Parker’s Landing tulip tree selected for ‘heritage’ status

107-foot tree near historic Van Vleet home grows 2 to 3 feet annually

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The Washington State University’s Clark County Master Gardener Program has picked a tulip tree at Parker’s Landing Historical Park in Washougal for inclusion in the Clark County Heritage Tree program, which recognizes local “trees of significance.” (Contributed photo courtesy Rene Carroll)

The Washington State University Master Gardener Program has selected a tulip tree at Washougal’s Parker’s Landing Historical Park to join its Clark County Heritage Tree program, which recognizes “trees of significance” in unincorporated Clark County.

 The 107-foot tree grows 2 to 3 feet annually near the location of the historic Van Vleet home, now the Van Vleet Plaza. Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee members estimate that it was planted in the 1950s.

“The park’s tulip tree qualified for the heritage distinction (because it) is in the Parkersville national, state and county registered historic and heritage site,” according to a news release. “Today, the tree stands at a significant size and provides beauty and shade for park visitor enjoyment.”

According to the program’s website, heritage status may be granted to a single tree if it has a diameter of at least 36 inches, is located in a “special” site, has a documented age or relation to a historical event, and is an unusual species for the area; and to a grove if it is mature, contains trees that are distinctive due to size, condition, species or age, associated with a historical event, and has a relationship with a natural resource.

Often long-lived and large in size, heritage trees “may serve as living markers of times gone by or notable places, be associated with historic persons or events, or be unusual by their presence in this part of the world,” according to the program’s website.

The program selected seven apple, cherry, and walnut trees at the park for “heritage” status in 2022.

“The Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee hopes the tulip tree gaining Clark County Heritage status will bring more public attention to the beautiful, significant trees and history at Parker’s Landing Historical Park,” the news release states.