Shelby Farms Park Conservancy wrapped up its One in a Million tree contest this week. Twenty trees were nominated. Each was significant due to size, age, historical or natural relevance, or personal significance to the nominator.
The winning entry was submitted by Mr. Lee Millar of Collierville, current owner of a pecan tree that is estimated to be 275 years old. Realizing that the tree was rare, Mr. Millar contacted an arborist for advice on maintaining the tree and to determine the tree’s age. “After researching the history of the site with two of Collierville’s town historians, and reviewing old land deeds and grants,” said Mr. Millar, “I discovered that the property was given as a land grant to its earliest recorded owner following his service in the revolutionary war. A log cabin was built under the tree, which would have already been large enough to provide shade at that time.”
“What we realized during this contest,” said Laura Adams, Executive Director of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, “is that people form strong attachments to the trees in their lives. Multiple generations might grow up under one walnut tree. This contest was a way for people to celebrate the gift those trees give to them.”
The contest was part of Shelby Farms Park’s One Million Trees program. Through this program, trees will be planted at Shelby Farms Park to improve Park ecosystems, create and connect wildlife habitat, shade trails, and mitigate noise and pollution from vehicular traffic. Trees will also be planted in communities throughout the Memphis metropolitan area to enhance the region’s urban forest and improve air quality.