Seminole County residents upset over possible historic tree demolition

80-year-old tree to be knocked down for housing development

WINTER PARK, Fla. - A historic live oak tree in Seminole County is in danger of being demolished due to a housing construction.

It's a natural landmark for many residents and has been around at least 80 years.

For 80-year-old Larry Floyd the live oak tree on Dodd Road isn't just a tree.

"Its just part of us," says Floyd. "I get emotional about anything that needs to be protected."

He remembers growing up and going to see the tree when he was a kid.

"We went up there in a model T-Ford to see the big tree," he said.

But the iconic tree is in danger of being demolished because of a housing development. County officials have already approved a rezoning permit.

Developers say they have to get rid of the tree to install a storm water treatment system to comply with state and county regulations.

But after a public outcry, the developer is considering options to keep the tree intact.
They may either leave the tree on a lot and place driveways around it or move the tree closer to Dodd Road.

James Watson said he doesn't like either option.

"Man I'd hate to see it go. I don't like the thought of transplanting it and seeing the tree die," he said.

Watson says he's seen hundreds of people over the years stop and take pictures of the tree, even paint it.

But with construction set to start in the fall time may be running out to save this natural wonder.

Something that saddens Larry Floyd.

"I'd like to keep something around here I'm familiar with. All the landmarks are gone that I grew up with," Floyd said.

Developers are supposed to be meeting with residents soon to discuss the options. Its not clear when a final decision will be made about the tree.

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