A Remarkable southern magnolia

Tree Information
Common Name: southern magnolia
Scientific name: Magnolia grandiflora
Category: Historic tree
Notes: We are the caretakers of a c. 1825 home currently known as "Oak Hill." However, most of the significant plantings on the property predate the current home. (We have an ancient box hedge that was commemorated in 1934 by the Daughters of the American Revolution as being 300 years old at that time. In 2006, that would make our hedge a 372 year old one. General Lafayette shelled the British in Petersburg from emplacements in this hedge.) I feel that I need to nominate our Southern Magnolia not only because of it's monumental size, age and beauty, but because I highly suspect that it may have been planted under Thomas Jefferson's supervision. Before Thomas Dunn built the current home on this property, Jerman Baker, ESQ., friend of Thomas Jefferson built his home in the same place. Part of Baker's c. 1777 stone foundation is incorporated into the walls of our c. 1825 winter kitchen. Knowing T. Jefferson's penchant for plants, and given the age of this specimen, and with 4 species of magnolia present on the property, I feel that the likelihood of T. J's involvement is significant. (The present home is believed built from Jeffersonian plans as it is one-story, celebrates the octagon and has 9 floor-to-ceiling windows.) So our lovely magnolia may have been planted by one of the most important of all Virginians! (She has certainly witnessed alot of history. The present home hosted Robert E. Lee & Traveler on many occasions as well as serving as a civil war hospital and jail.) Oak Hill was home to the attorney who defended Aaron Burr after the duel w/Alexander Hamilton and later home to the veterinarian who cared for and finally hosted the funeral for Fanny Brice's beloved dog. "Oak Hill" is on the state and national registeries of historic places, but this tree is much older and likewise deserves its recognition.
Best time to photograph: Anytime
Nominator: Carla T. Takacs
Location of Tree
County/City: Colonial Heights
Name of tree owner: Frank, Jr. & Carla T. Takacs
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southern magnolia Identification

 

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