Piedmont Park's Climbing Magnolia has been replaced with something new

Many locals and visitors who had photographed, climbed on or simply appreciated the "Climbing Magnolia" of Piedmont Park, a beloved Midtown landmark, were saddened when it fell in July.

But there's cause to rejoice. The old tree, which is believed to date back to 1895, has been replaced by a 20-foot magnolia.

The nonprofit Piedmont Park Conservancy announced the replacement this month, but the new tree was installed May 19. It is located slightly to the right of the old one, near the entrance to the Clara Meer gazebo.

Mark Nelson, the Conservancy’s Director of Operations, estimates the new tree to be about 15 years old. It’s not expected to be climbable for at least the next 20 years. (In general, the Conservancy doesn’t condone tree-climbing in the park, as it can damage the trees.)

The new tree hailed from Hawkinsville-based Bold Spring Nursery.

The Vasser Woolley Foundation donated $20,000 towards the replacement, installation and ongoing care of the new tree. It has a 70-inch root ball and weighs more than 8,000 pounds.

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