The historic live oak tree at the entrance to Raintree subdivision off Taylor Road will continue to greet residents as they head for their homes.
Residents of the Raintree subdivision in Port Orange clapped with joy when they heard that the historic live oak tree at the entrance to Raintree Drive would be saved.
The tree’s fate hung in precarious balance because its roots had grown out into the road, eroding the asphalt and causing hazardous road conditions for drivers. The road is narrow on either side of the tree, so that when cars drive past it, they have to go on residents’ property to avoid hitting the roots.
City Director of Public Works and Utilities Lynn Stevens announced the tree's fate at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 16. The city and the Environmental Advisory Board met in March to discuss all of the options that could be used to solve the problem. It was decided the road and divider would be repaired and the existing roots pruned.
“It saves a beautiful tree, does immediate repairs to the road, repairs the divider and it was also a low-cost option,” said John Macaluso, Environmental Advisory Board chair in an email.
Earlier in the meeting, Raintree subdivision residents Garret Taynai and Dave Vanthoff made passionate pleas to Council to save the tree.
“The tree has always had scenic value, historic value to our neighborhood," Taynai said. "We enjoy its beauty and prestige every time we pass by to our home."
Vanthoff said he has been associated with the tree for over 40 years.
“Instead of removing it, have other considerations been made for repairing it like we’ve done in Town Park, we’ve done on Madeline Avenue, and we’ve done to our own entrance to City Center to save this tree?" Vanthoff said. "Please save it.”