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From lumber to legacy

From lumber to legacy

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Historic trees felled to make way for Lowe’s will be used to preserve and restore Albany’s oaks

The white oaks removed this fall from the property at Ninth Avenue and Oak Street date back to the days of Abner Hackleman, namesake of Albany’s Hackleman Historic District.

City officials are making sure, however, that the legacy of the eight trees, once part of the Hackleman Grove, will live on.

Students from South Albany and West Albany high schools spent Saturday morning at the Kenagy farm in North Albany, milling the trees into lumber.

The wood will be dried in a kiln over the winter, then distributed to woodworkers in the mid-valley and elsewhere to create quality artwork and

furniture for auction next fall, said Mark Azevedo, a member of the city of Albany’s tree commission.

Azevedo said all proceeds from the auction will go to oak restoration in Albany, including areas at Kinder Park adjacent to where the trees were removed; East Thornton Lake, and the Oak Creek drainage area.

The white oak trees were removed to make way for the new Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. They are believed to be between 150 and 270 years old and ranged in diameter from 24 to 37 inches. They weighed 44 tons altogether, and it took two log trucks to carry them to the North Albany farm.

Azevedo collected acorns from the felled trees, kept some and sent others to the Institute for Applied Ecology in Corvallis. There, ecological educators worked with biology teacher Jim Wach at the Linn-Benton Juvenile Detention Center to help youths in custody plant 150 acorns in small pots they’ll keep on site.

Stacy Moore, one of the educators, said the youths will water, keep tabs on and otherwise care for the acorns, which should germinate in the spring. By next winter, she said, they’ll help institute educators plant them at restoration sites.

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