Trees Atlanta to Harvest Cuttings from Cracker Stadium Magnolias

With these cuttings, new magnolia trees can grow on the BeltLine Arboretum

On August 14th, 2013, Trees Atlanta harvested 180 cuttings from two historic magnolia trees that grow behind the Whole Foods in Poncey-Highland. Sunbelt Rentals generously donated an 80 ft Boom truck to enable Trees Atlanta to obtain quality cuttings of new growth, high in the trees. With each cutting – 5 to 6 inches in length – new magnolia trees with the same genetic makeup can sprout and be planted on the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.

DSC_0152 smaller Photo credit: John Becker Photography

These particular magnolias are beloved in Atlanta, and citizens have spent many years protecting them. You can see them from the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine (immediately north of the Ponce de Leon Bridge).

The trees are also visible in photos of the area circa the 1940s and 1950s; back then, the trees bordered the outfield of the minor league baseball park known as Ponce de Leon Park. The Atlanta Crackers and the Atlanta Black Crackers played in this ballpark, and Baseball legend Babe Ruth and Braves Hall-of-Famer Eddie Mathews are known to have hit home runs into the trees during exhibition games.

“Taking cuttings from these magnolias is a beautiful way to keep them living for generations to come,” says Greg Levine, Trees Atlanta’s Co-Executive Director. “These trees are part of the history of the area. From Cracker Stadium to the old Sears Building – which will soon transform into the Ponce City Market – this area holds many stories that we want to keep alive.”

DSC_0161 smallerPhoto credit: John Becker Photography

These cuttings are now in the care of Bold Springs Nursery, where they will be propagated with a rooting medium, cared for, and eventually planted so they can grow into new magnolia trees. The trees will be planted along the Atlanta BeltLine, and may also be available for purchase to the Atlanta public. They might even be registered as a cultivar!


Posted: August 14, 2013