Meet perhaps the oldest living thing in Virginia Beach by Mary Reid Barrow

Many of you may already have seen my photo, above, of the beautiful 500-year-old cherrybark oak  in Blackwater, one of the special trees in  Lynnhaven River NOW’s Notable Tree Program.

I took the photo yesterday on a Notable Tree Tour that was part of the Virginia Beach Winter Wildlife Festival. Tour participants look like little ants under the giant tree!

Brent James, Lynnhaven River NOW’s Oyster Coordinator, also founded and runs the Notable Tree Program.  The program takes notice of special trees around the city that deserve recognition for their size, age or historical significance, but they are not big enough for state or national tree registries.

James believes the cherrybark oak could be not only the oldest living thing in Virginia Beach but also the largest!

If you think you have a tree worthy of Notable Tree designation, email the details to James: and he will check it out.

The cherrybark oak was spectacular, but so were several other trees that we visited on the tour, which concentrated on Notables in the southern part of the city.

As part of its Discover Virginia Beach program, Lynnhaven River Now is offering another Notable Tree Tour in the northern part of the city at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 29.  The trip costs $20 and will leave from the Brock Center at 9 a.m. To sign up, email trip coordinator Terri Gorman at

Soon after I started this Tree Blog, a friend asked me why I was getting so involved with trees.
The cherrybark oak says it all for me from an intuitive standpoint, and this video describes way better than I could how trees affect almost every aspect of our life from a practical standpoint.

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