The "Climbing Magnolia" at Piedmont Park fell when its root plate fractured. This photo taken by a Piedmont Park Conservancy employee reveals the column of rot that failed to counterweigh the popular climbing branches on the other side of the tree. (Courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy)
Photo: Courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy
Photo: Courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy

Piedmont Park's Climbing Magnolia comes down

One of Midtown's most recognizable landmarks is no more. The "Climbing Magnolia" of Piedmont Park fell Friday night and had to be chopped up for safety reasons, according to Piedmont Park Conservancy CEO Mark Banta. 

For generations, the tree near the entrance to the Clara Meer gazebo has been a popular spot for photographs, with two low horizontal branches that could support the weight of visitors. It was featured earlier this year as one of the AJC's "20 Atlanta trees you should know." 

The magnolia's root plate fractured, revealing a column of rot, according to Banta. It remained intact as it fell, and gently rested on the larger climbing branch. 

The Conservancy will take the opportunity to try to learn the tree's exact age, which Banta guessed might be more than 100 years. The Conservancy may also attempt to salvage some of the wood to turn into keepsakes.

"It's just a really important tree that has created a lot of memories for people," Banta said.

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