102-year-old decayed magnolia tree removed from Rhodes Hall

A magnolia tree that has stood on Peachtree Street for more than a century has been removed from the front lawn of Rhodes Hall after experts determined it was too damaged and decayed to remain.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation said although the tree had a full canopy of leaves, it was a safety hazard. 

Spokeswoman Traci Clark said the nonprofit consulted with an arborist and a landscape architect before making the decision to take it down. The tree was “entirely hallow,” according to a release.

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The tree trunk had been stabilized for years with a steel safety cable, which recently snapped.

The tree was planted in 1917 when the original owners, furniture magnate Amos Giles Rhodes and his wife, Amanda, lived there. 

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In 2017, the Georgia Trust completed a sustainable rehabilitation of Rhodes Hall, which included the installation of a sustainable landscape that alleviated issues with drainage and erosion. At that time, many sustainable shrubs and trees were added to the site, leaving the imprint of the original landscaping intact. 

 To memorialize the tree, the Trust plans to work with a wood carver to create wood art pieces from the tree’s trunk and take cuttings from the tree so saplings can be rooted. 

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