For years, visitors to Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro have been greeted by a majestic tree line of pin oak trees as they entered the historic grounds. It is not only a location filled with Old South history but a source of community pride where the story of Middle Tennessee prosperity and the Civil War is shared with almost 15,000 visitors each year.
"Preserving and maintaining the cultural and natural landscape at Oaklands is one of our top priorities," said City Parks & Recreation Director Lanny Goodwin. "We recognize that this historic place is not only a significant piece of Middle Tennessee history but an important legacy for visitors and future generations to enjoy."
The mansion and visitor center is operated by Oaklands Historic House Museum. Oaklands Park is operated and maintained by the City of Murfreesboro. The City of Murfreesboro's Urban Environmental Department was recently asked to evaluate the pin oak trees at the request of the Parks & Recreation Department which maintains the 31 acre grounds. The City Urban Environmental Department discovered a bacterial leaf scorch that will inevitably lead to the death of the beautiful pin oaks at Oaklands.
"Nature is often very resilient and we always hope that mature trees like these oaks can eventually recover," said Superintendent Kane L. Adams. "Unfortunately, that is simply not the case with the trees at Oaklands."
Based on this careful assessment, the Urban Environmental Department is implementing a long-term plan of treatment, removal and replacement of the trees lining the drive at Oaklands.
"The current pin oaks will be replaced with nuttall oaks that are resistant to bacterial leaf scorch and other diseases and devastating insects," added Adams. "The nuttall is also one of the fastest growing oaks and has a similar form with attractive coloring in the fall."
The current plan calls for the removal of from five to seven of the most severally infected pin oak trees in November and December 2014. The remaining oaks that will be left will undergo treatment with the aim of keeping the trees healthy for as long as possible. In late winter or early spring 2015, one nuttall oak ranging from 12' to 16' feet tall will be installed in the southeastern portion of the driveway. The treatment, removal and replacement cycle is expected to last for at least five years, possibly longer depending on how well the existing trees respond to treatment.