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Meet Charlie, the 2016 Mayor’s Tree of the Year

• Jul 26, 2016 at 5:00 PM

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) recently wrote an interesting blog posting about “Charlie”, a Chinquapin oak tree located on the north side of Grand Rapids.

“Charlie” was recently honored as the 2016 Mayor’s Tree of the Year — a program started in 2011 to encourage citizen awareness and care of the Grand Rapids’ tree canopy

Writes WMEAC’s Jon Gorter, “Throughout the month of May, the Urban Forest Project challenged citizens to take a picture of their favorite tree in Grand Rapids. Participants then submitted their photos along with a short description of why they chose the tree to the Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project Facebook page. This year, Lincoln’s Chinquapin Oak won the competition, closely followed by nominations of a purple-leaf beech and another massive oak of a different species.”         

According to WMEAC, the tree spreads its branches nearly 200 feet wide, shading the grass, providing food and shelter for squirrels, and sending deep roots into the soil. This oak was nicknamed “Charlie” by nominator ecologist Jesse Lincoln.

“With a diameter of 55.5 inches you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger tree on the West side, not counting cottonwoods,” Lincoln wrote in his description of the unique oak.

Read more about “Charlie” and the 2016 Mayor’s Tree of the Year program at WMEAC.org.

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