Friday, March 15, 2013

Planted by Teddy, Copper Beech

The Teddy Roosevelt Estate, Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY.
It was his summer home while President. The old victorian home is now maintained by the National Park Service.

From the NY Times:
"Receipts show that the Roosevelts, like many Long Islanders, eventually found some of the greenery for their yard at Hicks Nurseries, which is still going strong after 150 years in business in Westbury. And in 1894, Roosevelt, a country squire as well as the future 26th president, plopped a gray-skinned European copper beech sapling into the ground, placing the tree just to the right of the porte-cochère. The tree's burnished-looking foliage and sculptural limbs were visible from the shallow bay window of Roosevelt's library and kitchen. In a 1905 photograph of Roosevelt in front of the copper beech, its trunk was about eight inches in diameter.

Fast forward more than a century. The slow-growing copper beech, the signature tree of many Gold Coast estates, now looms over the three-story house. The trunk has grown to four feet around with buttress roots at its base that look like elephants' feet. As the cooper beech matured, its branches had to be trimmed from the bottom to keep from brushing carriages coming up the driveway."

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