From the amazing book, Remarkable Trees of Virginia by Nancy Ross Hugo and Jeff Kirwan, with photography by Robert Llewellyn:
…it’s size, beauty and historic connections make it one of the most impressive trees in the state. It is also one of the most accessible, as it grows on a parklike piece of property in a modest residential neighborhood within a stone’s throw of U.S. Route 1.
Common Name: cucumbertree
Scientific Name: Magnolia acuminata
Native/Naturalized: Native to Virginia
Virginia Champion: yes
Circumference: 276 in.
Height: 57 ft.
Crown: 98 ft.
Date Last Measured: 2015
Last Measured by: Jon Matiuk, Eric Wiseman, and Joel Koci
Date First Measured: 1986
Comments: Originally nominated in the 1970s by Betty Reid of the Virginia Travel Council. Re-nominated in 1986 by Julian Young, curator of the Violet Bank Museum. Newspaper article and old photos on file. Believed to have been planted in 1708. Tree is healthy and protected. Significant cabling and lighting protection in place. Lighting protection has worked in past as evident by black scorch on bark along cable. This tree has historical significance since it is in the yard of General Lee’s headquarters during the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War. General Lee could hear the explosion of the “crater” from this location. Some think the tree was given to the original owner of the home by Thomas Jefferson.