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County Board Gives Permanent Protection to Four Specimen Trees

by Chris Teale January 29, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Four trees have been designated for special protection as specimen trees by the Arlington County Board.

The trees, all on private property, are designated as an “outstanding example of [their] species,” according to a county press release over the weekend.

They were all offered protection under the county’s Tree Preservation Ordinance, and now are permanently protected from injury or removal.

The trees were nominated for the protected status by their owners.

The four new specimen trees are:

  • Willow Oak at 2411 N. Monroe Street. The tree’s circumference is nearly 193 inches, and it stands 130 feet tall, with a crown spread of more than 80 feet.
  • Blackgum at 3225 N. Albemarle Street. The tree boasts a circumference of nearly 74 inches, stands 60 feet tall and has a crown spread of 50 feet.
  • American Beech, at 1600 N. Jackson Street. Its excellent condition earned the tree its protected status. Sixty feet tall, it has a circumference of nearly 106 inches and a crown spread of more than 55 feet.
  • Southern Red Oak at 5220 11th Road N. The tree has a circumference of 192 inches and stands 120 feet tall, with an 80-foot-plus crown spread. It is currently the County Champion for the Southern Red Oak species.

“Our County is working on many fronts to preserve trees and to protect our tree canopy,” County Board chair Katie Cristol said in a statement. “Specimen trees are one piece of this puzzle. These are special trees, usually very old and deeply loved by their owners, that have been found to have such outstanding qualities that they merit special protections.”

The latter tree belongs to local activist Nora Palmatier, who chairs the county’s Urban Forestry Commission and is a recipient of the county’s Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award.

In a statement, Palmatier said:

Having a Specimen Tree in the yard is really important to us. First, there are the bragging rights so we can show photos when others show off grandkids. Second, this massive oak’s leaves keep the house shaded at all hours during the summer so our air conditioner rarely runs which saves money and is more relaxing with fresh air from open windows. Third, our tree is an apartment building for birds, squirrels and pollinators so we are constantly entertained by our neighbors’ antics.

Yet most important, designated Specimen Trees are officially listed on the real estate property deed. Whoever buys our old house in the future will want to replace it, and they’ll note the magnificent Southern Red Oak in the back requires special protections.

Oaks naturally live hundreds of years, and we hope simply by making this an extra step, our tree will continue benefitting the neighborhood another hundred years.

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