Publish Date

A small white oak tree, secured with staked lines, stands on the lawn in front of a brick building.

The new white oak tree was installed on Jan. 4, 2023, on the northwest lawn by the Health Technologies Building. [Photo by Brad Losh]

Fayetteville Technical Community College welcomed a new resident to campus this week.

A newly planted white oak has been installed on the northwest lawn beside the Health Technologies Building.

The tree replaces an old giant of the same species that had to be removed due to disease and infestation. The old white oak, a massive specimen that predated the establishment of Fayetteville Technical Institute in 1961, towered over the surrounding lot. Its many branches cast long shadows over Devers Street and the HTC walking bridge throughout the day.

A huge white oak tree stands in the lawn in front of the Health Technologies Building.

The old white oak tree was in place before Fayetteville Technical Institute’s establishment in 1961. [Photo by Brad Losh]

A close-up photo of the white oak tree's trunk shows dead, discolored wood.

The old tree had to be removed due to disease and infestation. [Photo by Brad Losh]

A grounds technician stands in front of the tree for perspective.

Grounds technician Brandon Woodard stands in front of the old oak tree. [Photo by Brad Losh]

But that old oak was beyond saving, despite the best efforts of FTCC’s Grounds Department and several outside arborists.

“It’s become a hazard, and we don’t want it to fall on anybody,” said Ashley Reid, FTCC Grounds Supervisor.

The tree was removed the last week of December, and some sections were saved in hopes of using the wood in the creation of some to-be-determined commemorative pieces for the College.

The tree’s replacement sprouted in 2004, and while young compared to the now-removed tree, it has quite the pedigree, according to Green Biz Nursery’s VP of Operations Charlie Allen.

The new oak “is a Cumberland County native and grown near the banks of the Cape Fear River,” Allen said.

Its parent tree has served as the mother tree for all white oaks grown at Green Biz in the last three decades.

After being transplanted three times, the new tree was finally harvested this fall. Allen said the plant comes from a historic piece of land that was one of the original landing sites along the Cape Fear River during colonial times.

“We are proud that this tree can continue to be a part of Cumberland County history,” Allen said.