Fallen magnolia at Gould's Corner had been set out in 1850s

Zach Boyden-Holmes/ Staff
A workman stands by Monday after the old tree was cut into sections
Monday, Aug 20, 2012 2:30 PM
Last updated 8:49 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Back | Next

Few trees were as deeply rooted in Augusta history as an old magnolia that fell during the weekend at Gould’s Corner.

“It was a very rare tree,” said Roy Simkins, an arborist and historian who had been in the process of nominating the tree as a “national champion.”

The magnolia was likely the largest example of its species – Magnolia cordata, or “yellow magnolia” – and was planted in the 1850s by the Berckmans family, whose Fruitland Nurseries property later became Augusta National Golf Club.

As a species, the yellow magnolia is unusual because it is deciduous, shedding its leaves, while most other species are evergreens. It was often labeled as a variety of the more common species, but eventually earned its own species designation, Simkins said.

The tree, off Walton Way at Milledge Road, had been measured at 38 inches in diameter at breast height, 79 feet tall and had an 84-foot spread, he said. The nomination to the conservation group American Forests would have included dimensions.

On Friday, however, after a century and a half, the old tree fell.

“It was as hollow as a gourd,” Simkins said. “We think it somehow developed some basal decay. It was almost a shell, no more strength.”

On Monday, workers sawed its trunk into sections to be removed, although some of the intricate wood was salvaged.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/20/12 - 03:11 pm
3
0
We are but dust and shadows.

We are but dust and shadows. Horace

Willow Bailey
20579
Points
Willow Bailey 08/20/12 - 03:42 pm
2
0
I hate to hear this. It was

I hate to hear this. It was a gorgeous tree.

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 08/20/12 - 04:48 pm
1
0
replace it
Unpublished

with a weeping willow? bailey

Willow Bailey
20579
Points
Willow Bailey 08/20/12 - 09:22 pm
0
0
I would be honored,

I would be honored, scorehouse:)

mizbilli
8
Points
mizbilli 08/21/12 - 09:18 am
1
0
I actually witnessed the tree

I actually witnessed the tree fall at 4:15 Saturday afternoon...not so much as a breeze in the air - heard a crack and within seconds it was gone. Fortunately no one was out - my neighbor's car was parked inches from the top of the tree landed - he got leaves and a few twigs on the car. Sunday afternoon while the workers were clearing the branches and leaves - we found a baby squirrel - happy to say the little guy was rescued and doing well!

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/21/12 - 11:07 am
0
0
And as the astute child questioned
Unpublished

after the preacher said we are but dust. "Mom, what is butdust?"

Back to Top

Top headlines

Education millage rate slightly drops

The Richmond County Board of Education passed a tentative millage rate for the 2015 fiscal year Monday, a move that could save Richmond County property owners a few cents but would keep tax rates ...
Search Augusta jobs