Nominations are now open for the highly anticipated 2023 Tree of the Year (TOTY) event hosted by Comox Valley Nature (CVN), which celebrates the diverse collection of trees that populate our area and recognizes their importance to the environment and our quality of life.
The deadline for submissions is March 15. Whether it’s a tree that has been a part of your life for many years, a tree with historical significance, or one that symbolizes something special, this is an opportunity to recognize and honour those trees with your nomination.
As the nomination deadline approaches, Comox Valley Nature is providing a sneak peek at a few of the trees nominated this year, highlighting their unique stories.
One such entry is a European ash planted as a seedling on a Headquarters Road farm in 1862 after travelling from England with settler William Harmston. The ash has been lovingly cared for by the Hansen family since 1968 and is featured as a backdrop in many of their family photos.
Another noteworthy nomination is a native Pacific willow that graces the waterside of one of Courtenay’s most frequently visited parks. The spectacular orange colour of the branches in winter made it a favourite of the nominator.
On Denman Island, a 200-300-year-old nominated arbutus was located near a road slated for widening. The possible loss of this large and healthy specimen was a major concern for the nominator.
In the heart of Comox, a mature Garry oak and its smaller partner have been honoured for their beautiful graphic character in winter and shade-providing ability in the summer. Preserved by modifying building plans, they exemplify how urban trees can enhance the character of a building and make a downtown area more livable.
Other nominations include a stunning flowering tree with a lovely perfume, a wildlife tree with special significance for nearby school children, and a veteran Douglas fir that has been visited by the nominator’s family every year for 30 years.
Whether it’s a tree that holds a special meaning, one you feel deserves recognition, or simply catches your eye, it’s now time to nominate it ahead of the March 15 deadline. Full details on the TOTY event and nomination forms can be found on the CVN website at https://comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca/
Beginning April 1, the CVN website will feature the full list of nominated trees, complete with photos, stories, and locations. You can also download a cycle tour map, get out your bike and tour the trees before voting for your favourite on the CVN website by May 31.
The 2023 Tree of the Year winner will be crowned in mid-June. A prize will be awarded to the nominator of the winning tree.