Probably before our Constitution was formed, they were there.
Long before Richmond Hill was even a thought or an idea, they were there. Long before Henry Ford was born, those two oaks were there, weathering storms, hurricanes, floods and all the abuses that nature could throw at them.
And yet, they still are there; probably just as healthy as ever. Of course, there are questions about stability and structure. Maybe, just maybe, something can even be done about that.
I really never knew what a Southern live oak was until I came to Richmond Hill. What made me recognize it was the unusual, majestic appearance. At that time, I was at the intersection of Highway 17 and Ford Avenue and saw many more of these trees at different locations around the city.
They even are more accented in splendor when covered with Spanish moss. Not only are they magnificent to look at, the live oak also is Georgia’s state tree.
Each time I return to Richmond Hill, I pass through that intersection. It would not seem like Richmond Hill if they were not there.
The live oak has a reputation of being a tough tree and the last one to die, even if living in a well-constructed area of any city, according to the University of Florida Extension website. I would wager that there have been other ornamental trees that were condemned to be removed, and when all obstacles and conditions that would affect their health were removed, they came roaring back.
What if the two oaks are removed from the scene? Would the city appear to be like any other asphalted, sunbaked, commercial place?
I feel certain that the city will make every effort, and conduct all the necessary investigations, to justify the removal of these trees.
One last note to consider: There is a report on forestry.about.com that live oak decline, a wilt disease, is killing thousands of trees each year. It is suspected that this disease can be found in other Southern states.
Let’s sincerely hope this catastrophe never occurs here in Georgia.