A Southern Magnolia tree that has stood outside of Fire Station #4 in Arlington, Virginia, for 50 years is "not just a tree," the station commander says, but a personal reminder of a man's life cut short.
Capt. Matthew Cobb, with the Arlingotn County Fire Department, said the tree's young roots went into the earth in memory of Capt. Archie Hughes in 1965. Hughes died while responding to a house fire when he was 33 years old.
“And that’s one thing that we’re trying to preserve is the memory and make sure that future generations of not only firefighters in Arlington, but Arlingtonians themselves know what this tree is here for, and why it’s here and his sacrifice,” Cobb said.
This week, Arlington County named Hughes' tree, and 22 others, a "notable tree."
The county has about 300 notable trees, some of them in public spaces. County officials say the program is meant to recognize the owners and caretakers of the trees as much as the trees themselves.
“In an urban environment every tree is important,” said Jamie Bartalon, with the Arlington County Parks and Natural Resources department. "And let people know, with proper care, you can have a notable tree someday too.”