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reporter - Environment

Walnut tree

The old walnut tree behind my grandparents' house in northwest Connecticut.

My grandparents had a dairy farm in the northwest corner of Connecticut, and growing up I'd play on a giant black walnut tree.

It had a branch that scooped like a seat for two or three, and my brother, cousins and I could often be found climbing and picking those green squishy walnuts. 

Our fingers would get stained yellow and brown if we smooshed them too tightly, but I will always love their strong, spicy smell. To this day, it reminds me of home.

That tree is gone now. It got zapped by lightning one day and just couldn't recover. My Dad made a wine rack for my brother out of a part of what was left.

There are trees all over that bring us joy, inspiration, curiosity, and the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District wants you to document them.

The district has created a tool to collect pictures and data about area trees. You can check it out at and log in as a guest. 

You don't have to have a memory like mine to accompany a tree, but if you see one that's interesting and preferably on publicly accessible property or on your own property, the district hopes you will share it. 

You can include various information in your interesting tree entry including the species, its trunk diameter, its height, what makes it remarkable to you and its location. The trees will then be mapped, and a photo can be attached. The idea is others may check them out, too, if they're on public land.

Those with questions about using the app or need help identifying a tree can contact the district's office at (518) 623-3119 or email Maren Alexander at

Do you have a tree that stands out to you, or a memory of one?

— Gwendolyn Craig

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1


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