Photos by Shawn Nowlin
Roanoke Valley Tree Stewards Harry Van Guilder and Bobby Lyon Jr. begin measuring the circumference, height and canopy of the giant Osage Orange tree on Salem’s West Main Street.

 

Meg Hibbert Contributing writer

 

If only it could talk, what tales of Salem’s history and people the Osage Orange tree next to Dr. Esther Brown’s home could tell. And now the almost-200-year-old triple-trunked guardian has a new story of its own.

Roanoke Valley Tree Stewards measured the tree up, down, around and in the sky on June 1, using a laser hipsometer. The findings volunteers Harry Van Guilder and Bobby Lyon Jr. will help determine if the tree next should be a candidate for the Virginia Big Tree Register.

“We point the hypsometer at the base of the tree and at the top. It does the math,” Van Guilder explained.

The register includes more than 2,000 documented big trees in Virginia, including two Osage Orange trees in Charlotte County and Fairfax County that are the state’s current No. 1 and No. 2 state as well as being national champions.

The almost-200-year-old Osage Orange tree at Preston Place – where the White Oak Tea Tavern is…



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