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Historic Oakland Foundation Launches Tree Canopy Fund

By Angie Wynne
Historic Oakland Foundation announces the launch of a fundraising campaign aimed at raising $1 million dollars to preserve the tree canopy at Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery. The goal is to remediate 50% loss of canopy by preserving, protecting, and planting trees.
Oakland Cemetery spans 48 acres and is one of Atlanta’s largest greenspaces. It is home to more than 1,600 trees. Some are saplings, while others are close to 200 years old, ranging from majestic oaks (the cemetery’s namesake) and southern magnolias to iconic crape myrtles and dogwoods, hundreds of species in all. Oakland’s arboretum, while providing cooling shade for visitors and adding to the site’s beauty, helps to preserve both family and city history. It also provides measurable environmental benefits: reducing pollutants in Atlanta’s air, reducing erosion and providing habitat for wildlife.
Unfortunately, since 1982, Oakland Cemetery has lost approximately half of its tree canopy due to drought and climate change, pollution, lightning strikes, old age, diseases, pests, and other causes. Sick and dying trees pose a risk not only to visitor safety but also to historic monuments and healthy trees within the cemetery.
“The trees at Oakland are living monuments and often the only connection to families from generations past,” said Historic Oakland Foundation Executive Director David Moore. Historic Oakland Foundation is committed to preserving the cemetery’s canopy for the enjoyment of future generations and to providing our trees with the care they need.
Funds raised will allow Oakland to continue to implement a Tree Care Action Plan created 2012 by Spence Rosenfeld, founder of Arborguard, Inc. Trees will receive organic soil therapy, remedial pruning to remove weak and damaged limbs, support cabling, lightning protection, and more where necessary.
“Our trees are a priceless legacy. Many are over 150 years old and have watched Atlanta’s history unfold, but they need our support if they are to be here in the future,” Says HOF Director of Gardens Sara Henderson, “We hope the community will contribute to this effort to protect these trees for all to enjoy, now and for years to come.”
Contributions to the Tree Canopy Fund may be made by visiting or contacting HOF at 404-688-2107.

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