“Not the chair back cut!”

I fell in love with trees on my annual visits to my Crissman cousins here in Graham. I’d walk their property (now the Elevate 54 apartments) with my uncle and we’d look at the growth over the past year of this Magnolia, that Willow Oak, or mark the slow demise of the ancient Walnut and laugh at the aggressive bamboo. The last time I walked there was the week before it was cleared in 2017, and I realized that everything I saw had been planted in my lifetime. What great memories there, but I could see great lessons in tree selection and placement all around me, primarily that we don’t plant trees for today, but for the tomorrows of the years to come. That where you plant a tree is crucial to the joy it gives as well as its longevity.

This week I’ve got Duke Power in my yard on E. Pine St. Once again they are dealing with a Willow Oak planted 10′ in from the curb, too close to power lines. It has been there 45 years, and today they gave it another
“chair back” cut, a cruel fate for what could have been a noble tree. I hate it, but it is time to end the effort and have it taken down. Like so many homeowners, my parent didn’t know they put the wrong tree in the wrong place.

This will be Graham’s 40th year as a Tree City USA. The Tree Board is committed to celebrating that achievement by reaching out to you with helpful information and educational resources that will enable you to learn about our city’s trees, select the best trees for your property. place and plant them appropriately, and keep them healthy. I’m honored to be able to serve on the Graham Tree Board, a full circle for me I’m sure my Uncle Chris would appreciate.

-Jan Searls

Board Chair