Wilmington, NC, August 15, 2007 – The Wilmington Tree Commission has selected the first tree to its Heritage Tree Program inventory. The Airlie Oak, which is a 462-year-old Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Airlie Gardens, is entry number 0001 in the City’s new Heritage Tree database. The Airlie Oak is also certified as a Champion Big Tree by the North Carolina Forest Service in recognition of it being the largest of its species in the area. The tree has a circumference of 257 inches or more than 21 feet, and a crown spread of 104 feet.
The Wilmington Heritage Tree Program is dedicated to the identification and preservation of heritage trees within the City of Wilmington. Heritage trees are those, which because of their size, age, rarity, overall beauty or historical significance, represent an important aspect of the City’s history or natural landscape.
This program strives to:
- Identify and catalogue Heritage trees within the City of Wilmington.
- Reduce or eliminate the indiscriminate removal of or damage to designated trees.
- Increase public awareness and appreciation of the value of Heritage and other trees that add to the beauty and ecology of the City’s natural and urban landscape.
Trees can be nominated in four categories:
- Specimen: A tree of exceptional size form or rarity
- Historical Significance: A tree recognized by virtue of its association with or contribution to a historic structure, district or its association with a noted person or historic event
- Landmark: Trees that are landmarks of the City
- Collection: Trees in a notable grove, avenue or other planting