Greenwood honors citys oldest tree

By Jacob Musselman

The plaque shows the diameter of what the tree would look like. (Photo provided by the City of Greenwood)

The Greenwood Parks Foundation, in partnership with the Greenwood Parks & Recreation Department, recently installed a placard commemorating one of Greenwood’s oldest tree, located in Craig Park.  The chinquapin oak tree, which is still standing today, was recently aged by an arborist to be over 300 years old, most likely spouting in the mid 1720s.

The Foundation also announced approval for an additional $1,000 in funding to plant more native trees to ensure a large canopy will blanket Craig Park for centuries to come.

The placard, located south of the Little League field and just west of the Greenwood Department of Public Works building, explains the value of the 70-foot, 300-year-old oak tree to the environment, wildlife and humans. With the tree being so old, the rings on the tree show the different points in history that the tree was around for.

The signage also highlights the importance of native tree species to Greenwood’s ecosystem.  The placard is designed to spark viewers to imagine what the tree may have seen over the course of its life and to inspire individuals to recognize the long-term value of investing in trees.

To help carry on the tradition of the tree, the Parks Foundation also plans to purchase at least five large-caliper oak trees.

“Part of making Greenwood a beautiful place to live, work and play is investing in the landscape and native vegetation within,” Mark Myers, Greenwood Mayor said in the press release. “I am honored to work alongside the Greenwood Parks Foundation as they nurture new roots that will one day be in the hands of our city’s grandchildren and beyond.”

Krista Taggart, Greenwood Parks Foundation President, said the project encapsulates the foundation’s mission to promote, preserve and enhance public parks, green spaces and recreational programs in the city through advocacy, education, fundraising, strong partnerships and diverse community involvement.

“Planting new oak trees in Craig Park shows our commitment to keeping Greenwood green and safeguarding our parks for the future,” Taggart said in the press release. “We hope the public will be inspired by both the artwork honoring Greenwood’s oldest tree and our commitment to planting new native tree species in Craig Park and consider planting native trees in their own backyards. I would also like to extend a huge thank you to Friends of the Parks for allowing us to invest in our parks’ future.”