A little Tree History for you today…

Hello City Park friends! I’m Linzey and I’ll be your guest blogger for the day.  I’ve worked at City Park for almost 6 years as the Grants Manager and if there’s one thing I’ve learned a lot about, it’s trees.  There are more than 20,000 trees at City Park and they range from the tiniest saplings planted last week to the immense live oaks standing tall for more than 800 years!

Throughout its 1,300 acres, the Park features a wonderful variety of trees: beautifully flowering crepe myrtles, palms and palmettos, water oaks, laurel oaks, willow oaks, magnolias with their gorgeous blooms, American elms, water locust, loblolly pine, tupelo, bald cypress, and hackberry trees beloved by the birds.  The list goes on and on!  The oldest and most famous trees at City Park are, of course, the amazing live oaks.  Draped with Spanish moss and lined with resurrection fern, the Park’s live oaks set a romantic and mysterious mood on the Park grounds.

The particular species of live oak that grows in City Park is Quercus virginiana, the southern live oak.  These magnificent trees provide a huge canopy of shade and shallow roots spreading to match the size of the canopy.  They thrive in sandy soils or clay, can withstand moderate floods and hurricanes, and are resistant to salt spray.  The wood is so heavy and strong, it was once used for ship building. The Park’s oldest live oaks first sprouted around 1200 AD!  That’s the early 13th century when the Crusades sacked Constantinople and King John signed the Magna Carta.  It’s hard to imagine the passage of history since these tiny acorns developed into the towering trees of today.  So come and visit.  Pick a favorite tree.  Peer up into the canopy.  Experience the breath-taking beauty and the sense of wonder found among the spectacular trees of City Park.

-Linzey Powers Grants Manager LPowers@nocp.org