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Lake View Cemetery

12316 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106

216.421.2665

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Moses Cleaveland Trees Revisited

June 22, 2021

When Chad Clink was studying Arboriculture at Kent State University, he climbed a tree for the first time in his life. As he ascended the 80 ft tall white oak, he was so invigorated that something just clicked. “I want to do THIS!”

Now an Arborist Representative for Bartlett Tree Experts, Chad takes the joy and reverence he experienced during that inaugural climb and uses it to care for many species of trees and most importantly, educate others on how best to look after them as well.

Lake View Cemetery is fortunate to have someone like Chad overseeing our vast and historic tree canopy, particularly, our seven Moses Cleaveland trees, which would have been standing when Moses Cleaveland discovered the city that came to bear his name. This year marks the 225th anniversary of that fateful milestone, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to tap into Chad’s knowledge and passion.

“Moses Cleaveland trees are a venerable specimen and really the crown jewel of the region.” He shares with excitement. “Lake View has five species; American Beech, Tuliptree, White Oak, Sycamore, & Red Oak. It is very unusual to have seven trees in such a small radius. This is a testament to the unique oasis of Lake View which allows these trees to grow undisturbed, and to the staff of Lake View for caring for them so diligently.” Of course, Chad and his team at Bartlett do their part to ensure the safety and longevity of the trees with pruning, cabling, and most recently, lightening protection.

In 1946, Arthur B. Williams, a Museum educator, and a naturalist with the Cleveland Metroparks, formed a committee to identify these notable trees and mark them so the public could acknowledge and appreciate them. Verifying these trees around the region is an ongoing process, but Lake View is proud to have ours tallied for our community to enjoy.

These majestic wonders are not only elegant to behold, but as Chad explains, there are numerous environmental benefits to their presence in our cemetery. “They improve the air quality by removing ozone and reducing carbon. They absorb stormwater from running into the lake and the community drainage systems. They provide shelter and food for wildlife, and there are even studies showing the positive effects on our mental health from sharing space with these trees.”

Our Moses Cleaveland trees greatly contribute to the well-being of the entire community, not just those visiting the cemetery. As we prepare to celebrate their 225 years, what better way to honor these historic landmarks than to lead by example and acknowledge our responsibility to continue to protect them.

“Lake View is a horticultural mecca, and the tree canopy is the backbone.” Chad declares with pride. “Unlike commercial or residential areas that are subject to change, rural cemeteries provide a green space that is protected forever. When the community contributes funds to preserve these trees, they are securing a cultural legacy and some of the most important infrastructure for the greater Cleveland area, now and in perpetuity.”

On July 22, 2021, Lake View will have a small birthday party for our Moses Cleaveland trees. If you are visiting the cemetery at that time, take a moment to sing happy birthday to them as you pass by!

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