After two years of nurturing, a ginkgo tree has found a new home in Cartwright Park.

Seaside arborist Pam Fleming led members of the City Tree Board and the Parks Advisory Committee to the southern edge of the park for the tree planting.

The tree, which marks the 75th anniversary of the close of World War II, was delivered in 2020 as Seaside joined other communities throughout the state in planting the peace tree.

The seedling ginkgo and Asian persimmon trees were grown from seed collected from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and were brought to Oregon by Hideko Tamura-Snider.

The Medford resident is the founder of the One Sunny Day Initiative, which along with the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees helped distribute the trees across the state.

Tamura-Snider received seeds of camphors, camellias, Asian persimmons and ginkgo trees from the international nonprofit Green Legacy Hiroshima, collected from trees that had survived the atomic bomb.

In locating the tree, Fleming and Dale McDowell, the city’s Public Works director, recognized they couldn’t plant it in the park’s field or near the swings or under power lines — and sites by the side of the road proved problematic. They settled on a southern area of the park. While still small, the tree could grow from 30 to 45 feet, Fleming said, although don’t expect that anytime soon — ginkgos mature slowly.

Ginkgo trees can be found up and down Holladay Drive, she said. “They’re really tolerant of the ocean and they’re drought tolerant. One of the criteria for us getting the tree was that we had to have irrigation, and there’s irrigation here.”

Fleming nurtured the tree in a pot in her driveway until it was sturdy enough for replanting.

“If you plant a tree too far in the ground and actually cut off its air, it’ll suffocate it,” she said. “You want to lay a shovel handle across it horizontally. You can use the handle of the shovel to make sure the ‘flare’ of the tree is not too low.”

After planting the tree, volunteers placed soil back around it and added compost over the top.

Fleming will put protective stakes and netting around the tree, and eventually a plaque with the history of the tree will be installed.

The local Kiwanis club donated the Cartwright Park playground equipment and adopted the park.

Tracy MacDonald, the lieutenant governor of the Lower Columbia Division of Kiwanis, said he appreciated the symbolism of the planting. “We have progressed since the war,” MacDonald, a former U.S. Marine, said. “It’s been a big shift.”

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