National Champion

On our way down to Georgia for Thanksgiving, we made a planned stop to visit the National Champion white oak tree in southern Virginia.  The tree is incredible, absolutely giant!

The owner not only welcomed us to come see the white oak, but also ended up inviting us inside his house!  He’s been the owner for about eight years and bought the place furnished.  There was lots to see inside, so many neat old things.  I have to say though, what struck me most was the fact that this brave man invited a family with seven kids inside his house!  Everyone behaved, nothing was broken, and we were very grateful for the opportunity.

p.s.  here’s a link to the American Forests champion tree register.

Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Pope’s Creek Hackberry

remarkable trees of virginia hackberry-5707

A sort of part two to yesterday:

We did not plan to stop at Pope’s Creek after our fossil hunting trip, but not wanting the day to end, and not having searched out a Remarkable Tree of Virginia in so very long, we pulled in on our way home.  We explored the grounds, and declared the birthplace of George Washington to be one of our new favorite places.  Though this wasn’t our first visit, it was our first time spending more than a few minutes there.  There are an abundance of gorgeous old trees on the property in addition to a beautiful kitchen garden, heritage livestock, and we even saw tobacco drying in a shed.  The kids stopped to examine a big willow oak, and later Keats wanted a photo with a giant (loblolly?) pine.  We didn’t come upon the old historic hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis), and reason for our visit, until near the end of our time there.  It’s a gnarly old tree, full of character, though stripped of it’s leaves this time of year.

We will most definitely return to Pope’s Creek in the future, maybe on our next warm day.

**Our remarkable trees adventures over the years are inspired by Remarkable Trees of Virginia, one of our favorite books.  In fact, we are on our second copy, having loved the first one to pieces!