FOLEY – On Charolais Road, two oaks stand where they have been growing since about the time that Foley was founded more than 100 years ago.
The two live oaks on the property of Harold Hamburg were recognized recently in the Foley Century Tree program. In the program, city officials and supporters work to find and recognize the oldest living trees in Foley.
During a presentation recognizing the trees, Hamburg said he recalled the trees growing at what was once his parents house when he was a child.
“I’ll be 85 and as far back as I can remember, they were here and it seemed like they were just about this big,”
He said old family photos show the trees in front of the house east of Hickory Street.
Hamburg bought the house from his parents’ estate after his mother died in 1997. He has worked since then to keep the trees healthy.
Josh Roberts, vegetation management supervisor with Riviera Utilities and a member of the Beautification Board, said the two trees were on the property when Hamburg’s parents built their house in the 1920s. He said the trunk of one tree is 6 feet, 72 inches, in diameter at chest height. The other tree is 63 inches in diameter
Roberts said Foley property owners and other residents can contact the city if they know of a tree that might fit the Century Tree program. Program supporters will come out and evaluate the tree to determine if it qualifies as a Foley Century Tree.
In order to qualify for recognition, a tree must be determined to be 100 years old and in reasonably good condition and expected to live at least 10 years to be designated a Century Tree.
Factors considered in determining age include the size of the trunk. An oak tree must be 30 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet above the ground. Other species should be at least 35 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet above the ground.
Other factors to determine if the tree is at least 100 years old can include dated photographs or written statements.
The Foley Revitalization and Beautification Advisory Board will examine and measure each tree nominated, and will decide if all criteria are met. The city will record the pertinent information and will provide one plaque per species, identifying and recognizing the tree, to the private property owner.
A property owner with more than one Century Tree per species can buy additional plaques from the city. Plaques provided by the city should be displayed with the tree.
Anyone wanting more information can call 251-943-1545.