Posted 09 May 2008 - 05:18 AM
I was just informed by Mark Torok,an Inspector for the Florida Department of Agriculture, that the Kapok Tree(Ceiba petandra) I nominated located South of Whitehall(Henry Flagler's Mansion)is indeed a State Champion Tree.Mark called me from the tree and said he was "kind of blown away".This is the tree Dave pictured in his Florida travels and I actually nominated it after Eric suggested it.Mark said that they were having great difficulty measuring it's cicumference because it was a little surreal.
The tree has an interesting history.It was planted by the Garden Supervisor at Flagler's Royal Poinciana Hotel in 1892.Flagler passed in 1914 and the Royal Poinciana burned down in the 20's.Flagler's widow,Mary Kenan Flagler,actually wanted it cut down in the 20's because it blocked her view. This led a group of locals to buy the land in order to preserve the tree.The Champion is located on the premises of the Royal Poincianna Chapel at 60 Cocoanut Row,Palm Beach and many weddings take place underneath it's massive shade.
Interestingly,Mark also measured a new Champion Green Buttonwood on the Island the same day.
This tree weathered both the 1928 and 1949 Hurricane no worse for wear.Also watched fires and all sorts of wild things.
"Be kind, for everyone you encounter is fighting a great battle."