Monday, October 17, 2011

Episode 84 (October 17, 2011): "Wind in the Maples/Sugartree Branch" by Timothy Seaman

Click to listen to episode (2:47).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 17, 2011.

This week we feature an instrumental musical selection about the trees whose colors are the star of the fall, and about a Virginia stream whose name derives from the same trees’ springtime product.  Have a listen for about 50 seconds.


You’ve been listening to part of “Wind in the Maples” and “Sugartree Branch” performed by Timothy Seaman on his 2002 CD, “Sycamore Rapids.”  Virginia is home to eight native maple species, including Red Maple and Sugar Maple, the two main species that turn Virginia’s countryside into a blaze of color each fall.  Along streets and in backyards, those two natives share the color show with Norway Maples and other non-native species.  The rising springtime sap of Sugar Maples is famously tapped to make maple sugar, but several other maple species are also used for sugaring.  Evidently named for this practice, Sugartree Branch is an approximately two-mile long stream on the Blue Ridge in the St. Mary’s River Wilderness area of Augusta County.  But streams get more than just a name from maples.  As a major component of Virginia’s forests, maples join with many other trees in exerting a large influence on water quality, flow, and habitat of Virginia’s water resources.  Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s music. 

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

Acknowledgments: “Wind in the Maples,” Sugartree Branch,” and “Sycamore Rapids” are copyright 2002 by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  “Sugartree Branch” was also featured in the sound segment of Virginia Water Radio Episode 47 (week of 12-20-10).

Sources and More Information:  Information on maple trees in Virginia was taken from Common Native Trees of Virginia, Virginia Department of Forestry, 2007 (PDF available online at, as of 10/17/11); the “Dr. Dendro” Web site provided by the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, online at; and the Virginia Department of Forestry’s 2010 State of the Forest (available online at, which identifies Red Maple as the number-one tree species in Virginia by number of trees and the number-five Virginia tree by volume.

The various maple species used for making maple sugar are listed by various sources, including the University of Minnesota Extension ( and the Vermont Department of Forests Park, and Recreation’s Web site.

Information about St. Mary’s Wilderness is available from the U.S. Forest Service brochure available online (as a PDF) at (as of 10/17/11).  Sugartree Branch is one of several Virginia streams that have received liming treatments in an attempt to counteract the impacts of acid precipitation on trout and other aquatic life.  Scientific information about Sugartree Branch and other trout streams in the St. Mary’s River watershed is available in the U.S. Forest Service’s 2002 report, Condition of Fish Populations and Habitat in the St. Mary’s River and Selected Tributaries Before and After Limestone Sand Treatment (PDF available online at, as of 10/17/11). 

Recent Virginia Water News

For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at

Water Meetings and Other Events

For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.