In 2007, the City of Solvang graciously offered our gathering a spot in Hans Christian Anderson Park to plant a Live Oak Tree in honor of our companions. A member of the Solvang Parks Department was the person who came up with the idea of the tree to honor our hounds. It appears that not only was the Solvang City Council happy with our previous visits, too, so were their city employees and citizens.
During our 2007 gathering, we had a beautiful Live Oak tree planted in Hans Christian Andersen Park. In honor of ALL Greyhounds, there’s a permanent plaque at the dedication of our tree. The live Oak tree and plaque is serving as a permanent reminder to all of our special link to our hounds and with the city of Solvang.
During your visit to Solvang, please stop by Hans Christian Andersen Park and take a moment to see our beautiful tree and plaque.
(click on the images to enlarge)
The Tree – a Celebration of Life
A message was posted on our west coast gathering list by an ‘anonymous source’ that puts into words those ideals that we all feel but often have a hard time expressing;
“…I would like it to be for a celebration of life. This is where we
celebrate the lives of those hounds that have graced our life and now have moved
on, it also celebrates the lives of those hounds that are with us now. A tree
with deep roots that spreads its branches and affords its shade to anyone that
wants to rest, to me that is symbolic of our greyhound community. The roots are
deep and wide spread, there are many different branches all going in different
directions, all welcoming anyone that would like to share the joy of having a
greyhound in our lives. And yet, all those branches spring from one trunk, the
one unifying ideal that all greyhounds are worthy of a retirement.”
About the Live Oak Tree
The Oak tree is our national tree – a favorite for it’s beauty, shade, strength, food source and dense wood. Here are a few facts about the Live Oak tree:
The Live Oak tree has been called majestic, romantic, and “one of the most impressive trees in North America.” They will thrive in almost any location and have superior wind resistance. The character of Live Oaks can change dramatically with location, however. On drier sites it assumes a dwarf form and near the northern climates it drops its leaves in the fall like any ordinary broad-leaf tree.
This magnificent, broadleaf evergreen tree will be a picturesque addition to your landscape. It grows rapidly when young and may live to be centuries old. Adapts to almost any soil. Live Oaks can be used as street trees. Tolerant of salt spray. Grows 40′-80′, with an 80′ spread. (Zones 7-10)
Sweet live oak acorns are at the top of the food preference list for birds such as wood ducks, wild turkeys, quail, and jays, and mammals such as squirrels, raccoons, and whitetail deer.
The Live Oak provides one of the most indelible images of the Old South. The huge branches of Live Oak festooned with Spanish Moss and spreading horizontally over grassy lawns conjure up images of antebellum plantations. The tree has long been a favorite tree not only for its beauty and shade, but for its strong and dense wood. It was once so valuable for wooden vessels that the Navy maintained its own Oak forests. The early Native Americans liked it too, extracting an oil from its sweet acorns that was something akin to modern olive oil. It earned its place in American history as the lumber used in the construction of the naval frigate USS Constitution, and when British cannon balls bounced off the hull during a battle, the vessel was thereafter known as “Old Ironsides.”