BY CSUE Tri River Area Master Gardener Linda McIntosh
Have you ever heard of the Colorado Tree Coalition? CTC.
There are so many great things happening with this coalition, you should check it out. For example, did you know that there's such a thing as Champion Trees? Thanks to CTC, Colorado can boast having seven trees on the American Forests Register of Big Trees. That's a big honor for a big tree! Every year they accept nominations for champion tree status from rural and urban areas all over the state. The deadline for this is December 1st but don't worry if you missed it. They begin a new search for even bigger trees every year.
This Champion Narrowleaf Cottonwood with a circumference of 198 inches, standing 94 feet tall, can be seen growing right in front on the main street in Lake City. It was given the honor of becoming a National Champion Tree and was placed on the American Forests Registry of Big Trees at a ceremony on May 20, 2017.
If you would like to nominate a tree, or check out the winning trees, their website is http://coloradotrees.org/programs/?#notable There, they'll explain how you can nominate a tree that you think might qualify. While you are there, be sure to check and see if there are champion trees growing near you.
CTC also has a category for remarkable Notable Trees. These trees win the award because they're related to a famous or historical person, place or event. They can be accepted if the surrounding community agrees that it's special because of its species, uniqueness, or contribution to the community.
The University of Denver Arboretum is home to one of the largest known Yellow Buckeyes in the State of Colorado.
So who is the CTC? This great organization actually began with a group of metro foresters in 1990, calling themselves the Colorado Tree Coalition. Within 5 years, they became a statewide non-profit serving not only Colorado but nearby states as well. Today, the Colorado Tree Coalition's mission is "leading statewide efforts to preserve, renew, and enhance community forests." They've teamed up with the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture, Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association, Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University Extension to help accomplish their goals.
One of my favorite things on the CTC Site is their tree list! They have a fantastic list of trees that will do well in the area.
This Crimson Cloud Hawthorn is a sample of one of the great trees on their list. Just click on 'Find the right tree' at http://coloradotrees.org/find/ There you will find a long list of recommended trees to choose from for a specific area. If you see a tree species that you might be interested in, simply click on the name of the tree and a colored picture and information about the tree will pop up. It will even tell you what insects might cause problems for the tree you have chosen.
The CTC programs has programs to help reforest cities. They provide scholarships to eligible members of CTC to promote its mission of preserving, renewing and enhancing community forests. Have you heard about their program that provides funds and grants to help plant trees in Communities across Colorado? Over 74,110 trees have been planted throughout the state as a result of these grants.
CTC also teamed up with the Arbor Day Foundation to create a program for a5th graders throughout the state. They not only teach children about trees and the important role trees play, but have an annual Arbor Day Poster challenge.
This poster by Adelaide Krabbenhoeft, a fifth grader at Creativity Challenge Community School in Denver, was selected as the winner of the 2018 Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest. Adelaide's poster depicted the importance of trees and the variety of ways they benefit our communities. She was recognized by the CTC and a State Senator at the Capitol and also in the State House of Representatives. What claim to fame for a 5th grader!
There's so much more that's going on with this great organization. You'll have to treat yourself to a visit to their website to check out all the happenings. You'll be glad you did.
Colorado Master Gardener, ISA Certified Arborist, Licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicator