As construction crews begin clearing the way for a realigned intersection of Boundary Street and Robert Smalls Parkway/SC 170, Beaufort city leaders are working to save a century-old live oak located at what will be an improved First Street. The tree is a 51-inch diameter live oak and is likely between 100 and 150 years old, arborist Michael Murphy said.
“Live oaks are an important part of Lowcountry culture as well as Southern culture,” Murphy said. “These iconic trees have come to identify the South. Every historical Southern event seems to have happened under or near the canopy of a live oak. This tree’s location, in a prominent site on a future bend in a new road which would place it in the view of all who would be using the new road, is reason enough to preserve and maintain it.”
“We recognize that we can’t save all the trees affected by this project, but when we have a chance to save a live oak, we are certainly going to try,” said David Coleman, senior project manager for the City of Beaufort. “When this part of the road is completed, this big tree will help anchor the end of the road as it starts to bend at the river,” he said.