Is this bur oak worth saving?

bur oak  bur oak  
This bur oak tree on South Hwy 3 across from Target/Cub/Applebee’s is on the agenda for Monday night’s council meeting. See p. 26 of the Packet (PDF).

I love oak trees like one but it seems pointless to go to such lengths to keep it when the whole south section of Highway 3 from Woodley/246 to Cty Rd. 1 is mostly a commercial strip with little thought to aesthetics/nature. (continued)



At the February 10, 2009, Planning Commission meeting, the Commission recommended approval of the Bridgewater Commons Final Plat with the following conditions:

1. The 44” existing tree on the property will not be removed when site plan applications are filed with the City. This requirement will be imposed upon the property in the City Council Resolution for the final plat and the development agreement.

The following is further information about these conditions:

1. Existing tree: There is a large bur oak tree that is hoped could be retained when the site is developed. The purpose of condition #1, above, was to require the applicant to make every effort to retain and protect the tree when planning for site improvements, and during actual construction of these improvements.

However, there is no guarantee that despite good-faith efforts, that the tree will survive during construction, or survive after construction is completed (the tree is estimated to be at least 100+ years old, and is easily susceptible to

In addition, in considering the language of condition #1 after the Planning Commission meeting, Staff is of the opinion that the current language would not prohibit the applicant from removing the tree prior to a Site Plan Review application being filed with the City.

Therefore, Staff recommends the following language be included in Resolution 2009-037 and in the development agreement:

  • The existing 44” diameter tree will remain on the property during the 2009 improvements to the site covered under this Agreement. The tree will be protected from damage during site grading, miscellaneous improvements and building construction to the maximum extent practicable. If the health of the tree declines prior to site improvements on Lot 1 Block 2, and the applicant wishes to remove the tree, a forester’s report may be submitted with the site plan review application for consideration by the City.


  1. Peter Millin said:


    There is a reference in the Declaration of Independence to property rights as well.

    We hold these truths to be
    self-evident, that all men are created
    equal, that they are endowed by their
    Creator with certain unalienable
    Rights, that among these are Life,
    Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The phrase “pursuit of happiness” replaced “possessing property”, as declared in the constitution of early Virginia. This was done due to the sensitives around the slavery issue, but in spirit essentially mean the same.

    April 30, 2009

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