Fall deadline to nominate a tree for Master Gardener heritage program is Halloween


The fall deadline to nominate a significant tree in your neighborhood to the Washington State University Master Gardeners Heritage Tree Program is Saturday, Oct. 31. 

The Heritage Tree Program maintains a list of trees and groves of significance in unincorporated Clark County. 

WSU Master Gardener Coordinator Erika Johnson said the program was started a couple of years ago as a way to get people to notice significant trees in the community. Significance can include large size, ties to a historical event or a unique species to the Clark County area. 

Over the two-and-a-half year period the Master Gardeners have had the program, seven trees have been deemed significant. One of them, “Canter Beech,” is a European beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) in La Center. Measuring in at just about 125 feet tall, it is an example of significant size. According to the Heritage Program, “Canter Beech” is located on property in La Center that used to be a prune orchard in the 1920s. Family records show that the tree has been on the property as far back as 1913. 

Another tall tree in the Heritage Program is “North Side,” a 110-foot-tall black walnut (Juglans nigra) tree located in Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park. This particular tree species is native to Eastern North America and is often planted for lumber and food as black walnut is a beloved dark-color hardwood. 

Johnson, a self-proclaimed “tree fanatic,” said the person nominating a special tree is usually “very excited” to have the tree considered for the program. Those with trees in the program receive a certificate and get their tree posted on the programs online catalog at extension.wsu.edu/clark/heritage-tree/. 

Johnson also said she is really excited about the program and getting the public interested in historically significant trees. 

“There’s more (trees) out there than we know and that’s the fun part about discovering them,” she said. “They’re these hidden gems that have a little bit of notoriety and to get them uncovered is exciting.” 

While the fall nomination deadline is Oct. 31, Johnson was quick to mention that the program is “always accepting nominations” and usually receives about two nominations per period. The deadlines are put in place as times the program reviews nominations and decides whether or not it will accept the tree into the program. To review a nomination, Johnson said the people from the program go out to look at the tree in a group, get out the measuring tapes and get a picture of the tree. The next deadline for review is April 30, 2021. 

For Johnson, the program is more than just getting people out to look at local greenery, but a way to get cities involved with heritage programs. While the Master Gardener program encompasses any Clark County city or township that doesn’t already have its own program, Johnson said she hopes the program encourages smaller cities to start their own programs. “We’ll just hand over the tree we’ve nominated once they get their own program,” she concluded. 

For more information on the Heritage Tree program, as well as a list of trees and how to nominate them, visit extension.wsu.edu/clark/heritage-tree/.


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