Heritage Trees 2006

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ERNST SHELTERBELT
Location: Columbus
Owner: Lyle Ernst

Ernst ShelterbeltThis shelterbelt was one of the first in the state. In 1920, Louis Ernst moved cedar trees found along the Platte River to the farm and planted them in double rows to help protect the sandy soil from erosion. A few years later the belts attracted the attention of soil conservation personnel. In 1945 the Ernst farm was selected as a tour stop in the Midwest for the Prince of Iraq, who was particularly interested in conservation. During the same year the shelterbelt was featured in Successful Farm magazine.


JAMES HUNT AMERICAN CHESTNUT
Location: Syracuse
Owner: Bandt Family

Hunt ChestnutJames K. Hunt was an early settler in Otoe County in 1872. This American chestnut was a sapling that he carried on the train from New Milford, Connecticut. The tree was planted on the homestead where he and his wife lived in a dugout. They had three daughters and one son who died on the day of his birth. The son was buried somewhere near the chestnut tree. The farm was sold in 1956 to the Bandt family that now cares for this special tree.


SAW BLADE PIN OAK
Location: Omaha
Owner: Robert Lynch

Saw Blade Pin OakThis unique tree is a large pin oak with three saw blades through the trunk. This property was owned by Mr. Erdman who was an arborist and nurseryman in 1928. The tree is in part of the original nursery that is now a landscape steward site for the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. It has been well known for its uniqueness in the Omaha area.


Giesleman/Kuhlman Family Cottonwood
Location: Bloomfield
Owner: Dan and Amy Fiedler

Giesleman -Kuhlman CottonwoodThis stately cottonwood was planted in 1900 by William Kuhlman because there were no trees on the entire farm.  About 20 were planted that year but this one survived the harsh elements. The tree has stood watch for 106 years as children were born and raised and homestead changes have taken place. The family continued to plant shelterbelts through the years due to the foresight of William Kuhlman. It is a valuable tool in the family's history.


THE LANDMARK HACKBERRY
Location: Ashfall Fossil Beds
Owner: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

landmark HackberryThis hackberry was present in a 1916 photo and is probably an offspring of the native hackberry trees from the area. Hackberry seeds have been recovered from the Miocene Age fossil beds, making this tree's ancestors 12 million years old. The tree is located north of the Ashfall Visitor Center and is a true example of an enduring species.


THE OLD WOLF OAK
Location: Ponca State Park
Owner: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Wolf OakThis bur oak is one of the featured attractions at Ponca State Park. It was core dated to be a seedling in 1644, which makes it 132 years older than the United States.  The general appearance of this "old wolf" oak tells the whole story. To think about what this tree has seen is pretty incredible!


THE HEMPSTEAD MANSION RED MAPLE
Location: Pawnee City
Owner: Marvin Hartman

Hempstead MapleThis stately red maple tree has lower branches that sweep to the ground and back up again. It was brought from West Virginia by Mrs. Neill, a Pawnee City citizen in about 1920. In 1925, the red maple was moved to its present location near the Queen Anne-style Hemptstead Mansion. The mansion, built in 1883, is on the National Record of Historical Places. Hempstead was the founder of Pawnee Electric Company and the owner of Nebraska State Bank.


COTTONWOOD AVENUE
Location: Melbeta
Owner: Hubert Nichol

Cottonwood AvenueThe cottonwood trees were hand-planted between 1887 and 1900 as part of a settling of the land by Neil Gatch's (tree nominator) father. The trees were dug and hauled up from the North Platte River and planted on each site of the road to make a canopy or almost a tunnel to drive under. This avenue is a tribute to our pioneer tree planters of Nebraska.


THE BUR OAK AT BELLWOOD
Location: Bellwood
Owner: Robert Bell

Bellwood OakJesse D. Bell's love of trees led to the planting of several thousand bur oak and other species that were shipped from Illinois to his Nebraska homestead. This remaining bur oak is one of the original trees planted in 1880. It's located on the original home site of Jesse D. Bell, Bellwood's founder, and is one of a line of oaks that leads from the farmhouse to the general store.