On Friday, September 30, a 26-foot U-Haul truck drove up the mountain to our nursery to collect some of our long-term residents. We spent the day loading up 1,000 of our red spruce trees, most of which were three to six years old, planted in one gallon pots. Due to backlogged federal approvals required by the National Environmental Policy Act, many of these trees stayed at our nursery longer than planned. Originally grown for the Pisgah National Forest, these mature red spruce trees found their forever home in Virginia through the incredible network of the Southern Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative. Conner McBane and his team from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy transported the trees and planted them on Whitetop Mountain. This marks official status as a region-wide project for Southern Highlands Reserve, with trees planted also in North Carolina and Tennessee. Writer Dan DeWitt documented loading day, and you can read the story on Brevard NewsBeat here.