Memorial tree program underway in city


The city of Urbana is offering the public a chance to remember a loved one, commemorate an achievement or honor an individual or organization by purchasing a memorial tree.

City Community Development Manager Doug Crabill, who is on the Urbana Shade Tree Commission, said the idea for the City of Urbana Memorial Tree Program had been a topic of discussion for some time, but never got off the ground until Urbana resident John Kussman reached out to Crabill over a year ago asking if he could plant a tree or two at Oak Dale Cemetery in memory of his late wife, Peggy.

“Since that time, John has become a member of the Urbana Shade Tree Commission, and he has helped to spearhead the formal development of a memorial tree program,” Crabill said. “Many communities in Ohio, including Yellow Springs, Marysville, Lebanon, Springboro, Springfield, … etc., have similar programs to allow citizens to memorialize or honor people. “… such a program allows citizens to create a lasting legacy in the community while also helping to reforest Oak Dale Cemetery, Melvin Miller Park and other city parklands,” he added.

There is a $350 charge to sponsor a memorial tree, and included in the cost is an etched paver block that will be placed near the tree. Not only will the city plant and maintain the tree, but it will also replace any tree that doesn’t survive for at least three years.

“There is a guarantee built into the program cost to make sure that a tree gets a good start and creates a lasting legacy,” Crabill said.

Sponsors can choose from a variety of tree species, including swamp white oak, chinkapin oak, scarlet oak, shumard oak, London plane, bald cypress, shingle oak, burr oak, red oak, black oak, dawn redwood and silver linden.

The application notes, while the city will make every effort to provide the tree requested, in the event the species is not available, a replacement species will be selected in accordance with the city’s tree plan, in which oak species are encouraged.

Application forms are available online at under the local news section on the main page. The deadline for planting this year is Sept. 15.

Individuals with questions may contact Crabill at 937-652-4305 or at [email protected].

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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