Friday, February 16, 2001

Branch out, vote for national tree

By Mike Pulfer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Quick. Name the national flower.

        Rose. Right.

        Now, what's the national tree?

        Stumped? That's because it doesn't exist. Yet.

        But the National Arbor Day Foundation is out to fix that with a pick-a-tree election.

        To vote, go to or send your preference on an index card to National Tree, National Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE, 68410. Online deadline: 11:59 p.m. April 26. Mail postmark deadline is April 1.

        The winning tree will be announced on Arbor Day, April 27.

        Although you can come up with your own suggestions, the foundation has named 21 trees as candidates. They are:

        Baldcypress, birch, buckeye, cottonwood (poplar), dogwood, Douglas fir, elm, hemlock, holly, kukui, magnolia, maple, oak, palm, paloverde, pecan (hickory), pine, redbud, redwood, spruce and tuliptree.

        Leading the pack after six weeks of voting: dogwood, maple, oak, pine and redwood.

        For details and pictures of each of the trees, click on the “trees” bar at the Web site.

        “America has the grandest trees on earth — the largest, the oldest, and we think, the most beautiful,” said John Rosenow, president of the foundation. “It's time for the American people to select a national tree as an enduring symbol of all of our magnificent trees and of our natural heritage.”

        Yeah, yeah. Back to the quiz:

        Match the following tree species to the places where they are recognized — by some people, anyway — as the official state trees: tuliptree, coffeetree and buckeye.

        Clue: List the Tristate in alphabetical order.

        Oh, c'mon.

        Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
       National poster competition
       And then there's the poster contest.
        If you're a fifth-grade teacher, and you would prefer a tree activity with a payoff, go to and ask for information about the 2001 Arbor Day National Poster Contest. Or send e-mail to Or write to Arbor Day Foundation, Poster Contest Coordinator, P.O. Box 85784, Lincoln, NE 68501-5784.
        The national winner gets a $1,000 savings bond, a trip — with a parent and a teacher — to Nebraska City, Neb., for an awards ceremony, and a lifetime membership in National Arbor Day Foundation. His/her teacher gets $200 for classroom materials.
        The theme: “Trees are terrific, and forests are, too,” to reflect the value of diverse forest ecosystems.
        More than 50,000 fifth-grade classrooms are expected to participate.
        The contest is sponsored by Toyota.


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