Merry Oaks: Willow Oak


Tree Location


3517 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28205

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In March 1862, a young man by the name of Cyrus Wolfe enlisted in Company B of the 53rd regiment in the North Carolina Infantry to fight with the Confederate States against the Union. The 53rd was part of Daniels Brigade.TM Wolfe was in command of Company B when they joined General LeeTMs Army, just in time for the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. Within three years, the most devastating war in US history was over, and Wolfe returned to Mecklenburg County a civilian.

Not long after returning home, Cyrus Wolfe, along with his wife, settled in an area above Briar Creek along Lawyers Road (now Central Avenue). They established a homestead, and named it "Merry Oaks." The house was settled atop a hill so the Wolfes could gaze over the fields towards the creek. His family farmed and raised hogs in a pasture down to Briar Creek. As the Wolfe children became adults, their father granted them land on the farm to build their own homes. Most of these new houses were built within close proximity to the main house, and native trees were allowed to grow into majestic landscape specimens.

But with the passage of time, so goes progress. By the 1950s the City of Charlotte had annexed most of the farm, and began dividing it into the neighborhood now known as Merry Oaks. Many of the new streets in this neighborhood were named after Cyrus WolfeTMs children; Flynnwood, Cyrus, Chrystal, and Carolyn. By the 1970s the original family homestead was torn down and replaced by the Woodmere Condominiums.

Most recently, Charlotte-Mecklenburg purchased a large parcel of land at the corner of Merry Oaks Road and Central Avenue where one of Cyrus WolfeTMs childrenTMs home stood. At the center of this piece of land is a majestic willow oak that once stood to the east of this stately home, and provided shade for CyrusTMs grandchildren to run and play during the long Charlotte summers. To the apprehension of the Merry Oaks neighborTMs, trees must be felled to make way for a new police station that will be built on this lot.

Though many trees will fall, the designers of this new police station have pledged to save as many trees as possible. This regal willow oak is set to be preserved and provide shade for the planned station parking. As it once served the WolfeTMs, it will now serve our community. The shade provided by this tree will help relieve the urban heat island effect and reduce the amount of harmful evaporative hydrocarbons emitted from vehicle gas tanks when they heat up in the sun. We praise this Jewel of the QueenTMs Crown, and hope it continues to serve our community for decades to come.

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