Way back in 2011 one our guides, Devin Floyd, took a group of young explorers up into a very unique habitat on Turk mountain in search of rare species. Their goal was to scour a north facing rock talus for ice age relics. Low and behold they found and documented a tree that had characteristics fully matching a Paper Birch, Betula papyrifera. The Paper Birch is a species that is rarely south of Pennsylvania!
Since then A Study of Virginia Paper Birch has gotten underway, organized by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program and Chip Morgan. Genetic sequencing will be used to figure out the identity of the tree and determine the degree of variation among Virginia birch populations.
The full blog post about the exploration can be seen here: Exploring the Talus of Turk