The Federated Garden Circles of Ft. Lauderdale, Inc.,
with the help of L. Thomas Chancey,  is
Instrumental in preserving The Annie Beck Tree

She Lives!
The Annie Beck Tree in all her Golden Glory!
Rose Butman Returned to the site on April 23, 1999 to photograph the tree along with the L. Thomas Chancey, who has monitored the progress of the tree from it's original move to its present state.  Read the story below:

When Fort Lauderdale pioneer Annie Beck planted a seedling in front of her home 60 years ago, she laid the foundation for a local landmark.  Beck's silver trumpet tree (Tabebuia caraiba)bloomed and shed its golden flowers over the years, growing to 25 feet and outlasting both the Federated Garden Club (FGC) founding member and her house. This harbinger of spring with butter-yellow flowers has survived hurricanes, but it might not have withstood redevelopment without the dedication and devotion of the Garden Club.  Civic Improvement Chairman, Rose-Bechard Butman and Ann Schandelmayer, Tree Chairman, spent endless hours working to save the tree ( as well as being there from 8 am to 5 pm they day it was moved.)

We applaud their efforts and the work of their committee and we salute L. Thomas Chancey, Certified Arborist extraordinaire! No one involved in this effort has done more or worked harder than L. Thomas Chancey, who on the behest of the FGC donated his time to prepare the tree for the move and continues to monitor its progress.  Mr. Chancey stated, " Basically, I want to ensure that the tree makes the move with dignity".  Dignity, Mr. Chancey is what YOU have!

The Story according to Rose....

The Federated Garden Circles were represented by the Civic Improvement Committee at a  City Council Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale regarding the moving of the Tabebuia at 333 East Las Olas Blvd.  Rose Bechard-Butman and Ann Schandelmayer both spoke of concern over the moving of this historic tree.

Primarily we would have liked to have seen it remain at its historic location. However, given the current circumstances around its location, and the on going development of the project, the FGC was supportive of the tree being moved  to the new DDA Plaza.

The FGC had worked with the DDA when they donated  twelve flowering trees to the new park on Las Olas. The trees represent  the different circles within the Federation  and marked our 70th anniversary. We have placed botanical signage for each of these trees along with the name of each circle. It seems quite fitting that the Annie Beck Tree, planted by one of the co-founders of our Federation,  join the these other trees.. The close proximity to its original site and the ease of transporting the short distance also seemed  fortunate.

Our primary concern was the survival of the tree. We were supportive of this move provided each phase of its preparation was monitored by L.Thomas Chancey, Certified Arborist. It was our understanding that Mr. Chancey will designate the appropriate timing of rootpruning, fertilization, crown pruning and destination site preparation. We have been assured by Mr. Chancey that he will personally supervise each phase as a donation to the Community. Given his credentials and his commitment to conservation, we were happy with this provision.

We were pleased that Stiles Corporation was willing to cooperate with our efforts to preserve such a valued tree. We are also pleased with their offering to provide a dedication plaque identifying the tree at its new location.

Rose Bechard-Butman: Chairman
Civic Improvement & Commemorative Tree Project
Federated Garden Circles of Fort Lauderdale Committee members:
Ann Schandelmayer, Ann Barnes, Sharon Bogard, Starr Fisher, and Jo Williams

Details of the Move

The Annie Beck TreeIn November of 1997 the task of beginning preparations for the move of this Old Historic Tree was undertaken by L.Thomas Chancey, Certified Arborist at the behest of the Federated Garden Circles of Fort Lauderdale, Inc. and the Mayor, Jim Naugle & City Commissioners. Given the age of the tree, location and existing soil conditions, it was necessary to first make certain that the tree was protected from the beginning  construction work and amply irrigated.

Mr. Chancey began by removing all dead wood, stubs and ragged cuts from the tree’s canopy. A root zone injection of organic composted nutrients was mixed for the specific site conditions and applied to the root zone. The tree’s immediate root zone area was weeded and mulched with low ph bark compost. Hand root pruning was done on the north side of the tree. It was necessary to chip away at the existing coral rock that the tree roots were imbedded To avoid ripping them at a future time. Aged chips, shavings mixed with organic fertilizers were added. The tree was irrigated daily and personally checked by Mr. Chancey weekly through its blooming season.

After new leaf flush in April of 1998, the south side of the tree was hand rootpruned as the north. Two columns were left for support. All caverns around the root zone were filled in. In May, the tree was redug and he continued to chip away at the coral rock. The tree was carefully pruned to remove all but 4 or 5 anchor roots. This digging pruning & filling procedure was done again along with the fertilization application each time the roots were pruned.

The tree was monitored daily until the middle of June, at which time the last section of root zone was addressed. The last remaining supporting surface root was cut. A daily watering schedule continued and an application of mycorizzee inoculant was applied. New root growth was carefully monitored to determine the appropriate time for the eventual transplant date of the tree.

