The Texas Historic Tree Coalition will recognize and celebrate the addition of three trees to the Historic Tree Registry at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Graybeal. The trees, one deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara, and two eastern red cedars, Juniperus virginiana, have graced the home’s landscape since shortly after the house was built by W.D. Smith in 1908. Featured prominently in the landscape, the eastern red cedars frame the walk leading from the sidewalk to the home’s front door, while the deodar cedar anchors the garden’s front corner.
In 1887, McKinney resident, E.W. Kirkpatrick and fellow nurseryman C.C. Mayhew founded the Texas Nursery Company in Sherman, Texas. The business became one of the largest production nurseries in the Southwest. Through the nursery’s mail-order catalogue sales, nursery stock grown in Sherman was shipped throughout the United States.
The “Smith-Graybeal Cedar Trees”, as they are referred to on the Historic Tree Registry, were purchased by Mr. Smith from Mr. Kirkpatrick. The deodara cedar was sourced from Luther Burbank’s nursery in California. Mr. Burbank’s horticultural research and endeavors were underwritten by Stark Brother’s operation in Missouri.
As a result of Dr. Graybeal’s efforts, the Kirkpatrick Historic Tree Program has been launched. Through this program, homeowners who suspect their trees may be connected with Kirkpatrick may submit them to TXHTC to be considered for historic designation.
Saturday’s events will include a brief review of the trees’ history, the unveiling of a historical marker, followed by the reading of a proclamation and presentation of a Historic Tree Certificate to Gary and Emily Graybeal.
The Graybeal home is located at 703 North College Street, in the historic neighborhood just blocks from the McKinney Downtown Square. The public is invited to attend.