Alamo Loses an Old Friend

By Steve Mick

"I think that I shall never see..."

Alamo lost an ancient friend recently. The large oak tree in the meadow at Hap Magee Ranch Park suffered a catastrophic failure in the middle of the night and split right in two. One side fell immediately to earth. The remaining section stayed erect but was deemed much too dangerous to remain standing. Crews took down the rest of this grand old tree the next day. It was estimated that the oak was about 150 years old. This means that it started its life shortly after the American Civil War concluded. This relic of history will be sorely missed.

Alamo residents have always had strong emotional ties to our trees. The Boulevard of Trees Project is perhaps the best example. This was organized by the late Andrew H. Young and other community leaders. The goal was to beautify Alamo by planting trees along Danville Boulevard. The project was active from 1987-2005 with the mission of enhancing and preserving the rural character of Alamo.

As part of the project Alamo residents were invited to purchase a tree that would be planted on Danville Blvd. A tree cost $100 and a tree that included 3 years of watering and maintenance cost $250. The project was a success. From 1989 to 1993, there were about 90 tree dedications from individuals and organizations. Many people chose to dedicate their tree in memory of a loved one. The trees were identified by location so that the buyers could know which tree was theirs. However, over the intervening years many of the trees lost their identity.

In response to this issue, the Alamo Beautification Committee (Zone 36) started a marking project to identify every tree in Alamo that was part of the Project. A round aluminum metal tag with the tree identifier was attached to each identified tree. If you see a tree with such a tag, you can be sure that it is an original tree of the Boulevard of Trees Project, and you can also be sure that the tree is a protected tree as defined by County Ordinance 816-6.

For more information visit my website www.alamore.org and click on "Community Information" then select the "Boulevard of Trees" item. Located here is the text of the original brochure and a list of dedications.

"...A poem lovely as a tree." - Joyce Kilmer

Steve Mick is a long-time Alamo resident and is active in a number of community organizations. Among them are the Community Foundation of Alamo, the Exchange Club and the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council. You can reach Steve at steve@alamore.org.

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