Heritage Tree Program

Heritage Tree Program

The first Heritage Trees of Grants Pass. (From left to right: the Coast Redwoods of Martin Park, the Cork Oak at the Water Treatment Plant, and the California Black Oak at the southern end of SW 5th Street)

Purpose

The Heritage Tree Program recognizes, fosters appreciation, and provides for protection of Heritage Trees. 

Heritage Trees are any tree or stand of trees designated by resolution of the City Council to be of significant community benefit due to age, size, species, horticultural quality, or historical value. 

The policies and regulations of the Heritage Tree Program are in Chapter 10.02 of the Grants Pass Municipal Code.

Heritage Trees and Significant Trees

Heritage Trees are designated by City Council and are regulated under Chapter 10.02 of the Municipal Code. Significant Trees are recognized by the Urban Tree Advisory Committee through annual Arbor Day Celebration awards. Significant Tree status gives recognition to home and business owners that retain trees of interest on their property. Unlike Heritage Tree designation, Significant Tree status does not add policies or regulations to the trees.  

To see the list of Significant Trees, please visit the Significant Tree Registry.

Heritage Tree Nomination Form

To nominate a tree for Heritage Tree designation, a nomination form and narrative must be submitted to the City. For a detailed explanation of the nomination and designation process, please read section 10.02.160 of the Grants Pass Municipal Code.

Heritage Tree Nomination Form (PDF)

Heritage Trees of Grants Pass

Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) at Martin Park (2021)

Martin Park Heritage Trees BannerThe four skyscraping Coast Redwoods of Martin Park were planted in the 1910s by a young Sam McConnell who would later become a Grants Pass City Councilor. Nearly 105 years later, the trees became the first Heritage Trees of Grants Pass on April 21, 2021. The news spread quickly and Arden McConnell, daughter of Sam McConnell, assembled an ecstatic group of family members, community members, the Mayor, City Councilors, committee members, and City staff to celebrate the achievement of the trees on October 29, 2021. Mayor Sara Bristol and the McConnell family unveiled the Heritage Tree plaque that stands proudly under the towering canopy of the impressive redwoods.

Although not native to Grants Pass, the Coast Redwood range extends as far north as Curry County. Coast Redwoods can live over 1,000 years. 

You are encouraged to visit the Coast Redwoods! Martin Park is located at the intersection of SW 4th St. and SW M St.

Tree Stats (as of early 2021):

  • The trees tower over the Grants Pass landscape at 155 feet
  • The trunk of the largest tree is 73 inches wide at 4.5 feet above ground (dbh). That's over 6 feet!

Cork Oak (Quercus suber) at the Grants Pass Water Treatment Plant (2021)

Water Treatment Plant Heritage Tree BannerThe Cork Oak of the Water Treatment Plant may likely be the only publicly-owned Cork Oak in Grants Pass. Jim Love, who nominated the tree in early 2021, stated, "While the Rogue Valley plays host to a large number of both native and non-native oak species and varieties of oaks, the Cork Oak is a very rare tree outside of its native range in the Mediterranean regions of Europe and Africa." As suggested by its common name, the Cork Oak's bark is used to produce cork stoppers for wine and other products. The acorns are used as feed for pigs, which produce high valued ham.

Due to its size, unique species, and horticultural quality, the Cork Oak at the Water Treatment Plant received Heritage Tree status on April 21, 2021, immediately after the designation of the Martin Park Heritage Trees.

You are encouraged to visit the Cork Oak! The Grants Pass Water Treatment Plant is located at 821 SE M St.

Tree Stats (as of early 2021):

  • 60 feet tall
  • 31 inch trunk diameter at 4.5 feet above ground (dbh)
  • Approximately 45 years old

California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) at 1238 SW 5th Street (2021)

1238 SW 5th St Heritage Tree for WebpageThe California Black Oak at 1238 SW 5th Street became the first privately-owned tree to receive Heritage Tree status. This, however, was not the first honor for the tree. In 2004, the spectacular oak was awarded Significant Tree status by the Urban Tree Advisory Committee and Mayor Holzinger. In 2021, the owners of the California Black Oak collaborated with their family to nominate their cherished tree. In the nomination, the Harris family submitted a narrative on the tree's history, along with a remarkable photo of the December 1964 flood, where the waters of the Rogue River rushed past the base of the oak. 

City staff and a local forester visited the tree and estimated it to be at least 250 years old. The canopy width extends beyond 95 feet, which is quite impressive for a species that typically extends to 50 feet wide at maturity.

Part of the tree's success is that the Harris family has employed certified arborists to care for the tree throughout the years. 

The tree was designated by City Council on November 3, 2021.

You can visit the tree, from the 5th Street Overlook, which is the most southern end of SW 5th Street. Do not cross private property to view the tree.

Tree Stats (as of early 2021):

  • Native species to Grants Pass
  • Canopy is 95 feet wide
  • Tree trunk diameter is over 48 inches wide at 4.5 feet above ground (dbh)
  • Over 250 years old