ST. LOUIS – Clearing out and keeping Forest Park beautiful for generations to come.
They were the most famous “communi-trees” in the fine arts community. For centuries, the white oak trees framed the outdoor stage.
“One hundred one years ago, when they decided that this would be where the Muny would be, there was this natural amphitheater that came down to a bowl where there were these two giant oak trees and who knows how long they’d been there even,” said Kwofe Coleman, managing director at The Muny.
But time has taken its toll. The canopy that used to cover the stage, or at least frame it, is gone. The trees were taken out during the offseason renovations.
“We’re growing a 100 percent genetic copy of that tree that will come back to the campus,” Coleman said. “And also, to replenish that canopy, we selected a number of trees two years ago at a tree farm. Those 30 or 40-feet tall trees will be put back for the 2020 season.”
The trees became almost synonymous with the outdoor stage. As the municipal theatre enters its second century, the seeds of an idea were planted to secure the trees return to The Muny stage.
“So we have hundreds of soil cells underneath the concrete backstage and they create an environment where the root system can flourish without getting tied into the piers of the stage. It also has underground irrigation,” Coleman said. “So, we’ve taken every expert so these next trees have the most growing and thriving environment possible.”