(From left) Resident curator Sarah Kirk looks on as Rossen Landscape employees plant a white oak at Turner Farm on Wednesday, Nov.18, gifted by the Great Falls Citizens Association.
The new maple and white oak are not the same. They will never replace the bold, imposing white oaks that recently toppled at the Old Forestville Schoolhouse located on Fairfax County property adjacent to the Great Falls Grange. But members of the Great Falls Citizens Association wanted to make a difference for future generations. Now the new maple graces the area in front of the Schoolhouse. The white oak is planted at the Grange Park playground, waiting to shade Great Falls children not yet born.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, employees at Rossen Landscape planted the two trees on the property. Bill Canis, who is President of the Great Falls Citizens Association, said “Great Falls Citizens Association has an ongoing partnership with Fairfax County Park Authority to provide new trees in local parks.” According to Canis, the Association worked with the Park Authority to identify the need for the trees, find the right locations, call 811 to mark underground utilities, receive permission and then the Association purchased the trees.
It was a little over two weeks after remnants of Hurricane Zeta brought heavy rains and strong winds to the region on Friday, Oct. 29, leaving the soil saturated. The first tree toppled early that morning. The second tree without warning crashed two days later on Monday, Nov. 2. It’s massive trunk and branches blocked Innsbruck Avenue. Later, it was determined to be over 200 years old, according to Canis. There was no visible inner damage to its trunk or base. Saturated soil may have contributed to either or both trees falling, but at this time, the Association is still checking into the matter.
The Association also worked and funded expenses for a third tree, a white oak to be planted on Fairfax County property at Turner Farm House, home to resident curator Sarah Kirk and her family.