Friday, April 23, 2010

National Champion White Oak

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I made a trip to rural Brunswick County, Virginia to take a look at the national champion white oak. According to the National Register of Big Trees, this huge tree has claimed the title with a total of 427 points. Points are calculated with the following formula: Trunk Circumference + Height + ¼ Average Crown Spread = Total Points. The tree is 86 feet high with a spread of 116 feet, and a trunk circumference of 26 feet!

I found out about the tree by doing a little poking around on line, and though the website where I found the address said that the new owner welcomed visitors, I don't know if welcomed was the right word. The owner seemed a little surprised by my call but they did generously grant me permission to visit the tree.

The tree shades an old house at the end of a long entry drive (that's it on the right side of the drive, just in front of the house). It certainly makes for a very impressive entry to the property. The tree is estimated to be over 500 years old, so it must have been very big even way back when the the property was settled. The house is not that far from interstate 85, but I took the more scenic back roads on my way to the house. Also part of my visit was a stop at the Nottoway Restaurant in nearby McKenney. Eating at this roadside diner was certainly a step back in time. Though the menu looked like it hadn't changed in 40 years, my chicken breast sandwich was very tasty!


Les said...

It was nice of them to let you visit the tree. I really liked the collage of the photos.

gcvhorticulture said...

That is some tree! And to think it's right here in Virginia. Thanks for letting us have a look at a national champion white oak.

Next time you're down that way,sample the authentic Brunswick Stew in Brunswick County!

James Golden said...

Very compelling piecing together of the photos. Beautiful tree. Five-hundred years certainly puts our little lives into perspective. We have a huge mulberry behind our house in Brooklyn. The arborist from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden advised us just to prune it rather than cut it down (the cost was prohibitive). He thought it might be the largest mulberry on the east coast.

Janet said...

What an amazing tree. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Daricia said...

i always thought brunswick stew was from brunswick county, NC. i believe brunswick, georgia claims it, too. did it really originate in virginia? love that beautiful tree. i didn't know about the national register for big trees.