Heritage Trees 2011

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Ponderosa Pines at Fort Hartsuff
Owned by Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park
Nominated by David Jones

Two large Ponderosa pines planted by soldiers at Fort Hartsuff in the 1870s have been recognized by the Nebraska Heritage Tree program.

Trees were scarce on the plains due to frequent prairie fires. Some canyons were rarely damaged by fires, however, including Jones Canyon near Burwell. It was abundant with trees that the army harvested and used for framing and shingles to construct the fort. Soldiers also dug up saplings and brought them back to the fort for planting. The Ponderosa pines in front of the Officer's Quarters were among the trees successfully moved from Jones Canyon.

The pine trees survived a period of about 80 years in which Fort Hartsuff received little or no maintenance, but in 1961 the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission took it over. The trees once again welcome people to what is now Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park.