Now that City crews have cleared the hazardous debris from the Memorial Day storm from locations around town, they have been able to spend some time removing the large oak that fell on Overton Bark, closing the all-dogs side for the last couple of months.
As crews cut into the tree, we were able to count the rings and see that this massive tree was only 80 years old! Judging by its height, we had initially guessed it was part of the oldest generation of trees in the park, which date to about 180 years ago. But this one, perhaps because it was out in the open with little competition for sunlight and nutrients, managed to grow very tall very quickly. We’re still so sorry to see it go.
Now that the City’s team has cleared the big limbs, we will move quickly to get everything in good repair so we can re-open the entire dog park. The water fountain was slightly damaged and had sprung a leak, but the City has already made those repairs. Next up, we’ll be pruning dead limbs from the trees that remain (some of which are hanging directly over benches), filling in the hole left by the tree, and adding a new layer of mulch. A volunteer crew from Memphis Dream Center will be out on Thursday of this week to help with some of that work.
We’ve propped up a replacement fence panel for the one lost in the tree fall, and we’ll get that secured this week, as well as replacing another that was damaged all the way in the back of the dog park. (Like we said–this was a massive tree! We’re grateful it didn’t take down the entrance structure.)
All told, this single tree is going to cost us around $7,000 to clean up. If you’d like to help defer those costs, you can make a donation at www.overtonpark.org/give. Arborist Wes Hopper will also be out soon to carve a few benches out of the limbs, and we plan to make those available for sponsorship. He will be carving on-site, so we’ll let you know when you can go see him in action, as well as a firm re-opening date when we have it. Stay tuned!