beatrix. It’s just so perfect after the preceding photos.

  12. Love all of your Virginia adventures. We actually went to the Emancipation Oak, and we went to Mt. Vernon and most recently, Westmoreland State Park, which is on my little tumblr space if you scroll down. Thank you so much! We are somewhat new to Virginia, well–not that new, but it takes me a long time to settle before I venture out. Your site has helped me do that. 🙂

  13. Those large trees are stunning!

  14. Yikes to the poison plant. No thank you. I’ll be in Virginia in August for an alpaca auction. I’ll have to keep track of where these trees are and maybe get to see some remarkable trees of Virginia myself!

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