By Nancy Leighton
Tree lovers in southeast Atlanta have lost another beautiful old oak tree to the weather. The tree located at 520 Boulevard in front of the CVS Pharmacy started life when new houses were first built in Grant Park. The tree was about 125 years old and was a part of the original fabric of the neighborhood. It was planted sometime between 1875 and 1910. The trunk had been trimmed in the past so that the large branches didn’t start until 15 or 20 feet above the ground. They spread out like an umbrella giving cooling shade to Boulevard, the CVS parking lot, and the building itself.
On April 3, there was a heavy rain storm followed by a day of sunshine. On April 5, another storm went through the area, dumping four more inches of rain. These conditions encouraged the trees to open their leaves. The old oak’s leaves were nearly halfway unfurled. The next day, the wind was ferocious, and it caught the new leaves like sails on a boat and blew it over. The top branches hit the façade of the building and knocked bricks off the top. Five or six cars in the parking lot also were damaged.