Historical Society Exploring Area’s Trees

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The cultural and historic significance of the region’s champion trees will be discussed at the Great Neck Historical Society meeting next Thursday.
The cultural and historic significance of the region’s champion trees will be discussed at the Great Neck Historical Society meeting next Thursday.

Trees can tell the history of a community just as buildings or people can. Accordingly, the Great Neck Historical Society will look at the great trees of the community as well as Long Island in a special program at Great Neck House on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Experts John D. Wernet of the Department of Environmental Conservation and Gary S. Carbocci, a certified arborist, will discuss the area’s trees and answer questions during the program, which is free and open to the public.

“Trees are true historians,” said Carbocci, who will explain the Great Tree Registry and show pictures of famous Long Island trees, including some from Great Neck. The speakers will also explain dendrochronology, tree-ring dating known as growth rings, which they call “one of the first bar codes.”

“Builders cut down most of the trees in the area for the construction of Great Neck homes,” noted Carbocci, “and it has been said that the wood in many of the homes may be composed of trees harvested from area property.”

For 35 years, Carbocci has worked for one of the region’s largest landscape design firms, Goldberg and Rodler, and began in the business when he was just 11 years old. A graduate of Farmingdale State College as an ornamental horticulturist, he has documented area trees for previous big tree registries and is past president of the Long Island Arboricultural Association and the New York Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Wernet, a forester spearheading the Big Tree Registry for the Forest Service, will explain how to nominate a big tree for the registry. He will also discuss some of the older big tree registries, highlighting big trees that date back to the early 1950s.

Next month, the Historical Society will present an in-depth look at the Mirrielees family, early settlers of Great Neck Estates, at Great Neck House on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.greatneckhistorical.org.

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