Vote for the National Tree! Well, maybe....

Now that the presidential election brouhaha has died down, I’m sure you’ll all hungry for some more voting and politicking. The National Arbor Foundation is here for you, baby.

The United States has no National Tree and damnit, the Arbor Foundation is ready to do something about it. We get to vote. You can send in a postcard (snickers, rolls eyes) or, better yet, vote online.

There are 21 candidates. Now, for god’s sakes, don’t go off half-cocked and just vote for any old tree. This is serious!

Perhaps it is a measure of how pathetic my life really is (and goes a long way towards explaining why Mr. Cranky and I have no friends) but tonight we had quite the heated debate in my house over which tree to vote for. Mr. Cranky sneered at my frontrunners, while I gawped in slack-jawed disbelief at his ridiculous and ill-conceived candidates.

By god, at least I can try to keep YOU guys from going wrong.

I know all you damned Californians are going to stuff the ballot box with your Redwood votes. It hardly seems fair. So nobody else vote for Redwoods. And for christ’s sakes, not the Elm! They all DIED, there’s hardly a healthy elm left, it’s a crappy legacy. Pine? Sure, important for ship masts but ugh, such a soft crappy knotty wood. How can you hold your head up high knowing you’ve voted for a pine? Don’t do it. And NO BUCKEYE VOTING! It sticks in my craw knowing that Ohio fans are going to vote for that one when the rest of the country wouldn’t know a Buckeye tree if it thorned 'em in the ass.

Step right up, folks, stump for yer candidates.

When we vote we must think of this as a tree to represent us to the world. Does this tree look American. You gotta think big. Americans are huge, or at least the egos are. We are a young nation therefore we need an elderly statestree.

Redwood, redwood, he’s our tree, if you don’t like him just go wee. (The rally cry for this selection needs work)

The bennies of this great tree, 1) it is from California and you know the coolest things are from California. 2) It is found along the coast so it is a surfer tree, duuude. 3)Hi, Opal! 4) Hard wood to represent our hard heads 5) Not one of those imported trees.

Let’s take a look at the other leading candidates

Dogwood–the name alone eliminates this one, this is just too ruff.

Maple–Too syrupy, whenever this statestree goes out into the world to represent us people will think of breakfast.

Oak–Too many coffee tables out of this, very controversial when we have to declare this tree protected.

Pine–A tree whose name is also a intransient verb, no, no, no.

Cannabis Sativa baby.

Well, this is the 21st Century in America, right? I vote for the directory tree.

I vote for No. 3

The Larch.


Well, I know one tree you’re not getting.

Hands off our maple.

Maple would be good because of all that yummy syrup, but the damn Canadians already have it on their flag (or is that a marijuana leaf?)

The list seems pretty limited. How could they leaf (<- notice clever use of humor) off the cherry tree? It’s part of our mythology as well as being prominent in Washington, DC. And what’s with the kukai? Never heard of it before. I also like the weeping willow, but it’s not a particularly American tree.

I agree with Cranky about the redwood – just say no! And although I also despise those Ohio Buckeyes, the buckeye does provide handy throwing weapons. Just for you, Cranky – from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

How’s that for a name?

I guess I’ll wait for the tree debates – they can’t be less interesting than the presidential debates.

Well, of course, as a member from Ohio, which is, as everyone knows, the center of the country (or at least it was until we started adding all sorts of useless land out beyond the Mississippi River…), I must stick in a plug for that most certainly American of trees, the Buckeye. Lest you think this is a provincial choice, growing only in Ohio and surrounding areas, I refer you to the California Buckeye, Aesculus californica. And how many trees do you know that have the power to defeat and conquer actual animals, something Buckeyes have done repeatedly in the past to a certain cranky species from the weasel family. :wink:
Seriously, if we are to pick some tree that represents what America has been, gotta go with either the Maple (how more American can you be than syrup and red leaves (hush up you American wannabes up north of us, just because YOU had the good sense to use the leaf for a symbol! :wink: )), or the cottonwood tree. The cottonwood, in all its variations, was one of the icons of westward migration, often the locator of that precious commodity, water, for settlers in need of same. And given that the lovely quaking Aspen is part of the same tree family, with its lovely yellow fall show, it isn’t even an ugly tree, though the spring seeding will drive you nuts if you have tree allergies…

What I wanna know is who thought to put the palo verde tree on the list? I mean, REALLY…

If you go to the “activity” page, they have a lot of facts about the trees, and notable trees in US History which might help you make a choice. I think the list is designed to include every single state tree chosen by each of the 50, which is probably why some odd Hawaiian tree made the cut. As I said, more details are elsewhere on the site.

