Amazing Trees of Fayetteville

The City of Fayetteville Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UAFB) and the Parks, Natural Resources and Cultural Affairs Department's urban foresters created the Amazing Trees of Fayetteville project to promote tree preservation, educate the public about the importance of urban forests and celebrate the unique character of trees in our community. Each year, UAFB and the City’s two urban foresters choose one tree within city limits that exemplifies exceptional character by being large, uniquely shaped, or a rare species for our area. 

Each Amazing Tree receives a plaque explaining its unique characteristics and is placed in the City’s tree registry, a database maintained by Urban Forestry of significant trees in Fayetteville. View an interactive map of all Amazing Trees of Fayetteville.

2023 Amazing Tree: Osage Orange at the Brooklands at Mountain Ranch

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Maclura pomifera 

The seventh amazing Tree of Fayetteville is the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera), located in the middle of a roundabout at W. Maclura Way and N. Solitude Bend, stands 55 feet high with a canopy coverage of 1,809 square feet.

The tree’s diameter at breast height (DBH), a standard arboricultural measurement, is 61 inches. Its circumference is 191 inches. For comparison, the State Champion Osage orange tree is 64 feet tall with a 67-inch DBH and 216-inch circumference. 

The Osage orage is also known as bois d’arc (from French meaning “bow-wood”), bodark, horse apple or hedge apple tree. This tree is valued for being dense and resistant to rot, and has been used to make bows and tool handles. When grown in a row and with a little training, this tree created a natural fence for early settlers.

2022 Amazing Tree: A Dogwood at Lake Fayetteville

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Cornus florida
Planted approximately 1990-1998

Located along the Lake Fayetteville Trail at the far northeast corner of the park, the dogwood stands at 29 feet tall. This popular native tree has a canopy that covers approximately 1,480 square feet. The multi-stem trunks of this dogwood collectively measure around 10 feet in circumference.

Dogwoods can host up to 85 species of moths and butterflies, making them important to wildlife. The tree shines during the spring when it is covered in white flower-like bracts. The actual flower is the tiny cluster of yellow-green inflorescence found in the center of the white bracts. Dogwood leaves change to crimson red and have bright red drupes (a type of fruit) in the fall and winter months.

2021 Amazing Tree: A Post Oak at the Fayetteville Public Library

Post oak at the Fayetteville Public Library: 2021 Amazing Tree of Fayetteville

Quercus stellata
Planted approximately 1932-1951.

The post oak at the Fayetteville Public Library stands around 70 feet tall, and its canopy covers approximately 3,200 square feet. The trunk is 120.9 inches (10 feet) in circumference. This tree has survived three construction events and is still thriving. Great care was taken to ensure it survived during the expansion of the library. A certified arborist regularly inspected the tree throughout the construction. It has been placed in a tree preservation easement for future protection.

Post oaks are among the more dominant oak species in our forests and one of the most important tree species. This tree can host up to 421 different moths and butterflies and be home to many small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Acorns produced by post oaks are a valuable source of food for squirrels, deer and turkey. The growth rate of the post oak is slow, and they can live to be 400 years old.

2020 Amazing Trees: A Pair of Eastern Red Cedars at the Historic Walker-Stone House

Pair of Juniperus virginiana
Planted approximately 1890

The two Eastern red cedar trees (Juniperus virginiana) on Center Street in front of the Walker-Stone house are extraordinarily large and are also located in front of a historic home. These two trees are approximately 35-40 feet tall. The tree to the west has a circumference of 98” (eight feet and two inches) and the tree to the east has a circumference of 84” (seven feet).

These two cedars were planted around 1890, making them 130 years old. Some cedar trees can live up to 900 years, but typically live to around 200 years in forest conditions. These two trees are considered “witness” trees, a term used for trees that have been present during key historical events. These two trees witnessed: the Spanish Flu pandemic, Arkansas becoming the twelfth state to ratify the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, integration of schools, the establishment of the Buffalo National River and establishment of the Trail of Tears Heritage Trails.

2019 Amazing Tree: Washington Regional Medical Center American Elm

Fayetteville’s 2019 Amazing Tree: an Elm Tree at Washington Regional Hospital

Ulmus americana
Planted 1719 - 1769

It is 75 feet tall with a trunk circumference of 16 feet and seven inches. The canopy of the tree shades approximately 9,500 square feet, or a little more than the equivalent of two basketball courts. “Witness tree” is a term used for trees that were present during key historical events. This elm has been a silent witness to many residents’ and visitors’ personal and monumental life events.

2018 Amazing Tree: Wilson Park Bois d'Arc

Wilson Park. The Tree

Maclura pomifera
Bois d'Arc, also known as Osage Orange or Horse Apple
Planted approximately 1918

This tree was chosen for its unique size, root structure and age. The tree is in Wilson Park and one of the most photographed trees in the City. At an estimated 100 years of age, this specimen is considered a “Witness Tree” because it has been present for a number of events in the history of our city. This tree has witnessed:

  • Trent's Pond, used as a swimming hole until the 1920s when the first pool was built
  • Tourist camps of the 1920s, '30s and '40s
  • Wilson Park becoming Fayetteville's first official park in 1944
  • The Great Depression
  • 17 different US presidents

The name Bois d'Arc, or "bow-wood" was given to this tree by French explorers because the Native Americans used its extremely hard, durable wood in crafting their bows. The tree's green, pebbly fruit (which grows only on the female trees) resembles an orange, but is hard and inedible by humans, though horses and squirrels do eat it. The fruit has also been used as a traditional pest management remedy: placed around a home's foundation, the fruit is said to repel bugs.