Arbor Week Celebration and Heritage Tree Award Winner

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 8:41am

Madison Parks Forestry Section Celebrates Arbor Week this week!

April 22, 2013 - In celebration Arbor Week and the city's designation of Tree City, the Madison Parks Forestry section will be planting trees with our city's future leaders - students from a number of Madison schools.

• April 23, 10:00a.m. at Nakoma Park, 3804 Nakoma Rd with students from Thoreau Elementary
• April 23, 12:30p.m. at Bordner Park, 450 N. Rosa Rd. with students from Crestwood Elementary
• April 24, noon at Demetral Park, 601 N. Sixth Street with Emerson Elementary
(Mayor Soglin will be in attendance at this planting making good on his Rose Bowl bet with Palo Alto, CA Mayor)
• April 24, 2:45p.m. at Warner Park with Student Club from Sherman Middle School
• April 25, 1:30p.m. at Warner Park (near shelter) with Lakeview Elementary School

Madison Parks Heritage Tree Winners

The Madison Parks Habitat Stewardship Committee is pleased to announce the First Annual Heritage Tree Award Winners. The Heritage Tree Program fosters an appreciation of city park and street trees, and inspires an awareness that heritage trees are a living and distinct resource for the Madison community.

City trees could nominated as an individual or a collection, but must meet criteria for health (Heritage Tree Evaluation Form) in addition to being selected according to one of the following categories
• Collection: Trees in a notable grove, avenue, or other planting.
• Historic: A tree recognized by virtue of its age, its association with or contribution to a historic structure or district, or its association with a noted person or historic event (local, state or national).
• Landmark: Trees that are landmarks of a community.
• Specimen: A tree of exceptional size, form, or rarity

And the 2012 Heritage Tree winners are….
The Heritage Tree review team reviewed of all nominations and chose the following 3 nominations as this year's winners.

Collection - The winner in this category is a grove of Cottonwood trees located along the shoreline of Lake Monona at Yahara Place Park (1625 Yahara Place Pl). Irene O., who nominated this grove, wrote in her application:

"These cottonwood trees are recognizable by their large stature and many shiny green leaves that shimmer and shake in the wind. There is nothing else like this - to stand beneath the magnificent trunks and watch the leaves dance in the sunlight and to hear (in even the slightest breeze) the gentle rustling of the leaves overhead.
Cottonwoods have been an important tree species since the pioneers crossed the dry prairies. Cottonwoods offer shade, usable wood, and are indicators of nearby water. These trees grow to be some of the largest around - approximately 100 ft tall and 5 feet in diameter. I believe some of the trees in this grove may be some of the oldest living in the city.
The leaves turn a beautiful yellow color in the fall. The Eagle nesting on Lake Monona cruises over and sits in the tree tops every spring. On a clear summer evening, after the sun has set, the canopy glows a brilliant orange. The entire ambiance of Yahara Place Park is based on these trees. Even the Marquette Waterfront festival relies on this grove to offer shade for their fundraiser. The cottonwood grove deserves protection and with age, replacement, with a similar species."

Historic - The winner in this category is a Hackberry tree located on the terrace at 904 Oakland St.

When asked why Hackberry tree is special Nominator Genie O. states:
"My Great Grandfather, Leslie Rowley*, planted the tree, I think over 100 years ago. He and my Great Grandmother had 904 Oakland built in 1897 and my grandfather was born there. The house was the first house built in the Oakland development. And the tree may be one of the oldest in that part of the neighborhood."
*Leslie Brooks Rowley was a member of an early Madison family and could trace his ancestry back to Dr. Fuller, physician on the Mayflower. The Rowleys came to America shortly after the Mayflower landed. Mr. Rowley, a Madison attorney, prominent authority on banking practices and former real estate operator was widely known in banking circles throughout Wisconsin and the Northwest. He was the author of Wisconsin's bank income tax law, and defended its constitutionality before the U. S. Supreme court after it had been declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court. Included in his real estate operations were platting in West Lawn, Highland Park, Oakland Heights, College Park, Nakoma, Briar Hill and other suburban division. For many years he was a director of the Madison Realty Co. In 1921 he gave up his real estate operations to re-enter the practice of law. He was a charter member of the Madison club. He died in July 21, 1937.

Landmark- The winner in this category is a Bur Oak tree located at 3110 N Sherman Ave in Warner Park. Mike R., who nominated this tree wrote: "This is the 12th largest known red oak in Dane County. It is an open growth oak that is typical of those found in pre-settlement oak savannas. This tree is a learning tree for neighborhood children who come here to discover our local enivornmental heritage. It is quite impressive." The tree is located 750 ft west on the Warner Park bike path from the intersection of Monterey Dr and Trailsway. The tree is on the left, just before the north-south bike path.

Madison Park Forestry and the Heritage Tree Committee would like to thank the nominators for participating in the program. With your help, we can promote conservation and stewardship of our natural resources for generations to come.

If you would like to nominate a city owned park or street tree for the 2013 Heritage Tree Award, you can find nomination forms, criteria and more information at the City of Madison Forestry's website Nominations for the 2013 Heritage Tree Award are due August 1, 2013.

  • Laura Whitmore, 266-5949