Two days before the transplant date of Saturday July 25th, 1998, the tree had a number of it’s leaves removed.    At that time the last of the anchor roots were cut. A hole was drilled through the trunk of the tree and a tempered steel rod was inserted.  The rod was used to lift the tree to avoid tearing the bark of the tree.

Upon transplanting, irrigation will be installed for a 5-6 month watering schedule while roots establish. Another injection and saturation of the root zone will be done at this time with organic ocean nutrients and mycorzee mix. A protective fence will be installed for at least one year.

A plaque will be placed by The Stiles Corporation  which will identify the historic tree in it’s new location.  Mr. Chancey will continue to monitor the trees progress.

Rose Bechard-Butman & Ann Schandlemayer

The Annie Beck Tree May 2005

The two tenacious "tree huggers"
Rose Bechard-Butman & Ann Schandelmayer 

Annie Beck Tree 2007

The Annie Beck Tree - March 2007

A Special Thanks to:

Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the Miami Herald
Robin Benedick, Tessie Bordon, and Diego Bunuel of the Sun Sentinel
for the excellent coverage they gave this historic event.

April 11, 2013

Cal Deal wrote the following article for The
Reprinted with his permission.



Historic silver trumpet tree was saved from developers' ax in 1998

Like a Proud Papa, arborist Tom Chancey stopped by the other day to tell me that the Annie Beck Tree - which he was instrumental in saving back in '98 - was in full and glorious bloom - the best he's seen in years, he said. He thought I might just want to take a picture or two.

So here are some images of the tree to add something nice to your day. It sits in a prominent spot along Las Olas Boulevard in Huizenga Plaza, opposite the Museum of Art.

The tree was planted by Fort Lauderdale pioneer and Annie Beck in the 1930s. Chancey saved the tree in 1998 by supervising its relocation from Beck's 334 E. Las Olas property. Beck, the 1975 Citizen of the Year, died in 1985 (obit below).

To read about the history of the Annie Beck Tree and the relocation effort, see (above)

The bright, beautiful blooming should continue for a couple of weeks. Enjoy!


Natural beauty vs. buildings ...

The blooming tree is enough to make H. Wayne smile!

Visible from downtown high-rises!

Pedestrian friendly!


Annie Beck, Pioneer Of Fort Lauderdale
February 24, 1985|By Helen Rojas, Staff Writer

Fort Lauderdale pioneer Annie Beck, one of the city`s oldest and most honored residents, died Friday in a Leesburg nursing home. She was 98.

Mrs. Beck was a founder of the All Saints` Episcopal Church, the city`s first garden club, the 1919 Study Club and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. She was named Fort Lauderdale Citizen of the Year in 1975 and has a park and small library named for her.

Mrs. Beck will be buried at 11 a.m. Monday in the Greenwood Cemetery in Ocala next to her husband, Alfred. A memorial service will be conducted in Fort Lauderdale at All Saints` Episcopal, 331 Tarpon Drive, at the same time.
``She was really one of the grand ladies of Fort Lauderdale history,`` Mayor Robert Dressler said. ``In losing her, we`re losing one of our fine links to our historical past.``

Mrs. Beck had been a resident of Fort Lauderdale for 68 years and to many residents she was simply known as Anibeck. She moved to Leesburg in October to be closer to her family and died in her sleep, said niece Virginia Shryock.

``The only thing I regret was that she didn`t die in Fort Lauderdale,`` said Mrs. Shryock, 86. ``She loved it so.``

Alfred Beck was the city`s first pharmacist and he brought his bride to Fort Lauderdale from Ocala in 1916. Almost immediately, she began to lead efforts to build All Saints` church at its original location at Southeast First Street and First Avenue.

She was a devoted church member all her life and for her 97th birthday, a special service was conducted in her honor, said the Rev. Harry Douglas.

``She was the oldest member of the congregation and I would say one of the most forceful,`` Douglas said. ``She is the last of the founding members of the church.``

She was also an award-winning horticulturist who helped the city replenish its greenery by beginning the garden club after the devastation of the 1926 hurricane. In 1919 she began the Study Club, a literary group with a dozen participants and a membership so restricted old members had to retire before new ones could get in.

``I`ve liked every day here in Fort Lauderdale,`` Mrs. Beck said in a 1973 interview. ``I like to read and I like to garden. Both are quite time consuming.``

Her husband died in 1962, the same year she helped found the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

In 1977, Mrs. Beck`s home of 61 years at 334 E. Las Olas Blvd. was moved to 310 SE 11th Ave. to make way for a bank parking lot. She continued to live in the house until about two years ago, when she moved to a Wilton Manors convalescent home.

The garden club`s small library at its Garden Center in Birch State Park is named after Mrs. Beck. So is a small park along Victoria Park Road from East Broward Boulevard to Northeast Fourth Court.

Mrs. Beck welcomed visitors at the nursing home and many of her friends came to see her regularly. She said she had a simple secret for her long and productive life.

``How did I live so long?`` Mrs. Beck said at her 97th birthday party. ``Stubborness. I believe authorities say it comes down in generations. That`s the way it was with me.``

Mrs. Beck is survived by several nieces and nephews.



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