EDITORIAL: Plant an oak for the future

A large limb fell from one of Oak Harbor’s old Garry oaks last week, hitting a power line and causing a limited power outage to some 40 homes. The tree is still alive, but its days are obviously numbered. The incident is a good reminder why it’s important to keep planting young Garry oaks in the city.

City Parks Director Hank Nydam has done a great job helping assure that there will always be Garry oaks in Oak Harbor’s future, regardless of what happens to our aging giants, now largely checkerboarded around town on various lots, many surrounded by concrete and pavement.

Most recently, Nydam helped students from Oak Harbor Elementary School plant Garry oak seedlings above Freund Marsh, one of may places in the city the trees have been planted. Some of little trees were grown from acorns by the students. Earlier in the year, students planted oak trees at Neil Park.

Other students and community groups have planted oaks through the years, and as a result young trees can be seen growing throughout town. All property owners should take the time to plant a Garry oak or two, or more, to help guarantee Oak Harbor always has a large contingent of its namesake tree.

Newly planted trees grow slowly, and they won’t become the grand old Garry oaks we have known and loved for another century or two. But the people who inhabit the city then will appreciate them and the folks who planted them, even though our names will be forgotten.

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