We propose that the Town of Cary adopt an Official Town Tree.

Recognition of magnificent symbols from nature serves to bring attention to the Town's great specimens, and also focus much-needed attention on "the single most important ecotechnology that we have to put the broken pieces of our planet back together."

I like the Dawn Redwood, described here and pictured to the right, because of the reasons stated in the article, because they are beautiful, and because I feel that the Town of Cary would set a shining and noteworthy municipal example by contributing to the effort to keep an Endangered Species from going extinct.

But my intention is to have the Town adopt an official tree, and I will heartily support the consensus choice for the honor — as long as it is an Old-Growth species that once graced the land Cary sits on before the Europeans arrived and began our relentless cutting.

Consider the case of Wilson, North Carolina. In 1942 the owner of a cotton company in Wilson bought three coast redwood trees [close genetics cousins of the dawn redwoods] from a nursery in Virginia. He planted two in the magnificent garden around his home and the third at the home of a business partner. When his son built a house next door to his father's, he planted a coast redwood in his garden.

The beauty of the trees inspired visitors to the homes to ask for seedlings. Soon many of the grandest homes in Wilson sported coast redwoods around them. These grand trees live more than 2,000 years. The original trees are quite tall. They and their smaller cousins have absorbed millions of gallons of rainfall, preventing stormwater runoff. They have absorbed hundreds if not thousands of tons of carbon from the atmosphere. They have pulled tons of vehicle exhaust and other pollution from the Wilson air and converted it to pure oxygen. In addition to these useful and critical services the trees perform for Wilson residents, they also add an air of stately elegance to the properties they grace.

The Coast Redwood is not the official tree of the Town of Wilson, but it is the unofficial tree and a favorite of many of Wilson's citizens. Few if any of the homes of Wilson's elite have crape myrtles or lilttle-leaf lindens detracting from the beauty of their properties.

Note that the northward creep of the USDA Hardiness Zones because of climate change will in but a few years move the Town of Cary from Zone 7b to Zone 8a, indicating generally that Cary will be on average several degrees warmer in the coming years, and therefore the climate requirements of a species selected as the official tree must be considered. [Click the map to expand it.]