If it wasn’t for the nearby noise of Huguenot Road, you might think you were on any summit in the Virginia mountains. Vegetation is sparse, the soil is thin and rocky, and a congregation of chestnut oak trees has gathered.
The upper section of Richmond’s Larus Park
is a great reminder that above the fall line of the James, Richmond is still, geologically, at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Chestnut oaks are common in the elevated neighborhood near Larus park, as well. These trees don’t tend to live long — not by oak standards, anyway — but while they are living they produce the biggest acorns you will find. Maybe that’s their secret to living on hills — that these huge acorns are filled with enough nutrition to get the next generation’s roots established in the un-welcoming terrain.
To find this remarkable stand of chestnut oaks, park at the Larus entrance on Huguenot Road, next to the fire station and convenience store/gas station. Walk about 100 yards through some young pines, and you’ll be standing among the oaks.