Legacy Tree Program
Legacy Tree Program
The City of Temple's Legacy Tree Program defines a Legacy Tree as a tree or stand of trees that due to its age, size, species, quality or historic association, is of landmark importance and its retention as such will not unreasonably interfere with the use of the property it is located on. Trees designated through this program must be within the city limits of the City of Temple.
Legacy Trees will be divided into 5 categories:
Trees that are naturally occurring or have been planted, qualify under this category if they are 50 years or older or have a connection to some historic event, building, district or were planted by a historically significant individual. Specific proof of age may be difficult to ascertain but research using aerial photographs or estimating based on the age of the adjacent development or estimating based on the size of the tree can be adequate for this designation.
- Trunk at least 8 inches in diameter
- 50 years or older
- Connection to a significant historic event, building, district
- Planted by a historically significant individual
- Unique or special in size and/or form
Trees that are unusual or have a very high aesthetic quality. A Landmark tree is unusual due to: large size obtained for that species: special and intact aesthetic form; unusual shape not normally seen in most trees; very interesting flower and/or branching patterns; or being a species of tree that rarely occurs in the City. The intent of this category is to recognize unusual trees that have achieved a landmark status and not to apply this category to a broad number of trees.
Parkway Resource Tree
- Striking or unusual trees with high aesthetic value
- Large for the particular species
- Special or unusual form
- Interesting flowers or branching patterns
- Species rare to their location
Planted groups of trees in public rights-of-way, public parking lots or trail with a consistent design theme, are considered to be parkway tree resources when their overall size, health, and form are relatively consistent. A consistent design theme usually requires that more than 50% of the parcels per block contain the same tree. Groups of different species that provide a consistent canopy over a portion of a street should be considered as parkway resource trees as well.
- Groups of trees in public right-of-ways, public parking lots or trails
- Consistent design themes with similar sizes, shapes, health, and forms
- Create a canopy over a public right-of-way
Naturally occurring trees in a grove consisting of at least six (6) trees grouped in close proximity (within a ¼ acre area) with trunks closer together than 100 feet that are of the same species or are very similar in form. The trees shall be native or naturalized or endemic and surviving without intervention or supplemental watering.
- 6 or more trees with trunks within 100 feet
- Be of the same or similar species and forms
- Be native, naturalized, or surviving without intervention
The "Champion Tree" category will identify and recognize the largest living tree of it's species located within the city limits of Temple. The trees will be measured for height, circumference of the trunk, and the average width of the crown spread.
Nominate a Tree
- Height can be measured by using a yardstick. First pace off or measure 100 feet from the base of the tree, preferably on the level. Next, hold the yardstick vertically 25 inches from your eye (about an arm's length). Site along the zero-inch mark to the base of the tree. Then, read the inch mark that aligns with the tree top. This reading in inches, multiplied by four, gives you the tree's height in feet.
- Circumference is measured around the trunk at a point 4 ½ feet above the ground. If the tree is on a slope, measure the tree from the average ground level. If a swelling, branch, flare or other obstruction occurs at 4 ½ feet, measure the smallest circumference below the obstruction. If the tree forks or branches below 4 ½ feet, measure the largest fork.
- Crown spread is the average width of the tree's crown. This measurement should be taken from edge of the crown, through the tree's trunk, to the opposite edge. Determine where the crown's edge is by hanging a weight from a string and sighting up the resulting vertical line. Move back and forth until the string lines up with the crown's edge. The tree's widest and narrowest crown spread should be measured to the nearest foot. Add these measurements and divide by two to get the average crown spread.
- Total Points: Champions are determined by assigning points based on height, circumference, and crown spread. One point is assigned for every foot of height, one point for every inch of stem circumference, and ¼ point for each foot of average crown spread. The tree with the most total points is the "Champion Tree" for that species. If two or more trees are within 2 percent of each other, they will be declared Co-Champions.
You are invited to nominate a tree or stand of trees for designation as a City of Temple Legacy Tree. Nominations are accepted continuously with final decision being made on each year's nominations during March. Anyone may nominate a tree for Legacy Tree status, as long as the property owner gives approval for the nomination.
Nominations are judged by the City of Temple Tree Advisory Board and recognition for Legacy Tree status will occur during or near Arbor Day every April.
A complete list and map showing locations of all City of Temple Legacy Trees is maintained and available by the City of Temple Tree Advisory Board.
Click on Nomination Form
to view the nomination form and a Legacy Tree Designation and Preservation Agreement
. The agreement is required as a part of the designation in order to assure retention of the tree as a Legacy Tree.
Return completed nomination form to:
City of Temple
Parks and Leisure Services Department
1909 Curtis B. Elliott Dr
Temple, Texas 76501
Attn: Legacy Tree Program
Thank you for your nomination.