Brickman Donates ‘Regal’ Oak for Visiting Royalty

Brickman recently was chosen to supply and plant what will become a historic tree in the lives of many school children. The tree—an English Oak, variety ‘Regal Prince’—was the focus of a ceremony to honor the visit of England’s Prince Charles, to the SEED school in Southeast Washington.

The first of its kind, the SEED school is a boarding school for inner city youth, grades 7 through 12. Though publicly funded, the school relies on partnerships with business to help provide and maintain an environment in which its students can thrive in all aspects of life.

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Brickman is one of the largest commercial landscape providers in the country. Along with customer service, community service has been part of Brickman’s culture for over 65 years. Brickman got involved with the SEED School this past spring, when a client, Folger-Pratt, told them the school had no budget for landscaping. Having donated spring clean-up services, Brickman was a natural choice to provide this important centerpiece for the school’s courtyard.

Charged with finding an ‘English shrub,’ Ray Gustin, a Production Specialist in Brickman’s Maryland region, knew his choices were limited. He worked with Baltimore’s Lowry & Company, who specializes in locating hard to find plants.

“I asked Jack to find me an English Oak,” remembers Gustin. “He was able to locate one at Tulpehocken Nursery, just outside of Reading, Pa., and ironically the variety was ‘Regal Prince.’ I knew it was going to be worth the drive for this special occasion.”

Brickman’s donation didn’t stop there. When Chris Coffman, regional manager, visited the site to prepare for the tree planting, he noticed it was in need of some refurbishing. He sent a detail crew down to the school a few days before the event, to clean up the area, mulch the beds and install some flowers.

“This school has such an incredible mission, and I knew what an important event the Prince’s visit was to them,” comments Coffman. “I felt we needed to do what we could to spruce up the area, and help them put their best foot forward.”

Timing was perfect as the prince threw a ceremonial shovel of dirt on the tree ring. The Regal oak was in full fall colors, the golden yellow leaves brightening up an otherwise austere common area.

With the Prince and his entourage, including new wife, Camilla, and First Lady, Laura Bush, come and gone, the students can get back to the business of learning. But the Regal Prince’s spire, which can grow to 30 feet, will remain a central figure in their courtyard, to remind them of the day a future king came to visit.

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