The Hailey Tree Committee has reviewed and confirmed a nomination of six trees to its Heritage Tree Program. The nomination, made by Ralph Harris, are of public trees in the sidewalk adjacent to his Main Street property. The maples were planted when the adjacent Harris apartments were constructed. Five of the six trees are about the same age, planted circa 1940. The sixth maple was replaced after a highway resurfacing project damaged the original tree.
Harris described the uniqueness of these trees in his application:
“Some twenty years ago, an arborist from Oregon stopped each fall to collect maple seeds from these trees. He was impressed that this variety had survived at this elevation with the low annual rainfall, particularly since minimal and inconsistent hand watering was the norm. He wanted to grow and transplant this variety in other locations. When, in 1967, I returned from Cal State in Long Beach, there were discussions underway at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce of ways to improve the look of Main Street. These maples were one of the major considerations to increase tree development along Main Street.”
Main Street trees increased in importance again in 1994, when the city installed sidewalks the full length of Main Street and included dozens of trees in every block. The Harris apartments maple trees became the standard by which the other trees were designed within the sidewalk space. These trees dynamically characterize our town with their natural beauty and spirited winter lights.