Virginia Pine Barrens Winter Sunset

A lone sentinel Loblolly Pine silhouetted against a beautiful winter sunset in the Zuni Pine Barrens. 12/26/2013

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Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) restoration project in the Zuni Pine Barrens, Isle of Wight county in extreme southeastern Virginia. This area is comprised of by the Zuni Pine Barrens, the Antioch Pines Natural Area Preserve, and, the Blackwater Ecological Preserve. This is an endangered native pine to this area of VA and much of the southeastern USA. This area was once covered in extensive Longleaf Pine Forest Savanna covering about 90 million acres with vast expanses of it in southeastern Virginia. About 97% of this original forest was destroyed, largely by logging / naval stores practices back in the 1800s. In this area the forest is managed. Some areas allowed to grow while others are harvested. These harvested areas of loblolly pine are being restored with Longleaf pine in an attempt to restore some of this native pine savannah in Virginia. This area will not be logged again, and is subjected to low intensity prescribed burns as it is a highly fire dependent ecosystem. This particular pine is virtually fire proof under these conditions, especially when young. The soil is mainly sand in this area of the state as it is on much of the coastal plain. These trees will take 100-160 years to reach maturity and will live 500 or more years and will attain heights of 150 or more feet eventually.

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