After the club’s iconic 113-year-old cottonwood tree fell over in July due to storm winds, the club held a contest among golfers to decide what to do with it. The remains of the tree will be ground up to be used as fuel for the Snowflake White Mountain Power biomass plant, and will be replaced with an ironwood tree.
A contest to determine what to do with Lone Tree Golf Club’s namesake cottonwood, which was knocked over by storm winds in July, has revealed a new destiny for the 113-year-old tree, the Arizona Republic reported.
The tree will be ground up to be used as fuel for the Snowflake White Mountain Power biomass plant. Rod Pappas and the people at Xeriscapes Unlimited, a Phoenix-based landscaping firm, proposed the idea to club owner Greg Avant. Xeriscapes also arranged for an ironwood tree to be planted on the Chandler, Ariz., site, the Republic reported.
“One of the things I was looking for was the different and cool factor,” Avant said. “Not just making tee markers out of it or something. The people at Xeriscapes had some great ideas. We kind of meshed our ideas together and came up with this. It’s a nice ending to the story.”
Xeriscapes employees cut up the giant cottonwood tree last week, which was believed to have been planted in 1899 when the golf course land was a potato farm. The golf club retained a large stump and another section of the tree as keepsakes, and kept some smaller slices of the tree, one of which Avant said would be used to make a trophy for a club tournament, the Republic reported.
Snowflake White Mountain Power plant burns scrapwood and paper sludge from nearby mills to generate electricity.
“We saw the article about losing the old cottonwood tree and thought, ‘Let’s see if they would like a new tree and start the cycle all over again,’ ” said Pappas, President of Xeriscapes Unlimited.
“We did some head banging over the idea and thought we’d ship the remains off to Snowflake and fire up the plant over there. It’s kind of a win-win situation. Even though we lost a tree, we got a new one, one that I think will do better.”
Native Resources, a Phoenix firm that specializes in plant relocation and landscape construction, donated the ironwood tree that replaces the iconic tree. Gro-Well of Tempe, Ariz., the state’s largest recycler of green waste, is handling disposal of the downed cottonwood, the Republic reported.
Pappas said the ironwood tree is better suited for the location, as it needs less water. He added that it could last for as long as 1,500 years. Avant said that once word got out that the tree had fallen last summer, golfers and former residents of the area contacted Lone Tree with stories about what the tree meant to them. One former resident requested a piece of the tree, which she sat under with her grandmother who died recently, the Republic reported.
“(Head golf pro Josh Janowiak) sent her a nice big branch,” Avant said. “You don’t think a tree touches that many lives, but it was amazing some of the stories and requests we got for it. There were a lot of surprises like that that were pretty cool. You think, ‘Big deal, it was a tree,’ but it meant something to a lot of people.”