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
The Heritage Tree review team reviewed of all nominations and chose the following 3 nominations as this year’s winners.
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."
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.
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.