SUFA’s “Trees of Distinction” Program
SUFA is looking for approximately thirty of Sunnyvale’s most distinguished trees. The officially recognized trees within our city limits will automatically be listed, but we are also looking for large, old or otherwise unique trees located on private property. Please email nomination photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Include any information you might have about the tree(s), such as the species, location, age, etc.
These trees will be compiled into a tree tour of Sunnyvale for bikes or cars which can then be downloaded from SUFA’s website. It is our sincere hope to get our citizens out enjoying our trees!
We Sunnyvaleans are lucky in that a huge variety of tree species thrive in our temperate climate. This same warm climate allows for us to be outside to enjoy the bounties of nature regardless of the season. The “Trees of Distinction” program strives to get people outside to enjoy our suburban paradise as viewed through Sunnyvale’s many distinctive trees. Some of our trees are official memorial or heritage trees but there are also many, many trees that have a remarkable age, size or other unique characteristics.
This is SUFA’s effort in a long tradition of honoring special trees around the nation. Most of us in the west are familiar with the Avenue of the Sequoia or a few notable trees. The tradition of recognizing unique trees has a long history going back to the first organization dedicated to protecting and preserving trees, American Forests, founded in 1875. This was the time when Sunnyvale was beginning its orchard fruit canning era.
Since 1940 American Forests has kept the only national register of Big Trees. They also sponsor the Famous and Historic Tree Program which allows for the purchase of seeds or shoots from famous trees. Thus, people can grow a descendant of George Washington’s Elm. It was so named because Washington was said to have worked at his desk under this tree while the White House was being constructed. Any number of famous and historic trees can also be purchased through this program.
All kinds of tree walks have been created around trees such as the Great Trees Walk and the NeighborWoods walks. Many state and national parks have official tree walks near their headquarters. In the Bay Area, this includes Castle Rock, Big Basin, and Henry Cowell Redwoods in Felton. Now, it is our turn….
“Trees are for the most part largely benevolent. The worst thing they can do is fall on you, and then it’s usually not on purpose.”
– Harry Stern, one time New York Parks Commissioner and ardent tree advocate