A Stump at Staunton River State Park

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In a grassy area near the visitor center – I noticed a stump. Someone had left a pumpkin on top, probably while they were decorating for the Star Party. I walked over to get a closer look. It looked like it had been cut down recently.

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The rings stood out a lot more than the rings of the Silver Maple at Mt. Pleasant. This stump had not been sanded either. I counted 74 rings but there were some very narrow ones from recent years that were harder to count….so I estimated it was about 80 years old when it was cut down.

The people in the Visitor Center told me that it had been cut down recently and that they thought it had been planted near the time the park was created in 1936. But they didn’t know what kind of tree it was. The next morning, I talked with the park manager that was manning the outdoor grill at the Cantina for breakfast and found out that it was a Post Oak and he had counted 84 rings when it was first cut down. The CCC did most of the work when the park was created so it is likely, because of its location, that it was planted by them. The tree had leafed out last spring but then dropped all its leaves during the summer. It had been struggling for the past few years and looking at the stump shows the evidence of that struggle in the outermost rings.