TEMPLE TERRACE — When the spreading live oak in Woodmont Park first appeared, the country itself had just sprouted. If the estimation of the tree’s age is accurate, it was there when George Washington was president.
Temple Terrace Leisure Services director Karl Langefeld talked about the tree — said to be about 220 years old — as he accepted the annual Arbor Day proclamation last month from Mayor Mel Jurado.
The city’s Arbor Day observance is set for 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 20 in Riverhills Park. The city will give away seedlings, of native Florida trees including 100 Chickasaw plum and 100 redbuds.
"We are all the stewards of trees and the canopy of Temple Terrace,’’ Langefeld told the council and audience. The Arbor Day observance "emboldens all of us to celebrate the trees in Temple Terrace and continue to have these 200 –plus year old trees growing in our community.’’
Two arborists are expected to address the crowd at the Temple Terrace Arbor Day celebration.
Langefeld said live oaks normally live 70 to 100 years, so the oak in Woodmont Park is unusual. The Temple Terrace Garden Club placed the plaque at its base in 1995 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Temple Terrace.
"When this tree was just a sapling, the USA had only been in existence for 21 years. That is how long that this tree has been growing and thriving in Woodmont Park.’’