Photo submitted by Jennifer Benner

We often get photographs from our Bungalower readers of things that are happening around town, and we have started featuring them on the site in a series called Eyes on the Street, in honor of our hero Jane Jacobs.

UPDATE: There is no current City Code that does not allow climbing of trees, however, it is against City Code to damage a tree. – Cassandra Lafser, Press Secretary, City of Orlando

Two teen girls were seen aggressively jumping on one of the branches of the Mayor, a massive 200-year-old live oak, in front of the Mennello Museum in Ivanhoe Village, this past Saturday, in the hours before the Orlando Fringe Festival was scheduled to begin.

An eye witness told us that when they went to approach the teens to ask them to stop jumping, the tree branch broke and sent one of the girls flying through the air and landing a few feet away from the base of the tree. Both girls were uninjured.

The 40 foot branch is still at the bottom of the tree.

Orlando Fringe organizers were devastated at the news but City Parks staff were unavailable for comment. We’ve reached out to Peter Effaldana, City Parks Reservations manager and general “speaker for the trees,” on what the rules and regulations are for public interactions with Trees of Significance like the Mayor, but have yet to hear back.


Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Why would they jump on the tree’s branch like that? I’m getting too old to try and understand teen nature these days…

  2. No, don’t fence the beautiful trees, it takes away from the rest of us enjoying them. It was a mistake. The limb may have already been diseased and gave way. It likely would have happened naturally in a strong wind soon enough.

  3. The parents should be fined for their children doing this. This is vandalism and destruction of public property. I’m not for fencing off nature. Maybe some signs saying “do not climb trees, under penalty of $500 fine ” would help.

  4. Trees rot and break can’t they enjoy them before they get concrete over them for the next hip thing two decades from now when most of us are dead or don’t care.

  5. If you read the article, or have seen this tree you would know that kids can and do climb it. Jumping up and down on a limb, you know to see if it will break, is different. But ha!

  6. In my opinion responsibility falls in the hands of parents and community. Children need help sometimes understanding the the value of trees, plants, etc..

  7. OK, but if they fell and were under 18, I’m sure they’d say the trees were dangerous and there should be signs. It happens with everything else when someone gets hurt. On the whole, just disrespectful and moronic behavior.

  8. People are saying these were junior/seniors in high school. I doubt their parents watch them anymore.

  9. The teens in question were jumping up and down very violently on the branch. That’s very different than simply climbing or sitting in the tree. They were older teens too. Maybe juniors or seniors in high school.

  10. Several issues comes to mind when something like this happens as fencing off a tree does not really protect it, look at Big Tree Park “The Senator?” Realistically nothing last forever.
    You see in today’s world we can’t have anything nice anymore especially open to the public because we live in a world where people no longer respect other people’s property.
    Sadly “accountability” is a big issue today as people need to be accountable for their actions, including kids.
    I would ask where are these kids parents? What if these children got injured or one dies obviously the parents would sue? Yet they allow them to run wild?
    Think about all the trees around Orlando susceptible to this issue? About all you can do unless otherwise noted is install some sort of security surveillance cameras to monitor the property for vandalism and post warning signs informing everyone this property is watched (like neighborhood crime watch program) any damages (especially vandalism) to this property (including trees) will result in full prosecution, fines and possibly jail time.
    Motion sensors could be installed around the tree which triggers an alarm which could be checked by camera. Or just do nothing like what happened over at Big Tree Park and plant another tree. Sadly in the old days we never had this issue because people respected things? ..Off Soap Box..

  11. Respect for nature aside, where were the parents? Who I’m sure would’ve sued Orlando if one of them had been hurt and said there should be a sign not to jump on the tree limbs.

  12. Probably should have an arborist decide the safety on a case by case basis. If the tree is weak – fence it. If it is healthy – climb away!

  13. It doesn’t sound like anyone actually read the article. Climbing or sitting on the branches is fun. Aggressively jumping on a branch is a different story. 🙁

  14. The limb of this particular live oak would probably not come off in high winds. There have been high winds over the last 200 years. This live oak has limbs that stretch to the ground.

  15. Those dang teens climbing trees outdoors when they should be off doing drugs in an abandoned warehouse. Youths these days!

  16. Kids shouldn’t climb trees? That limb would have probably come off in high winds. No… Trees shouldn’t be fenced off.