This weekend I went to two locations east of Fredericksburg VA,
measured only one tree, but the sites were nevertheless
The first site was Alexander Berger Memorial sanctuary in
and Caroline counties. The portion that I went to was a ravine
Creek that ran from the southwest to the northeast into the
plain portion of the Rappahannock River. The ravine was lined by
on both sides, probably the result of layers of sand/gravel
by clay. A large beaver pond is located lower down on the site
very nice dam. I measured one pin oak which was actually juts
the sanctuary at the edge of a farm field. It was 17' 10"
tall, and had a longest limb of 57'. The height and limb were
quick measurements, it could be taller-broader. In the actual
I didn't measure any trees but was still impressed by them. All
larges trees were on the slopes of the ravine, none of the big
at the base. Tree species consisted of sweetgum, tuliptree,
oak, southern red oak, black oak, probably a few other oaks,
hackberry (could possibly have been laevigata), red maple, river
and holly. The sweetgums and tuliptrees were the largest with
probably over 4'. The trees were tall but not extremely tall, my
estimate would be about 120'.
There was one very impressive
on the northwest facing slope. No record breaking trees, but
trees. The most interesting thing about the site was a large
Rhododendron maximum growing all along the northwest facing
slope of the
ravine. This was mixed in with large mountain laurel and some
Hexastylis virginana was also growing in this area. Does anyone
any other sites with R. maximum growing on the coastal plain? It
pretty interesting seeing rhodo's and holly growing together.
The second site I went to was Caledon Natural Area, a state
in King George County. It is the site of a significant bald
nesting area. Exploring this site consisted of following a
ran into a marsh on the south side of the Potomac River. The
appeared to be somewhat similar to the Berger Memorial site, but
ravines were not nearly as steep or deep. It was also
for much of the area there was very little understory. The woods
very open, and very quite. This may have been because of
practices, but I didn't see any stumps. Along the sandy
small, winding stream there were large tuliptrees, and beeches.
species were red maple, American elm, and some oaks. I don't
remember seeing any sweet gum at this site. On one not very
there was a Campsis radicans vine that had about a 10"
diameter at the
base As the stream got into the marsh area, an understory of
laurel started and became denser as the marsh became larger. One
mountain laurel was very tree-like with an estimated dbh on a
straight trunk of about 8", height of about 18', and first
almost 6' up. The Caledon Natural area is a large site, I only
explore a portion of it. It probably doesn't have any height
but does have some nice large trees.
With Spring arriving, I will probably not be measuring any trees
next winter unless I come across something very significant.