The sprawling oak tree that graces the lawn at Lanier Charter Career Academy at The Oaks will be taken down, Hall County school officials said Monday night.
“We’ve been working with arborists over the past year and a half to see if there was anything we could do (to save it), but … it looks like the tree is just not going to make it,” Matt Cox, director of facilities, told the Hall Board of Education.
“It’s looking very sad right now.”
The tree could be about 125 years old, Cox said.
“It’s just an old tree. They have a life, and this one is at the end of its life,” he said.
Superintendent Will Schofield said that when the academy was built, “we had to cut some of the root system, and we knew at that time that was not going to be good for an old, fragile tree.”
The tree is more than just a historic fixture off Atlanta Highway near Tumbling Creek Road.
It’s part of the school’s name and is featured in images and logos related to the school.
“It’s actually two trees wrapped into one, which is the reason that facility was named The Oaks,” Schofield said.
The beloved tree may live on, however, as lumber.
“If you all happen to know any local furniture makers, we’d love to build a huge, family-size table and put it in the middle of the Bistro, and put the story in the middle of it,” said the school’s director, David Moody.
The Bistro is a student-run restaurant at the academy.
“We do want to salvage as much of that lumber as possible,” Schofield said. “Until we cut it down and see exactly what we have, we just don’t know what we’ll get out of it.
“But rest assured, a piece of (the effort) will be to replant three trees that are as big as we can possibly transplant safely and to keep on the legacy of the oaks.”