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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Saturday - August 07, 2010

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees around the inland waterways in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am writing a piece about Virginia Beach, Virginia. Could you tell me other than Pine what trees are found in the forests around the inland waterways? Thank-you very much!

ANSWER:

You can find these yourself by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database.  First select 'Virginia' under Select State or Province and then 'Tree' under Habit (general appearance).  This will give you a list of nearly 200 native trees that occur in Virginia.  Some of these 200 may not occur along the inland waterways, however, but it is relatively simple to find out if they do or not.  For instance, let's take the first tree on the list with photos, Acer barbatum (southern sugar maple).  On the species page scroll down to near the bottom of the page to the ADDTIONAL RESOURCES section.  Click on the link (the species name) beside USDA.  This will take you to the USDA Plants Database where there is a distribution map.  On the map click on Virginia and you will see the tree's distribution in Virginia.  As it turn's out, the southern sugar maple is found near Newport News and Norfolk.  If you do the same exercise with Acer spicatum (mountain maple), you will find that it occurs much further west than the southern sugar maple and doesn't occur along the inland waterway.  You can check out all the other listed trees this way, as well.

You might also like to visit the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation Natural Heritage page.  Their "Overview of the Physiography and Vegetation of Virginia" should give you an idea of what sorts of trees you find in the various regions of Virginia.  There are other resources listed on the Natural Heritage page that may be useful, too.

 

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