As Hurricane Matthew impacts Florida several of our Tour des Trees riders are preparing to head into the storm zone before they even get to ride. We don't yet know the extent of the damage to trees in Florida as we watch the storm head for Savannah, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Charleston...all Bartlett offices. Our Bartlett teammates have had to relocate due to mandatory evacuations and we all are wishing them the best during this wait and see time.
Many of us have arrived into Charlotte for what was going to be preliminary riding Friday and Saturday but this has been canceled due to the rain. We've seen rain here on Friday but it has been light. Saturday they are predicting heavy rain as Matthew moves up the coast. We will kickoff tomorrow with a mandatory safety briefing and then have dinner at the Bartlett Arboretum and Research grounds. The tour of the grounds has been canceled due to expected rain but we will still plant a tree in honor of our good friend and legendary Tour rider, Terrill Collier. Terrill got me into the tour back in 2012 while he battled the cancer that ultimately took his life. He organized the Tour route in Oregon up and down the mountains and through all the ecotypes in Oregon. It was an amazing time to spend with Terrill and we all miss him.