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The Great Tree Search 2023

Dec 20, 2023 | Horticulture

The Great Tree Search 2023

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In 2023, NYC Parks is recognizing and cataloging the great trees in our city that make up our urban forest. In the second interaction of The Great Tree Search, New Yorkers across the city have been invited to nominate the exceptional trees that make up our urban forest. These nominations will be reviewed and considered by a selection committee based on their historical, botanical and cultural significance. 

While we have many great and deserving trees here in Madison Square Park, our team has selected one of our most historic trees, an English elm (Ulmus procera) located on Farragut Lawn, as our nominee for this honor.

One of two such trees in the park, these English elms are believed to be over 200 years old, dating back to before the park itself was officially designated in 1847. From the Gilded Age,to the formation of the Conservancy and the park we know today, these veteran elms have witnessed decades of history and change in our fast moving city. As a result of Dutch elm disease, these trees are rarely cultivated in the United States, and require special care.

Click here to nominate our tree on the NYC Parks webpage using the information below. Or nominate another one of your favorite trees in Madison Square Park! We appreciate your help in honoring notable trees of New York City.

Want to find this tree in the park for yourself? Download our Arboretum Map here and bring it with you on your next visit to the park!

Nomination Information: 

*Borough – Manhattan

*Location Type – Park Tree

*Describe location in park – Farragut Lawn

*What kind of tree is this? – English elm

*Why are you nominating this tree? Please describe, in as great a detail possible, what significance this tree has for you and your community.

Example Responses:

  • As one of the city’s oldest and most historic public spaces, Madison Square Park has witnessed decades of change amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City. Dating back even further than this public institution is the English elm on the north end of the park, which is believed to be over 200 years old, holding strong in the face of urban development, Dutch elm disease, and climate change. It would be an honor for the NYC Parks committee to recognize this historic tree as a selection for the Great Tree Search 2023. 
  • As the only Level II Arboretum in Manhattan, Madison Square Park boasts one of the finest tree canopies in New York City, with over 300 trees in a rich diversity of species. As part of the Great Tree Search, I would like to nominate one of the most significant trees in the park, an English elm on the north end of the park that has stood for over 200 years. A few years into the park’s existence, these trees were preserved in 1870, when the park was formally redesigned by the landscape architect Ignatz Pilat. At one time, these trees were abundant in the United States, prior to Dutch elm disease, which eliminated about 75% of the elms in the country. This magnificent tree deserves not only recognition as one of the most beautiful trees in our city, but also as one of the most botanically historic. 

PhotosClick the link here to download one or more photos of the English elm on Farragut lawn

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