The Floral City Historic Oak Trees Preservation & Replacement Committee met on Tuesday, 18 July at 9:00 a.m. in the Heritage Museum with Citrus County staff from Public Works Department. The purpose was to agree upon a plan of action to initiate the replacement of historic oaks along Floral City’s “Avenue of Oaks.”
As a background note: in 2008 Gary Maidhoff, Director Citrus County Development Services Department worked out an agreement that the Floral City Heritage Council, and specifically Frank Peters, would be designated as the contact person to Citrus County government for Floral City relative to anything pertaining to the Historic Oaks along Orange Avenue and Aroostook Way, commonly known as “The Avenue of Oaks.”
This contact designation followed the unnecessary loss of a giant oak in 2008 in front of the residence at 8580 E. Orange Ave. Oaks on the Avenue and Way form the basis for the listing of the Floral City Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It was the Heritage Council who applied for the nomination for the NRHP designation and this Historic District is the only National Historic District in the Citrus County.
Since 1991, the Heritage Council and the Floral City Garden Club have worked together with Citrus County to make tree replacements. The Garden Club last planted replacements about ten years ago and Citrus County attempted replacement of the 2008 lost oak that same year. Now the Garden Club and Heritage Council each have raised tree replacement funds. These funds will jointly form the basis for new tree plantings, assistance with ground-planting by the County.
A survey of the individual trees was accomplished by a Certified Arborist in 2001. Much has changed in the past 16 years and a new survey to determine the existing condition of the remaining Historic Oak Trees is the first thing that must be accomplished before any new trees are planted. Meanwhile a list of independent Certified Arborists will be developed for that task and a list of nurseries that grow Grade A-1 Quercus virginiana Live Oaks will be developed.
Also planned are the removal of rain trees, palms and other non-oak trees and invasive shrubs and vegetation in the county right-of-way and to the private property line. This will allow the historic oaks to be dominate and allow better access for the contract mowers to keep this special Avenue looking its best.
We will keep you posted as preservation and replacement take place. For further information about this project please contact Chair Frank Peters at the-fchc@hotmail or (352) 697-2999.