Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio


"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

....And, What about Trees at Cemeteries? Good or Bad or Both?


First - the Good: 

Sharing this June 12, 2017 story from the "Urbana Daily Citizen" in Champaign County, Ohio entitled:  "Planting Leaves of Comfort" by Joshua Keeran about the Woodstock Lions Club's mission to plant 100 new trees within a five year period at two Rush Township Cemeteries - Maple Grove Cemetery located just outside of North Lewisburg and the Woodstock Cemetery.  

Both cemeteries are active / registered cemeteries with newer burials and frequent visitors, which is important to note. 

As stated in the article: 
“The ash trees are gone, the maples are dying of old age, and no one is replanting trees to restore the natural beauty of the cemeteries,” said Woodstock Lions Club President Tim Kemper. “These cemeteries were plotted on peaceful parcels of land over two centuries ago.
“Visiting a cemetery to pay respects to loved ones is an emotional experience that can be enhanced listening to the breeze blow through the leaves of the trees, and the shade provided can be soothing on hot days,” he added."
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Next, the Bad:
But, what about the adverse events that so often strike trees over time that cause them to lose large limbs or even topple completely over?  Afterward a once tranquil (and safe!) scene will become a devastated landscape of scattered damaged and destroyed gravestones lying beneath downed branches and heavy limbs. 
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AND,
Trees do need some TLC as we know. 
Photos below are from the South Murray Ridge Cemetery in Lorain County, Ohio where there are several mature trees, however, many have not been routinely pruned.  Over time trees grow and their roots surround and encroach the markers and monuments as shown below.
(Also, gravestones under trees tend to develop more lichens and moss on them.)
 The large monument below is barely visible now.
It is tightly squeezed between two large bushes that have been
left unattended and allowed to become huge!
 If this one large tree to the right shown below became uprooted and toppled over, how many
grave markers would be destroyed? 

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Thus, I think we can see that trees are not the best of friends for cemeteries or grave markers due to several reasons although they provide welcome shade and some coolness on bright sunny hot days for those visiting them.  
It is important that caretakers properly and routinely care for the trees as well as the cemetery grounds so neither are neglected.  

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