Living in downtown Richmond has its perks, whether it’s the ability to walk to a concert or an event without having to deal with parking, or just to visit one of your favorite restaurants at the drop of the hat. You might agree that as you’re navigating the one-way streets, detours, and pedestrians, the one thing the city is not known for is its abundance of nature and healthy beautiful trees. I have learned after years of being in the tree care industry that some of the most amazing trees you’ll ever see can be quickly overlooked. Some can only be viewed from the range of half a block radius of a random downtown corner, the trees you’ll never see as zoom to catch the next traffic light or you’re busy checking the incessant alerts from your phone.
If you happen to be close to the downtown library at the intersection of 1st and Franklin, you can catch a glimpse of a pair of Magnolias I find to be stunning. The trees are nestled together on the northwest corner in front of the Garden Club of Virginia, filling the small space allotted to a bit of complimentary landscaping; which far exceeds their purpose. The elongated limbs stretch and lunge outward from the facade of the building as if some artist sculpted these goliath effigies to remind us of the wonder of mother nature’s arms pulling us back to something long forgotten, or the tentacles of an enormous sea creature ready to snatch the next car that passes. The way some of the branches swoop down to the ground to gently rest and then back up again, it’s as if it’s showing off the ability to go beyond the rules of what it means to just be a tree.
I admire these trees greatly, as I do with so many other trees I see in the city and around the Richmond area, and it’s a wonderful reminder of why I chose to be an arborist in the first place. These trees are not just hypothetically alive, but they are enormous living entities. I haven’t always been the best at realizing I need a break from whatever was distracting me, but when I take that brief moment to look up I never regret what I see.