Lexington is home to an astonishing number of very large, very old trees. Many of these trees were here before the city was settled and represent the original vegetation of the Bluegrass. As the city grew, the native woodland pastures were cleared for development, but the finest trees were often kept in yards, parks and even in industrial areas. Please join Venerable Trees for a guided tour of Lexington's finest trees on Saturday, October 14.
Here are a few of my favorite Lexington trees.
Bur oak at Dixie Elementary
Bur oak, Eastland Parkway
Blue ash trees in Ecton Park
Bur oak at Hamburg
Ancient trees at Hamburg
Bur oak on South Broadway
Bur oak at Kirklevington Park
McConnell Springs oak
Old Schoolhouse oak
Bur oak at UK campus
Bur oak at Hamburg
Bur oak at St. Joseph Medical Center
Bur oak, Russell Cave Rd.
Chinakpin oak on Chinquapin Lane
Shumard Oak, the Fayette County champion, Strawberry Fields
I have lived in and near Lexington for about 35 years. As a careful observer of trees, I have always been amazed at the number of very large trees. This became the subject of my first book, Venerable Trees - History, Biology and Conservation in the Bluegrass. Since 2005, we have been working with landowners and others to conserve our ancient trees and to provide opportunities for them to successfully reproduce. As part of that work, we have been using GPS and GIS to map and record the condition of as many trees as possible.
Sadly, the population of big, old trees in our community is continuing to decline. While construction, lightning, age and disease are major causes of their decline, I think there is a more fundamental problem: we do not sufficiently value our great trees to ensure their survival.
We are planning a walking and bus tour of some of the Great Trees of Lexington in an effort to bring more attention to their plight, and to create a community-wide effort to do more to preserve our natural heritage. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, September 16 from 8:30 am to 1 pm. We will begin our exploration at West 6th Brewing, travel by bus to as many sites as time allows, and return to West 6th for an informal discussion of ancient tree conservation. Each participant will receive a map of known large trees in Lexington.
Attendance is limited to 30 people. We hope you will join us. Register here and we will send you more information.