James Madison’s Montpelier: Landmark Forest

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James Madison’s Montpelier: Landmark Forest

Post by ElijahW » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:25 pm


On 12/12/19, I spent a few hours at James Madison’s Montpelier, surveying the relatively modest in size, though still intact, Landmark Forest. Combed over more than a decade ago by fellow ents, this visit was something I’d been looking forward to for a long time. Here’s a link to Will Blozan’s and Jess Riddle’s survey from 2005: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/virginia/james_madison_estate.htm.

Although the Landmark Forest is no longer home to Virginia’s tallest tree(s), it is nothing to sneeze at, either. Here’s what I found on my visit:

Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera

172.7’ x 11.76’
169.3’ x 13.00’
168.4’ x 11.66’
166.1’ x 11.47’
165.1’ (double trunk)
164.7’ x 11.44’
164.3’ x 12.23’

Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra

152.3’ x 7.22’
143.8’ x 10.92’

White Oak Quercus alba

136.3’ x 7.8’

Chestnut Oak Quercus montana

131.0’ x 8.08’

American Beech Fagus grandifolia

125.2’ x 5.42’

Red Hickory Carya ovalis

143.0’ x 9.25’

Mockernut Hickory Carya tomentosa

120.8’ x 6.15’

American Sycamore Platanus occidentalis

128.4’ x 7.52’

Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica


Sweet Cherry Prunus avium

121.9’ x 5.32’

Historic Rucker Index:

Tuliptree 172.7
Northern Red Oak 152.3
Red Hickory 143.0 (likely same as Pignut Hickory from 2005)
White Oak 136.3
Chestnut Oak 132.4
Green Ash 129.8
Black Oak 129.5
Black Walnut 129.2
American Sycamore 128.4
American Beech 125.2

Average: 137.9’

Some large trees have fallen in the last decade or so, likely including the tallest Green Ash. Many of the tallest Tuliptrees also have suffered some wind damage, and potentially will continue to grow, despite their advanced age.


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