Preserving a Treasured Swamp Oak Tree
Right here in Del Ray, we have what I’m told is the second largest swamp oak tree in Virginia. If you live in the area, you’ve likely driven or walked past this magnificent tree many times without realizing it. It’s on the 200th block of E. Glebe, just east of Commonwealth Ave, on the property of the Auburn Village Condominiums.
Residents have been understandably worried that the tree could split during a storm and fall on the homes, or into traffic, or both. The tree (all oak trees in fact) are known to be hollow when they reach their full size. While deciding whether or not to cut it down, board member Steve Kindrick says that “people came out of the woodwork” in the greater Northern Virginia area in support of saving the tree.
He says that many people “who know about trees” already had this tree on their list of exceptional trees. The condominium has since voted to keep the tree, which is still alive but fragile. Steve says he “wouldn’t be surprised if the oak is 150 years old.”
Steve knows well how much effort has gone into maintaining the tree. Apart from the usual branch trimming, he showed me the cables that an arborist installed to keep the tree from splitting down the middle. You can see them running horizontally between the two big trunks in this photo.
Let’s hope the cables continue to do their job and this landmark tree stays healthy and stable for many years to come.
If you know of any other exceptional trees we can feature, please let us know in the comments!