Warning: Stay away from Christmas Tree Island

A fireboat tackles a blaze at Christmas Tree Island on March 30.

Potential visitors to Christmas Tree Island are warned to stay away or they may be charged with trespassing.

A fresh batch of No Trespassing signs have been posted on the island. The island’s owner, Dottie Sutherland, said the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries suggested the signs be posted after a fire occurred on the property in late March.

Sutherland said No Trespassing signs have been featured on the island for years.

But “the signs wouldn’t last a day,” she said.

According to Sutherland, visitors were never allowed on the island, although exceptions were made in the past for those who obtained written permission.

Sutherland said she and her late husband George didn’t mind people using the island provided they didn’t abuse it. Yet things would go on at the island that “were not to our approval at all,” she said.

The island got its name “Christmas Tree Island” from the pine trees that George and another man planted in the 1960s. People would cut down the young trees for Christmas trees, Sutherland said.

-For more information, see the August 8 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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