Most years, the Juneau Urban Forestry Partnership and the Juneau Garden Club carry out their own events for Arbor Day. This year, they combined forces, planting a Crimson Cloud Hawthorn tree at the historic House of Wickersham on Monday.
Monday marked the 51st Arbor Day in state history, and representatives from both groups, as well as the Forest Service and the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly were in attendance as they watched the tree go into place on the warm, sunny afternoon.
The tree, which is distinctive because of its immunity to fungus, arrived just prior to the ceremony. The hawthorn currently at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum loses its leaves midway during the summer, while the Crimson Cloud Hawthorn will be in bloom for much longer, master gardener Ed Buyarski said.
Alaska’s Arbor Day is distinctive, taking place on the third Monday in May (as opposed to in April, which is when many other states celebrate it) due to the late planting season.
Assembly Member Norton Gregory read a proclamation from Mayor Ken Koelsch at the event, expressing excitement about the tree and the importance of trees in Alaska. Nan Mundy, who was there Monday representing the Garden Club, the Juneau Urban Forestry Partnership and the Department of Natural Resources’ Community Forest Council, emphasized how beneficial trees are and how Arbor Day is more for children than for those who were planting the trees.
“Most public holidays celebrate the past,” Mundy said, “but Arbor Day nurtures our future.”
Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 523-2271.