Call me a tree hugger, but save the Merrimon magnolia

Kudos to the proposal for a Harris-Teeter grocery store at 136 Merrimon Ave. (on the corner of E. Chestnut and Merrimon). The site is the location of the former Deal Motor Cars; before that, there was a mansion built by George W. Pack — the same Pack of Pack Square and Pack Library.

Mr. Pack, himself a lumberman, had a special fondness for magnolia trees and planted them in places significant to his lifestyle. Presently, there is a 100-plus-year-old magnolia standing on the southwest corner of the lot where the proposed store is to be built.

[According to Steve Vermillion] of Charlotte-based property management company Merrifield Patrick Vermillion, the tree would have to be destroyed in the interest of the project. He told me that smaller trees would be planted to replace it.

I suppose my interest in the matter makes me a tree hugger by proxy, but so be it. This tree is an irreplaceable, historically significant evergreen that has beautiful summer blooms and has graced its spot for as long as I remember. Countless people have remarked to me of the beauty of the tree, unaware of the future peril it faces.

Many of us remember the recent brouhaha that ensued when destroying the magnolia tree [at City-County Plaza] was discussed. I am suggesting a similar action of opposition to the destruction of this tree.

— Dennis Hill


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Call me a tree hugger, but save the Merrimon magnolia

  1. MayBURite!

    I agree with you, and there is nobody who could look me in the eye and call me an environmentalist. If something exists on municipal property, which is of significance, creates a benefit for the public, or is a naturally existing creation of God… Then, it should at the least be the business of those who pay taxes.

    Too often it is easy to take down, instead of put up. Why can the Harris Teeter not exist there with the centennial magnolia tree?
    Although, Ingles has done enough for the community that I don’t know how much I would like them building in this area at all. Except with Ingles prices in the last few years, people may find Harris Teeter prices to be quite reasonable! :P

    So, if defending this tree makes you a tree hugger, then well, maybe it is a worthwhile cause.

  2. Julia Gaunt

    Please save this tree! Trees are like old friends, they have watched us born, live, and die while standing and providing their beauty, their shade, and their wisdom. I connect with the trees around me. Let’s not desreguard what has come before us and may be here long after we are gone….if we give them the respect they deserve and protect them as we should.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.