Historic tree gets TLC from its PCP

TreatyOak_01 TreatyOak_02After 25 years of annual and biennial checkups, Early Piety could be considered the primary care physician for the 250-year-old live oak tree known as Treaty Oak.
Over the years Piety and his company, Specialty Tree Surgeons, has removed deadwood, ensured that no infrastructural changes or improvements to the Jessie Ball duPont Park interfere with the tree’s root system, and consulted on the installation of the under-tree decking and the watering system.
“This tree is too old for foot traffic on the root system or tree climbing,” said Piety, who has owned the business since 1980. “The decking was built to protect the soil from getting compacted. It’s tree-compatible.”

During an all-day checkup on May 31, Piety kept a watchful eye on tree climbers Glen Westfall, Logan Patterson, and Doug LaFortune (who drove up from Winter Park for the privilege of climbing the 250-year-old tree). David Markley, foreman for 31 years, was also on hand to monitor the careful trimming.
The live oak, whose girth is far wider than its 70-foot height, has been witness to a lot of history, including weddings held under its boughs and, according to Piety, a lot of cremated remains are scattered under the tree, but the story about a treaty signed by Native Americans and early settlers is probably

According to Piety though, back in the 1930s-40s “shade tree mechanics” would change oil or work on the engines, polluting the ground, and that was bad for the tree. “No one took care of the tree before it was deeded to the city in 1940,” noted Piety. But it endured because it has perfect growing conditions of high, well drained sandy soil. The irrigation system was installed about 10 years ago when Piety determined that the majestic oak was suffering from lack of water during a 10-year drought.

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