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Centre Wellington announces its tree of the year

The 150-year-old black walnut has branches that span the length of a basketball court
Centre Wellington's tree of the year.

At over 150 years old, with branches spanning the length of a basketball court, the Black Walnut in the front yard of a Fergus home was a great choice for Centre Wellington’s Tree of the Year.

After receiving more than 40 nominations, Tree of the Year judges picked this Black Walnut. Its branches span 30 metres, towering over the entire front yard of Heather-Jane and Mike Maurice’s home at 249 Garafraxa St E in Fergus. “The tree is like a member of our family,” says Heather-Jane.  

Please join us at the base of this wonderful tree for our 2023 Tree Pageant, on Sunday, Oct. 1, from 10–10:45 a.m. You’ll hear a little about the tree and the history of the property. As well, Senator Black (great, great nephew of builder James Black) and Centre Wellington Mayor Shawn Watters will decorate the tree with a special sash made by local artist and tree lover Randi Vann.   

The Black Walnut was likely planted when the home was built in 1867 by James Black, who picked just the right spot for the tree to grow to its full potential. A big thank you to the Tree of the Year judging panel: Kathy Bouma, this year’s Centre Wellington Citizen of the Year, Phil Guenter of Baum Tree Care and Al Koop, well- known local historian. Thanks also to Echo Foundation, which sponsors Tree of the Year in Centre Wellington and five other Tree Trust Chapters.

Tree Trust sustains our biggest and best urban trees. We raise funds to hire arborists who keep the trees healthy and extend their lifespans through measures such as selective pruning and soil remediation. And because no tree lasts forever, we plant at least two saplings for every Tree Trust tree we steward.