Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New addition to Mount Tabor Park

From this, in 2012...
Today, on Tabor's crown, I discovered a sapling tree in the open space behind Harvey Scott's statue.  It was planted either today or yesterday, because it was not there Monday, when last I was on the mountaintop.

I checked the tag.  My heart leapt.  Oregon White Oak.  Quercus garryana.

White oak is a noble and majestic species.  Tall, solemn, dense and strong.  Slow growing and long-lived. 

White oaks hold a special place in my memories.  White oaks lived in our yard when I was a boy in south Salem.  My best friend, Edward, had a tree-house in the arms of a white oak that stood near his house on Argyle Street.  And Salem's Bush Park is full of them. 

Two of the big Dougs on the northern slope of Tabor fell down recently, which was sad.  But a white oak sapling at Tabor's very summit is hopeful and good.  Mount Tabor Park, already 103 years old, seems an apt home for a sapling oak with a long life ahead of it.  The bole of the sapling is still slender enough that I can wrap my hand around it and overlap finger and thumb to the first knuckle. 

On the way home, I imagined some future Portland stroller, one hundred or two hundred years from now, climbing up Tabor and discovering this oak sapling, grown to its full stature.

A gift from us, the people of today's Portland, to the people of future Portland.

Enjoy, future Portlanders!  A gift of love from us.  A glorious Oregon white oak. this, in 2212? 

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