Weatherford Democrat

September 12, 2013

Chandor again marks 9/11 with planting of trees


Weatherford Democrat

— By SALLY SEXTON

At work, on the way to a bowling alley, sleeping, holding a newborn — one by one, workers and supporters of Chandor Gardens on Wednesday morning, each recalled where they were and what they were doing the day of Sept. 11, 2001 Wednesday morning.

The remembrance was held for the sixth year in a row at the Gardens, and put on by horticulturist Steve Chamblee.

“It started out as a personal thing for me,” he said. “When the attacks happened, I remember getting the phone call from a friend explaining what was going on.”

In 2001, Chamblee, who was at the time working with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, meticulously cut 4,500 strips of yellow ribbon, one for each assumed victim, and tied them to trees along University Drive.

The next year, he came up with the idea to plant a tree each year in remembrance, and has followed that tradition.

Wednesday, Chamblee and company held hands around two newly planted trees while commemorating — a pair of 45-gallon, containerized Empire Live Oaks, donated by Tree Town USA and Designs In Nature.

The trees were delivered to Chandor Gardens Friday before finding their resting place outside of the main house.

“We are planting these for the future in honor of the past,” Chamblee said.

Last year, Chamblee and crew planted a bald cypress. This year’s trees, estimated to be between 5-6 years old, are known for their strength and being able to withstand strong winds and other severe weather situations.