Memorial trees offered by Escanaba

ESCANABA — A city of Escanaba program allows people to be honored with a tree planted in their memory.

The Memorial Tree Program started May of 2008, sponsored by the city of Escanaba. The program provides residents an opportunity to donate a tree, in honor of someone who has done a great service, to celebrate a period of time, or to memorialize a loved one. Planting a tree offers the community a lasting gift.

Tree donors can decide where the tree is to be planted, from the many parks in Escanaba to edges of boulevards, as long as there is room. Any type of tree can be planted as long as is it rated for the Upper Peninsula climate. Tree species planted in the last 12 months include red oak, sugar maple, ironwood, green ash, linden, hawthorn, serviceberry, red pine, white pine, white spruce and flowering crab. All trees are between 10 to 15 feet high.

“The average height of the trees we plant are 10 feet to 15 feet, which varies by species,” said city of Escanaba Assistant Director Wendy Taavola.

To participate in the Memorial Tree Program, fill out an application found online at On the application the donor writes down where they want the tree planted and the reason for the memorial.

Mail the completed application card, with a monetary donation, to the address on the application.

Questions about the Memorial Tree Program can be directed to the city of Escanaba Department of Public Works, 906-786-1842.

As of June 2018, the city of Escanaba has been recognized as a Tree City USA community for 18 years. Recognition by the National Arbor Day Foundation is an honor. To become a Tree City USA recipient the community must maintain a tree board or department, have a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program spending at least two dollars per capita on urban forestry and observe Arbor Day.

The city of Escanaba adopted a tree ordinance in 1964, regulating maintenance of trees, shrubs and plants within the city limits. Escanaba’s urban forest is cared for by the Department of Public Works. The department’s ‘tree crew’ train young trees to grow properly, prune established trees, remove dead and hazardous trees and monitor for disease and insect population. The department can provide residents with tree care information when asked.

The supply of trees comes from Timberline Trees in Oconto Falls, Wis.

“Trees are ordered in the fall, September or October, and planted the following spring,” said Taavola. “If there are special circumstances, we may be able to work with you, just give us a call. Memorial Tree applications are always welcome.”

The Memorial Trees will be planted this spring, late April or early May, according to Taavola.