Cottonwood is among my top choices, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that DSYoungEsq might bring the grand tally up to TWO votes. Except the weasel crack still has me seething, plus the fact that I grew up in one of those useless state west of the Ole’ Mississip. Out there they think of Ohio as The Degenerate East.

I’m wondering if they’ve got a way to block ISPs so damned canajuns like matt_mcl can’t sneak in there and start voting for lame trees to spite us.

Hmm, if we go with magnolia, we could say our national tree is the cucumber tree.

Ain’t no damned hangin’ tree on that list. Let’s get up a posse!

Here’s a list of the trees on the ballot and my opinions of each:

Baldcypress - the Bald Eagle is already our national bird, what’s with the persucution of things that aren’t bald? I vote against this as a matter of principle.

Maple* - as has been stated previously, Canada has dibs on this one. It’s bad enough we have to share the huge border with them, I don’t want to have to share the tree too.

Birch - I’m against this one by the sound of its name. The name sounds like someone just downed a Coke and is expelling the excess gas.

Oak* - Too obvious. Plus there’s the matter of conscience involved in owning oak as furniture.

Buckeye - wasn’t he Popeye’s cousin or something?

Palm - Oh yeah, let’s pick this for the national tree and let the masturbation jokes begin. BTW, shouldn’t the national tree be a little more common that where the Palm tree grows? Too localized to represent the entire country.

Cottonwood (Poplar) - apparently, this tree is already popular enough and doesn’t need any more ego-boosting.

Paloverde - the what? I think it’s just down the block from 4th and Main.

Dogwood* - I have one of these at my parents’ back yard. It’s a small tree. Too small to represent America. Fuck this tree.

Pecan (Hickory) - mmmm Pecan pie… Regardless of the tastiness of pecans, I think there’s enough nuts here without symbolizing it with a tree.

Douglasfir - Oh right, like everybody named “Douglas” needs another reason to be cocky. These guys have it good enough as it is.

Pine* - as has been discussed already, we don’t need a tree tht moonlights as a verb.

Elm - would’ve gotten my vote if it hadn’t stooped to lending its name to those teen horror movies.

Redbud - despite its name, its flowers are actually pink. Not the Red White or Blue that one would hope to symbolize America. No, this tree flowers pink, which just goes to show it’s subverisive Communist leanings. We should not only not vote for this tree, we should also round them up and have them all shot.

Hemlock - ok, people, this is the name of a poison!

Redwood* - like the Palm, this tree is too localized to represent the entire nation. Plus it’s found in California. Californian’s are already full of themsleves, they don’t need this too.

Holly - I used to date a Holly. She gave good head. I’m leaning towards actually voting for this tree for sentimental reasons. Unfortunately, its strong ties to the Christian religion (most notably decking halls at Christmastime) may hurt this tree’s chances with the liberals and non-Christians.

Spruce - another tree that moonlights as a verb. Sorry, if we’re ruling out the Pine, we have to rule this out just to be fair.

Kukui - This is a joke, they weren’t serious when this one got nominated. It’s the Jesse Jackson of the arboreal election.

Tuliptree - I did my research on this tree and it seems its flowers are only really pretty to look at when seen from above. Since this tree can grow to 100 ft, I think that leaves most of us high and dry so to speak. We need a tree that more fair to those of us who won’t be viewing it from a penthouse.

Magnolia - I can’t think of anything to say about this tree. If the Kukui is this election’s Jesse Jackson, then the Magnolia is Al Gore. Deserving, but too dull to be able to pull it out in the end.

*At the time of this posting, these trees were leading the voting.

Bah, humbug. I wrote in American Beech. This is the tree with the smooth gray bark that you can carve something into and it will stay in there, visible, for as long as the tree lives.
It’s big, beautiful, and gives good shade.

Oh please, it’s a good thing that New York doesnt have a somewhat uncommon endemic tree, you’d never hear the end of it if it got picked!

Anyway, i WOULD pick the redwood, not because it’s from california, and anything that matters comes from here :), But it’s unique to our country, despite being localized, it resists fire, wind (i’ve hardly ever heard of one blowing over), and they live a long time. Quite a sturdy plant. Besides, most of those other trees have counterparts all over the world.

My vote’s in for The Mighty Oak! Too obvious you say? Hogwash!

We aren’t exactly a subtle country. Besides, what other tree has such a pervasive phrase as “the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree”? Or is that the apple?

National Tree as furniture? I’m all for it!

Go Oak Tree!

Since the use of holly in celebrations goes back to pre-Christian religions, you could view holly as subversive. If you can arrange for some meetings with your ex-girlfriend, it would help the decision making process quite a bit.

Chestnut. As in:

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”


“Under the spreading chestnut tree
The vilage smithy stands…”
But I hate to think what Crunchy Frog would say about that tree. <lol>