Tree Information

Common Name: chestnut oak

Scientific Name: Quercus montana (syn. Quercus prinus)

Native/Naturalized: Native to Virginia

Status: alive

National Champion: no

Virginia Champion: yes

Circumference: 241 in.

Height: 98 ft.

Crown: 74 ft.

Points: 358

Date Last Measured: 2012

Last Measured by: City of Alexandria Arborist Office

Date First Measured: 2012

Comments: Tree is multi-stemmed at breast height and therefore was measured at 18" above ground, the narrowest point between ground line and breast height.

Tree is healthy, with no visible threats.

The tree is a remnant of "Washington Forest" in the City of Alexandria near the Arlington County border, within a several acre, semi-wooded section of North Fairlington. This area contains numerous old-age remnant trees of historic Washington Forest, a large forested tract purchased by George Washington in the late 1700s and later part of grounds of the once-vast Arlington estate owned by the Custis-Lee families (Rose 1976, ABCTF 2001).

During the Civil War, Battery Garesche was constructed approximately 2,000 ft. to the east of this area at the summit of the terrace. This oak was probably cut as a fairly large tree during the Civil War to allow unobstructed cannon fire from nearby Battery Garesche. Chestnut oak was the dominant tree of the forested heights at most of the fortifications, which were typically cut at about 5' above the ground (Gernand 2002). Chestnut Oak readily re-sprouts from stump cuts and can easily live for centuries. Similar-aged, multi-trunked chestnut oak are also present on the upper slopes near the summits of the fort sites at Ft. Buffalo near Seven Corners in Falls Church, Virginia and Battery Kemble in Washington, D.C., as well as other Civil War fortifications of the area.(Remnant Natural Areas in Parks, Waterways, and Undeveloped Sites in the City of Alexandria, Virginia: Beauregard Street Corridor; Simmons 2012).See for more information on the Civil War Defenses of Washington, including historic maps of the fort locations and surrounding lands.

Much of the site comprises an extremely steep, west-facing slope of gravelly colluvium dominated by remnant, old-age chestnut oak (Quercus montana), black oak (Quercus velutina), white oak (Quercus alba), southern red oak (Quercus falcata), and pignut hickory (Carya glabra). Old and large tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) occur along the lower slopes, with northern red oak (Quercus rubra), red mulberry (Morus rubra), and other trees. Old sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) grow in the remnants of an old seepage swamp at the outflow of the south branch of Lucky Run southeast of the intersection of S. 28th St. and King St. See for more information.

Rod Simmons 2012

Location of Tree

Tree is located in: City of Alexandria

State Map

Land Owner: Fairlington Villages (North)

GPS Coordinates: 38.83851, -77.10406

Owner Email:

Directions: Tree is just below the back of 2902 S. Dinwiddie St. on a ridge above King St. (Rt. 7).

Owner Address: 3001 S. Abingdon St.

Arlington, VA 22206

Contact Information

Contact Name: Rod Simmons

Contact Email:

Contact Address: 2900-A Business Center Dr.

Alexandria, VA 22314

Contact Phone: 703-746-4651


Original Nominator(s): City of Alexandria Arborist Office

Additional Information

I.D. Fact Sheet

Landowner Fact Sheet

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