Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Mighty Oaks in Hopkinsville, KY

Beautiful old trees, currently safe from development


Big oak trees in Hopkinsville, KY

These big, beautiful oaks grow at the edge of a small field within the city limits of Hopkinsville, KY. This photograph was taken from the Aldi's parking lot. The trees grow on a knoll, just above Little River.

I was worried about these trees six or eight years ago when someone bought the lot just to the north of them and constructed the building you can see at the left in the photo. Their roots were surely disrupted by the activity, but they have survived.

As it turns out, the gentleman who put up the building also bought the lot where the trees stand. He didn't want anyone else to buy it and cut the trees down. I'm glad that the oaks in the photo are protected for now by someone who appreciates them.

I have stopped and examined some of the other big oaks that grow in this field a little farther down the road, and I believe them to be Southern red oaks (Quercus falcata.) I've always thought that the oaks in the photo are probably Southern red oaks too, though I've never had a chance to look at them closely.

The field is for sale, so the future of the other big oaks that grow in it is uncertain. I don't think that Hopkinsville has a tree ordinance to protect trees like these. They are at the mercy of the landowner, though they enhance the quality of life of all who live in Hopkinsville.

3 comments -- please add yours:

Chris M said...

Even on a purely fiscal level, large trees like that add a lot to the property value. You would think people wouldn't be so eager to cut them down.

Genevieve said...

I agree completely, Chris, but I've been worried ever since the "For Sale" signs went up. That little field is just one block off Hopkinsville's main commercial street, Fort Campbell Boulevard. I'm afraid someone will put in a business and the trees will come down so the parking lot can be bigger. Or, the new owners will imagine that it's somehow risky to leave the trees in place because they're so big.

Chris said...

Beautiful trees, lets hope they remain. If the future reflects the past you are probably right there will most likely be a parking lot in its place.

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Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

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Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

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