Centennial Trees are Still Thriving in Alberta

By: albertaarb - May 8, 2017

Courtesy of Medicine Hat News

On July 1, Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday. There will be many different ways to commemorate the milestone, including parties and fireworks. Fifty years ago, when Canada celebrated its 100th birthday, there were also parties and fireworks. But Canadians did something else to mark the occasion: they planted trees. And some of those trees are still standing today in Alberta. Read on to learn about how those trees survived and thrived over five decades.

From Small Saplings...

Part of Medicine Hat News’ coverage of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations involves looking to the past. Reporter Gillian Slade has sought out residents who were schoolchildren in 1967 and who remember being given saplings to take home and plant. Slade has found a few such interview subjects. Dennis Gries was in Grade 1 in 1967 at Earl Kitchener School. In the spring of that year, he brought home a coniferous sapling that, at the time, was a mere five inches high. Harriet Dunn’s daughter, a student at Riverside School, also brought home a sapling that year. She planted the tree in the backyard and waited patiently for it to grow. Deborah Roth was a student at Vincent Massey School. For Canada’s 100th birthday, Monarch Broadcasting Company donated saplings for the students to plant. Roth brought hers home and dutifully planted it in the dirt.

...To Tremendous Trees

Fifty years later, those trees are still standing. They’ve flourished—where once tiny saplings took root are now enormous conifers. Dennis Gries no longer lives in the same place as he did in 1967. However, he returns to visit from time to time. The tree towers over the garage. In a picture published in the Medicine Hat News, Gries and his mother pose beneath the tree. Gries’s mother attributes the tree’s longevity to the fact that it was planted in a flower bed, so it was watered regularly and wasn’t mowed over—a fate other centennial saplings in the neighbourhood suffered. The Dunns planted their sapling in the backyard. Unlike the Gries’ sapling, their little tree was accidentally uprooted several times. Eventually, the family replanted the tree in their front yard. Since then, the tree has thrived in its new location, in spite of its earlier treatment. The Roths moved five years after planting Deborah’s sapling. They loved the tree so much, they brought it with them to their new home, also in Medicine Hat. Now, the tree measures over 50 feet high. The circumference of its trunk is 82 inches. Lovetta, Deborah’s mother, noted in an interview with Medicine Hat News that the tree is home to many types of birds. Whenever Deborah comes home to visit, she loves admiring the tree she planted in honour of Canada’s centennial.

Turn to a Tree Expert to Plant Trees for Canada’s 150th Birthday

If you’d like to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by planting a tree, contact a tree expert. A tree specialist can advise you what the best type of tree is to plant and where on your property it will thrive. And 50 years from now, you’ll be able to point to a mighty tree, too. At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property. Click here to contact us or call the number at the top of the page for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job.

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