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Contact: Alex Patterson, Chief of Maintenance, 360.816.6221
What: Installation of permanent protective fence around Old Apple Tree
Who: National Park Service staff and City of Vancouver Urban Forester
Where: Old Apple Tree Park within the Vancouver National Historic Reserve
When: September 2013
VANCOUVER, WA – The National Park Service is currently installing a permanent protective fence within the City of Vancouver's Old Apple Tree Park, part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Old Apple Tree has always had a special place in the community, and as the oldest apple tree in the Pacific Northwest, it is truly a living treasure.
In the spirit of partnership and preservation, the National Park Service (NPS) has worked with the City of Vancouver's Urban Forester, NPS Regional Historic Landscape Architect, and Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation staff to come up with a new fence design which will protect the Old Apple Tree and be consistent with the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Design Standards. The new fence will help protect the preservation efforts put forth by the City's Urban Forester and NPS staff.
"This is a remarkable tree and has touched so many generations. We value our partners (NPS, Joe's Farm, Arborscape, & Collier) that have stepped forward to assists us with managing this important monument." said Charles Ray, Urban Forester with the City of Vancouver.
"Over the past few years, the NPS and City of Vancouver have formed the Old Apple Tree Research Team. Through this partnership, the NPS has also brought to the site highly trained specialists including landscape architects, entomologists, and orchardists specializing in historic orchards," said Superintendent Tracy Fortmann.
Over the past several years, this experienced team of NPS and City of Vancouver employees and local arborists has installed grafts of scion wood in an effort to heal trunk deterioration and prevent further storm damage to the Old Apple Tree.
"Although the grafts were successful, unfortunately they appeared to have been torn off by vandals or rodents," said Alex Patterson, the national park's chief of maintenance. "After the third time, the NPS and City installed a temporary fence around the tree to provide the necessary protection to allow the grafts to root and thrive." The fence also provides additional protection from individuals climbing and swinging on the tree's aging branches.
"The Old Apple Tree was planted in 1827 during the Hudson's Bay Company era. It has endured for over 180 years and it is a privilege for the NPS to work to protect this icon so that it can be viewed by the public for many years to come," said Superintendent Fortmann.
Installation will be completed by September 2013, in time for the Old Apple Tree Festival scheduled for October 5, 2013.
BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The park's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.