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Tree cookie offers tasty lesson

By By LISA TINDELL, Managing editor
A 300 pound cookie was delivered to the Escambia-Brewton Career/Technical Center.
The term "cookie" is used in this case to signify a slab of wood taken from a tree for educational purposes.
The piece of wood will be sanded to a very smooth surface and coated with a durable seal under the direction of Gene Coleman who is the instructor for Building Construction at the Center.
Students in Coleman's class will be working on the project to help get it to the point that studies can be made successfully.
The cookie was taken from a Live Oak tree in the Magnolia Springs area, according to Fred Nation, an Environmental Consultant from Daphne.
The tree from which the cookie came made national news several years ago. According to Nation, the Baldwin County Commission was wanting to turn the land where the tree grew into a park. The landowner did not want that to happen, so the tree was girded or grooved so that the tree would die.
Area residents may remember the story since experts were called in to try and save the tree from dying. Although grafts were made, there was no way to continue feeding of the 300 to 400 gallons of water needed to keep the tree alive, Nation said.
The surface of the cookie will be studied by dendrologists from Auburn University once it is place at Turtle Point, according to West.
Last year some 5,000 tourists took advantage of Turtle Point's educational values.
According to West, Turtle Point has won numerous awards throughout the last four years in Alabama. The facility has been featured in several videos such as Resource Rangers Watershed, which was produced in July of this year. The video showcased the watershed of Pensacola Bay. The facility was also named Legacy's Best Environmental Organization of the Year in 1999 and received top honors in 2001 with the Best Environmental Educational Curriculum for Alabama by the Environmental Education Association of Alabama.