Reynolda’s Deodar Cedar

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Reynolda’s Deodar Cedar

Update on Reynolda’s Landscape Project
By: Rebecca Eddins, Project Manager | @CurateReynolda

Despite the recent extreme fluctuations in the weather, Reynolda’s Landscape Restoration Project is progressing nicely. (Get background on the project here.) Part of the project work over the last year has involved the examination of several historic trees on our property. Reynolda House is committed to the care, management and preservation of its historic trees as a critical feature of the landscape. When we examine trees, they are assessed for overall health, pruning, safety, and for various insect infestations. One such tree, a Deodar cedar relatively close to the Museum's front entrance, was examined and found to be in deteriorating health. It was also a safety hazard because of its proximity to our visitor walkways. Noted arborist David Lusk inspected the tree and determined that it was at the end of its life cycle and should be taken down. We asked David to write about this decision and explain the process.   

Deodar cedar

Deodar Cedars at Reynolda House
By: David Lusk

"Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth." -Henry David Thoreau

Deodar cedars provide an evergreen frame of deep forest green that, by design, complement perfectly the white, green and many-windowed architecture of Reynolda House. One of these beloved, historic cedars has over the past few years shown the signs of a slow and progressive decline. Optimistically, the tree was pruned of dead limbs last year and a support cable installed in an ongoing effort to save her for as long as possible in anticipation of Reynolda’s centennial celebrations in 2017. 

Crane outside Reynolda House

True to the life and death cycle of nature, the decline of the Deodar cedar became so pronounced this past autumn that the difficult decision had to be made to remove the tree before it became a safety hazard. Limbs shed their brown cast needles and in stepwise fashion the tree began shutting down. Age, winter damage, and past drought years have sufficiently weakened the tree to allow the entry of secondary pathogens — insect and disease. More than a 50 percent loss of foliage and exuding resin on the trunk are “tree speak” for “my time in the sun is nearly done.” I have been witness to the loss of many important and historic trees over the years. Many of these trees I have known and had the honor to work with for decades. I have learned to listen to them and trust the process.

Removing the Deodar cedar tree

Removing the cedar tree

All of us familiar with these trees and this wonderful place regret the loss. Once the tree is fully removed, a new tree will be planted in the same spot. May a new Deodar cedar speak to the beginning of the next 100 years of Reynolda House.



This is lovely...thanks for sharing the details for those of us who don't get to see the grounds regularly anymore. :)

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