There’s something about big trees that grabs our attention. They are all older than we are; they were here long before we arrived. They are all bigger than we are; we must look up to see the whole of them. They are survivors. The biggest of them have been registered, with the Virginia Big Tree Program in our state, and with American Forests’ National Big Tree Program for the national champions. Chesterfield County has a state champion Eastern Cottonwood, with a girth of 25 feet.
Pocahontas State Park doesn’t boast any trees of that stature. The park was carved out of lands that had been harvested of their timber, and some of it had been replanted to loblolly plantations. Timber harvest continued until recently in parts of the park that were designated as State Forest. So what we see now is mostly trees less than a century old. Still, there are a few exceptions. Pictured here is a Tuliptree with a girth of just over 11 feet, impressive to stand beside though far short of the champion in Chesapeake County with a girth of over 32 feet.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.