lovers oak

An arborist using high-tech tools to examine the Lovers Oak near Lake Morton revealed two findings about the endangered intertwined trees this morning: It’s three trees, not two, as popularly thought, and the trees are at least 150 years old.

Joe Samnik of Palm Harbor, who was hired by the city of Lakeland to inspect Lovers Oak, said it will be at least 30 days before he will finish analyzing the data he and his team are collecting this week and can advise the city on the future of the trees.

The city agreed to pay Samnik $3,300 for his work using infrared photography and other tools to assess the tree’s health. City officials had planned to remove the tree after one of its limb fell on a car passing underneath on Success Avenue. Outcry from residents who want to save the landmark oaks led to another expert opinion.

Also: Ledger coverage

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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