Leaving a Legacy: The Story Behind One 2018 Notable Tree Winner

Published on April 19, 2018

In summer 2013, Gary Hulme was driving home with his father, former Arlington County Director of Public Works Henry "Hank" Hulme, when Henry asked his son to take him by the intersection of Yorktown Boulevard and Little Falls Road. The intersection is home to a 78-foot Dawn redwood tree that Henry—a third-generation Arlingtonian—had had replanted around 1970.

"They were doing some street work in the area, widening the road—and they were going to bulldoze the trees," Gary recalls his father telling him. "Dad saw this tree and thought it looked unique. When he found out it was going to be cut down, he asked that they move it into the island. He told them to "water the heck out of it, and see what happens.'"

That was almost 50 years ago, and now the tree is being included on Arlington County's list of Notable Tree winners for 2018. Gary decided to nominate the tree to honor his father, who started working for the County as a draftsman in 1954 and retired as the Director of Public Works in 1989.

"Dad was really an environmentalist ahead of his time. I asked him once how many trees he'd moved, and he said dozens," Gary recalled, noting his father also testified in Richmond to support legislation that would allow for recycled glass to be used in asphalt and one time flew to Europe to tour emerging refuse-to-energy plants there.

The tree at Yorktown and Little Falls stands out to Gary because his father died a few months after taking him to see it. "It was really special that he shared that with me."

The Dawn redwood nominated by Gary Hulme is one of 28 trees that will be recognized by the County Board during its meeting at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24.

[caption id="attachment_16006" align="alignleft" width="300"] Take a peek at other Notable Trees in the County with the interactive map of Champion, Significant, and Notable Trees.[/caption]

This year's group is the largest number of Notable Tree winners in recent history. There were 20 different species nominated for 2018, three of which have never been listed before: Sugar Maple, Honey Locust and Eastern Arborvitae. Almost all the trees are on private property.

More: View this year's Notable Tree winners. 

The Notable Tree designation does not give Arlington County any authority over trees on private property, but the trees may be included in future civic association and neighborhood walking tours.

The public is welcome to attend the April 24 County Board meeting on the third floor of the County Government Building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. The meeting will also be available live on the County website and the County's ATV cable channel (Comcast channels 25 and 74, and Verizon channels 39 and 40).
About the Notable Tree Program

Since 1987, the County has given more than 300 Notable Tree designations. County residents nominate local trees based on a variety of criteria, including size, age, species or historical or community significance. Trees in front of houses that can be seen by passersby receive a plaque.
Arbor Day Tree Planting

On April 27, there will be an Arbor Day celebration at Glebe Elementary School. The Virginia Department of Forestry will award Arlington its 22nd consecutive Tree City USA designation, which is based on four core standards of tree stewardship. The multigenerational celebration will also feature student activities, a tree planting ceremony and an official Arbor Day Proclamation.