Do you recognize this tree?

Two Evergreen Dogwoods flank the City Hall entrance.

Piedmont volunteer Bobbie Stehr and Public Work’s Administrative Assistant Mark Enea have one thing in common: they know beautiful dogwoods when they see them.

Last spring, Enea and Stehr nominated the Evergreen Dogwoods that flank the entrance to City Hall as 2019 Heritage Trees. There was immediate consensus from the City staff, and ultimately the Park Commission to accept their nomination. At Arbor Day last April, the four dogwood trees were added to the growing list of Heritage Trees in Piedmont.

There is a lot to love about dogwoods. They may not be the easiest tree to grow, but they are breathtakingly beautiful while in bloom. The four evergreen dogwood trees are, without a doubt, the centerpiece of Piedmont City Hall entrance and lower courtyard. They are majestic in height and produce lovely cream-colored blossoms that nearly cover the tree. The trees are so popular with passersby that the City keeps a card with the trees’ name and information to share with the many people who stop to ask about them.

Cornus capitata, ‘Mountain Moon’ is an evergreen tree or shrub that is native to the Himalayas, northern India, and China. As a tree, it typically grows to 20-40 feet tall. Leaves are dark green on top and gray-green below. Dogwood flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, and the showy parts of the dogwood “flower” are the 4-6 pointed petal-like bracts that surround a center cluster of greenish-white, actual flowers. (Bracts are leaves or scales, and can be larger and more colorful than the actual flower; poinsettias are a good example of bracts.) Strawberry-like berries follow the dogwood flowering season, ripening in fall. The berries have ornamental appeal and offer a good source of food for birds.

The Exedra is featuring a brief article and picture of each 2019 Heritage Tree. The public is encouraged to seek out these trees to appreciate their beauty, history, and significance. By learning more about the trees that comprise Piedmont’s urban forest, the Park Commission hopes to inspire everyone to seek out special trees in our community and encourage nominations for 2020 Heritage Trees. The Park Commission is accepting nominations for 2020 Heritage Trees through March 16. To nominate a tree, visit the City’s website, http://www. ci.piedmont.ca.us/ and complete the downloadable form. The selected trees will be recognized at this year’s Arbor Day celebration on April 9.

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