Zephyrhills 100th Anniversary: Letter to the Editor

By , 28 January, 2010, 1 Comment

To the Editor,

I am writing about the big Camphor tree near Richland that was featured in the July 16 edition of The Zephyrhills News. I owned my own tree service from 1950 until 1986. During 1959, I got a call to remove a tree limb from this Camphor tree that had been killed by a bolt of lightening and I did the job.

a Mr. Renfroe that was living there told me his ad had planted that tree the day Mr. Renfroe was born and that he was 69 years old at that time (1959) and he and that tree were the same age. I measured that tree at that time and it was 27 or 28 feet around the trunk and the limb spread was about 160 feet from the tip of the limb pointing north to the limb pointing south.

I took measurements of that same tree several times since 1959 and the measurements got bigger both around the trunk and the limb spread. The last time I measured it three or four years ago it was 30 feet around the trunk and had a 164-foot limb spread.

There is a Camphor tree in or near Darby, northwest of Dade City, that some claim is bigger than the one near Richland. The owner of the one at Richland and I talked about going to see the one at Darby but we never did.

The Camphor tree is a native tree of Japan but not of the United States. SO there are probably older and larger Camphor trees in Japan.

I think there was an article about the Camphor tree near Richland in The Zephyrhills News in 1990 when it was 100 years old. I am mentioned in the book ‘Zephyrhills From A to Z.’ The book tells how I did work on this tree. It is the biggest tree I ever worked on.

Arthur Fish, Jr.

Countdown to Centennial

Countdown to Centennial
By Madonna Jervis Wise and Clereen Morrill Brunty of the 100th Anniversary Committee, ZHS. Article originally appeared in the Zephyrhills News on July 23, 2009.

All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise

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