Don Wheeler is the Collection Development Librarian of The New York Botanical Garden.
There is always something to discover at the Garden, even for those of us privileged to work here every day. While looking for something else, an article in the 1919 volume of the Journal of the New York Botanical Garden caught my eye: “The planting of trees as war memorials.” In the January 1919 issue, Edward Adams, prominent banker, engineer, philanthropist, and member of the Board of The New York Botanical Garden, suggested the planting of Douglas Spruce trees as a living memorial to the men and women who had served in the recently ended First World War. He proposed that trees be planted on the grounds of The New York Botanical Garden with contributions of $10 per tree from citizens wishing to participate. (That $10 is equal to about $146 today when adjusted for inflation.)