The video above depicts five top tree care companies donating their service to one of Loudoun County’s oldest properties, Oatlands Historic House & Gardens. As a tree service company, working on older trees is a rare and special privilege, and we were so excited to have the opportunity. Read on to see how it all came about.
On September 24, 2020, Regan Reedy from Oatlands Historic House and Garden reached out to us, looking for a professional arborist to assess Oatlands’ historic trees and recommend a plan of action to care for them. The following Monday, Jim Donegan went out to meet her and the CEO, Caleb Schutz. It was immediately clear that Oatlands was lacking in adequate funding to properly care for all of their trees. Then Jim had an idea, what if he could create a Tree Inventory and customize a 6-Year Plan for the estate, and ask his long-standing competitors if they would donate their time to help this historic property.
If you haven’t visited Oatlands before, there is so much history spanning the beautiful grounds and miles of trails for hiking. From the elegant boxwood garden to the Virginia State Champion Hornbeam tree, there is much to see and discover. We created a map of their 17 historic trees (estimated at over 150 years old!) which you can view as well if you go to https://hosted.arborprousa.com/DNGN-Oatlands/ When you touch the dot on the screen where the tree is, it will pull up the tree’s common and botanical names, its height, the width of the crown, the diameter of the trunk, and some history of the tree. The map also includes all of the grounds and your own GPS location so you will never get lost.
Our goal at Oatlands was to make a tree inventory of the mature and serviceable trees to assess their health and develop a plan of action to bring them back to excellent condition. In October and November of last year, 313 trees were inventoried for Oatlands, 17 of which were classified as historic and estimated to be over 150 years old. A lot of the trees were in need of care that Oatlands simply didn’t have the funds for. Donegan’s Tree Service donated their time and put together the Tree Inventory and 6-Year Plan for free. Phase I of the recommended maintenance included the removal of 4 hazardous trees and trimming almost 100 trees lining the main entrance to the grounds. Knowing the high cost of this work and Oatlands’ limited budget, Jim asked for help with the first phase of work from four other companies in the area and if they would work at a reduced rate or free of charge to give back to the community. He was amazed and delighted with the response. On December 28 and 29, the five best tree companies in Loudoun County came together to work for the beautiful giants of Oatlands: Donegan’s Tree Service, Arbor Artist, JR Landworks, Growing Earth Tree Care, and Barren Tree Solutions.
We hired Rich Goodwyn to film our work with a drone and compile the footage into a video showcasing the maintenance work we carried out.
Thank you to Caleb Schutz and Regan Reedy for reaching out to us for this opportunity to restore the natural beauty of these trees.
written by Aprille Hunter, Operations Manager
January 25, 2021