A dead tree in a park near a U.S. military base is the only thing better than a tree in the middle of nowhere.
The tree was planted on July 2, 1943, and was the centerpiece of the Memorial Day weekend celebration at the base.
But the tree, which is no more than four feet tall and has no roots, has been growing since then, and the National Park Service plans to remove it.
“We’re going to have to do something with it, and I think we can,” said Park Service Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Dennison.
“I think it’s a shame to be honest.
We really like it.
We’ve got so much pride in it.
I think the people of the region really appreciate it, as do the military families.”
The tree, a native American species, has a thick, gray bark, and it’s the tallest native American ever to be planted on U.P.S., a U-shaped peninsula at the northern tip of the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a really nice little tree,” said John Gossett, who owns the property where the tree was built.
“It’s not a big tree, but it’s pretty tall.”
Gossett is a retired U.H.L.A. biologist who is the executive director of the American Botanical Garden in Santa Barbara.
Gossetts and his wife, Mary, bought the property in 1957 for $25,000.
In 2014, they were given permission to remove the tree for $150,000 to help preserve the area for the Army National Guard.
“The Army National Guardsman that’s doing this is the first man to remove a dead forest from a UPGA,” said Gossetts.
“There’s been a lot of work done with the Army in recent years.
They’ve put some trees in, and now we’re doing it to save the tree.”
The Army and the U. P.S.-funded nonprofit group Restore Our Bands plan to remove more than 30 trees this summer, including the tree.
“This is the tree that was planted to give the memorial a sense of place, to give it that sense of pride and recognition, to be able to say ‘thank you,'” said U. H.L.-A.
senior program officer John A. Kopp.
“They know it’s important.”
For the next few weeks, the UPGAs goal is to help the military and their veterans celebrate the tree and its surroundings by planting and caring for as many as possible.
“I hope to have it planted by mid-summer, which would be a really good time to take care of it and take it home with you,” said Kopp, the project manager.
“You know, I think it has a really sentimental value, but I think that’s not the purpose of it.
That’s not what it was for.”