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Monday, July 10, 2017

'Camelot Christmas Tree' destroyed by VDOT

The “Camelot Christmas Tree,” a giant spruce on the corner of King Arthur Road and Brittainy Drive in Annandale that delighted the neighborhood around the holidays for the past 20 years, is gone.

The property owners, Patti and Ed Rager of 3825 King Arthur Road, had it taken down on June 27 after the Virginia Department of Transportation killed the tree by cutting too many branches.

“VDOT was overzealous in pruning its branches, which stressed our 40+-year-old-evergreen. Tree experts have told us it cannot be saved, and it became an eyesore,” the Ragers reported on Nextdoor.

“We have loved our Camelot tree, have fed it, and decorated it for 20 years – a good long run,” they said.

“Having our big spruce decorated for Christmas really was a labor of love, and were happy it brought so much joy to our Camelot community for the past 20 years,” they said.

All that's left.
When the Ragers called VDOT to register their concerns, the superintendent said there had been two neighborhood complaints about the tree as a safety issue, Patti said. “The superintendent did apologize to us for not giving us prior notification and for the manner in which the limb cutting was done.”

The loss of the tree has resulted in an outpouring of support from the Camelot community on Nextdoor, with many neighbors offering to help pay for a new tree.

“Your support validates our belief that Camelot is a great place to live because of our neighbors,” Patti responded. “We hope to start a new tradition on our corner at some point in the future.”

The Ragers say they’ve been advised to let the corner area “rest” so the minerals in the soil can rebuild before another tree can be planted. 

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