Large planks from the trunks will be used to reconstruct several of the iconic bridges that hop scotch back and forth over the park’s brook. One of the bridges is the Clapper Falls bridge, seen in this vintage photo:
It crosses right at the Gray Arbor Memorial, which has been significantly degraded from its original state:
(William Gray was the first superintendent of Dumbarton Oaks gardens, serving from 1922 to 1937.)
Right now the only bridge at this point is the trunk of another tree. The milled planks from the oaks will replicate the original rustic design seen above.
The wood will also be used to repair the gate at the entrance at the bottom of Lover’s Lane:
The wood was milled right on site with a rather impressive piece of machinery:
The planks were sent off for kiln drying before being installed in the park:
It’s always sad to lose such large and mature trees, but this is a wonderful way to honor their life and restore a beautiful park to its former glory.