NEWS

Loss of an Iconic Friend

by | Jan 9, 2020 | Bottom Right Red Box, News

Work to remove a large, old oak tree has begun near the Linden Apartments on Jetton Road. News of Davidson asked Dave Cable, a local tree expert and member of the town committee that deals with tree preservation, to comment on this decision:

“One of our cherished, grand old willow oaks in Davidson will be deeply missed but must come down.

At roughly 100 years in age and with a five (5) foot diameter trunk, the old oak flanking the Linden Apartments along Jetton Street has declined significantly in recent years. The land area supporting the tree is limited and awkwardly shaped. Despite protection efforts, the tree’s roots were compromised during construction of the Linden and nearby roads and sidewalks, leading to significant damage of the tree’s crown. The tree is now hazardous, and removal is recommended for safety.

The tree was nursed for several years following construction, including treatments for ambrosia beetle and fertilization. There is no evidence of ambrosia damage now.

While this historic tree has been fighting hard to survive, the stresses of root damage, disease, old age, and the constrained nature of the site have taken their toll.

The tree now has significant hypoxylin canker in the entire crown and near the upper part of the stem. Hypoxylin canker is brought on when the root zone of a tree is impacted and the tree’s nutrient and water uptake is interrupted.

If the tree were pruned rather than removed, there would be so little crown left that the tree would decline even faster, resulting in removal within the next 12-15 months.

The tree will be removed on January 9 and 10, and the stump will be ground in the coming weeks.

To help mitigate the loss of this tree, TreesDavidson will partner with Bell Properties, owner of the Linden, to hold a community tree planting event to help replenish the canopy.

Our urban forest makes Davidson special. We are blessed with beautiful trees, each of which pays us dividends every day while asking so little in return. Our forest is aging out, however, and we have a collective responsibility to do all we can to protect, steward, and replenish our special urban forest.One of our cherished, grand old willow oaks in Davidson will be deeply missed but must come down.

At roughly 100 years in age and with a five (5) foot diameter trunk, the old oak flanking the Linden Apartments along Jetton Street has declined significantly in recent years. The land area supporting the tree is limited and awkwardly shaped. The tree’s roots were compromised during construction of the Linden and nearby roads and sidewalks, leading to significant damage of the tree’s crown. The tree is now hazardous, and removal is recommended for safety.

The tree was nursed for several years following construction, including treatments for ambrosia beetle and fertilization. There is no evidence of ambrosia damage now.

While this historic tree has been fighting hard to survive, the stresses of root damage, disease, old age, and the constrained nature of the site have taken their toll.

The tree now has significant hypoxylin canker in the entire crown and near the upper part of the stem. Hypoxylin canker is brought on when the root zone of a tree is impacted and the tree’s nutrient and water uptake is interrupted.

If the tree were pruned rather than removed, there would be so little crown left that the tree would decline even faster, resulting in removal within the next 12-15 months.

The tree will be removed on January 9 and 10, and the stump will be ground in the coming weeks.

To help mitigate the loss of this tree, TreesDavidson will partner with The Linden, to hold a community tree planting event to help replenish the canopy.

Our urban forest makes Davidson special. We are blessed with beautiful trees, each of which pays us dividends every day while asking so little in return. Our forest is aging out, however, and we have a collective responsibility to do all we can to protect, steward, and replenish our special urban forest.”

Dave Cable added this information after the tree came down:

I counted 106 rings on the carcass of our felled friend, suggesting a c. 1914 birth. That puts maturity around WWII and middle age with the JFK era. Many of the rings are fuzzy so the age is rough estimate. It’s amazing to think about all the change our trees have witnessed.

Proper management of our urban forest requires alignment of town resources and community efforts. Critical components include an active street tree program, a robust tree ordinance, and an active community planting and engagement program like TreesDavidson. We now have all three of these crucial pillars in place.

 A final piece of the mosaic is Davidson’s first town Arborist who has just been hired. A formal announcement is forthcoming. This is exciting news and a key step forward to help protect and enhance our urban forest.

Dave Cable

Dave Cable is a passionate conservationist dedicated to land and wildlife conservation in our region. A Davidson resident, he previously led Catawba Lands Conservancy, the Carolina Thread Trail and, most recently, TreesCharlotte. He serves on Davidson's Livability Board, and on the Boards of the NC Wildlife Federation and the Redlair Foundation. He also volunteers as Davidson Lands Conservancy's Director of Land Conservation.

Support Your Community News