07 Mar Remembering Eden Park’s Clara Barton Oak Tree
“A society grows great when old (wo)men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb
It is with great sadness that on March 9, 2020, the beautiful 90-year-old Clara Barton Oak Tree overlooking Eden park will be laid to rest. She lived a long, happy and fulfilling life and will be missed.
The Willow Oak Tree was planted in 1930 and dedicated to the late Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross who, among many things, provided relief effort in Cincinnati during the Great Flood of 1884.
The Clara Barton Oak Tree lived through many significant and defining moments in American and World history. She stood tall through World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Afghanistan Wars. She was around for many inventions, including the microwave oven, the polio vaccine, the World Wide Web and smart phones. The Clara Barton Oak Tree was also alive for many local happenings, such as the opening of Union Terminal, the comings and goings of former basketball team The Cincinnati Royals, 43 WEBN Fireworks shows and 24 Krohn Conservatory Butterfly Shows.
The Clara Barton Oak Tree represented strength, resistance and knowledge. Over the years, she provided thousands of visitors with shelter, shade and beauty. But recently, she has grown tired. She has become structurally unsound and is tilting, which could lead to road blockage and presents safety concerns. She has also endured at least one lightning strike and has dropped a large lead (a large branch 10″ or more in diameter), which has caused decay in the tree trunk. For these reasons, her removal is unfortunately imminent.
The Clara Barton Oak Tree will be missed, but always remembered as a legend. She will leave behind a new oak tree in her place that, in time, will grow and flourish into a beautiful willow oak tree, just like her predecessor.
Maintaining and expanding the City’s tree canopy is a major part of the mission that Cincinnati Parks carries out each year. Last year, Cincinnati Parks provided 827 trees for our ReLeaf Program including 1,973 trees planted across the city. Cincinnati Parks maintains roughly 655,000 trees of trees annually and we are continuously expanding our urban canopy.
Where was the Clara Barton Oak Tree located?:
In Eden Park just past the bridge going to Spencer Overlook. A plaque is in place near where the oak tree was located. Cincinnati Parks will be planting a new oak tree in this area.