'Peace' tree headed to Seaside

Hideko Tamura-Snider (center) brought seeds to Oregon that were collected from trees that survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. A bombing survivor herself, she got Oregon Community Trees board member Mike Oxendine (left) to germinate the seeds.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the close of World War II, Seaside will join 25 other communities across Oregon by planting special peace trees distributed by the Oregon Department of Forestry in partnership with the nonprofit groups Oregon Community Trees and the Medford-based One Sunny Day Initiative.

Seaside’s tree is slated for Cartwright Park on South Franklin, Public Works Director Dale McDowell said.

A small ceremony, led by members of the city’s tree board, who requested the tree, will mark the planting.

The seedling ginkgo and Asian persimmon trees were grown from seed collected from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and brought to Oregon by Medford resident Hideko Tamura-Snider. She survived the bombing, which occurred 75 years ago on Aug. 6, 1945.

Both Seaside and Tillamook are planting the long-lived ginkgo trees. Tillamook’s tree is slated for Carnahan Park. According to Kristin Ramstad, manager of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, between now and next summer, the 36 peace trees — 29 ginkgos and seven Asian persimmons — will be planted across 16 Oregon counties. Most of the seedlings are going to parks, arboretums and schools across the state. The greatest number will be planted in April as part of Arbor Week.

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