Longleaf pine restoration benefits all

Published 10:10 am Friday, February 9, 2018

With the news of 5,625 new pine tree seedlings recently planted on 13 acres of Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) tribal land in Courtland, an old proverb — widely attributed to the Chinese — comes to mind. It states that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.

This wisdom is particularly true when considering the species of tree the Cheroenhaka are attempting to revive: longleaf pine. These trees, we are told, take many years to reach maturity.

However, they were also ideal for the construction of wooden sailing ships during colonial times, and so they were logged extensively, and as America became the country we know today, the species dwindled.

Fortunately for all who live in the Tidewater region today, there are people like Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown and the other members of the Cheroenhaka tribe, who recognize the value in repopulating longleaf pines for the benefit of generations to come, and are willing to contribute time and effort toward the species’ restoration.