Tree Talk - archive

IRS water oak


Along a busy road in northeast Atlanta stands a mammoth water oak tree (Quercus nigra) that's been providing beauty, shade and environmental benefits for more than a century. Known as the "IRS Water Oak," because it is on the Internal Revenue Service's Atlanta Submission Processing Center property, the tree measured 78 feet tall (in 2011), with a circumference of 20 feet, three inches. The tree is considered the largest of its kind inside I-285, with an average crown spread of 100 feet.

In 2008, the Georgia Urban Forest Council designated the tree as a "Historic and Landmark Tree," a process that enhances education about the importance of trees and the need to protect them. It's estimated that on an annual basis this tree can divert approximately 41,489 gallons of storm water, absorb about 3,469 pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and reduce electrical usage by some 900 kilowatts.

The tree is located at 4800 Buford Highway in Chamblee, Georgia, and on Earth Day, 2011 was officially "adopted" by the IRS, which maintains the tree.



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