This stunning collaboration among the noted garden writer Nancy Ross Hugo, Virginia Tech forestry professor Jeff Kirwan, and the photographer Robert Llewellyn showcases the fruits of an effort begun in 2004 to research, locate, and photograph Virginia's most remarkable trees. Four years later, more than one thousand trees had been officially nominated to the project and many others suggested for possible inclusion. The results, presented in this elegant, four-color volume, are astounding. Hugo and Kirwan, the project coordinators, have selected a sample of trees and “tree places” that illustrate the enormous variety, startling beauty, and fascinating history of Virginia's trees.
Here you will see, through Llewellyn's incomparable lens, not only some of Virginia's largest trees, including a newly discovered national champion overcup oak in Isle of Wight County, but also some of the state's oldest, including baldcypress trees over 800 years old in Southampton County and red cedars over 450 years old in Giles. You will find unique trees like a willow oak in which a tricycle is embedded, fine specimens like the massive American beech in front of Sleepy Hollow Methodist Church in Falls Church, and outrageously shaped trees, like the water tupelos in the Cypress Bridge area of Southampton County. You will find trees associated with famous people and events as well as trees associated with ordinary people in extraordinary ways. Perhaps best of all, you will learn about communities that have gone to great lengths to protect their trees and about places where the public can visit some of the best trees and “treescapes” in the state.
Remarkable Trees of Virginia is a celebration of trees, but it doesn't dodge hard issues. In a section on urban forests, the authors describe the major problems facing trees in urban areas and point out strategies urban foresters are using to solve them. They describe the ecological services trees provide and issue a call for action both to protect trees in their existing habitats and to find more places where trees can “grow large and long.”
Hugo, Kirwan, and Llewellyn present a treasury of Virginia's trees that is, indeed, remarkable.