Left-behind Trees

A left-behind tree is our term for woodland pasture trees that are left behind as lone individuals when farmland is urbanized.  You can help us find them.

Blue ash tree
Blue ash in front of a church, Lexington

Woodland pastures are part of the original presettlement vegetation of the Bluegrass.  As some areas, especially in Fayette County, were urbanized, most of the trees of the woodland pastures were felled.  Throughout our urban areas, though, a few hardy individuals remain.  They are often in odd places – in a parking structure or an industrial lot. Few of these trees get proper care, and many are in decline. Yet, given enough space, these trees can thrive and remain in the city for centuries.

We would like to hear from you about left-behinds that you have seen.  We would like to locate and map every left-behind tree in urban and industrial areas of the Bluegrass, and work to preserve them. There are three ways you can let us know – by using our Contact form, by emailing info (at) venerabletrees.org, or the best way, which is our Facebook page.  Please be as precise as you can be about the location and the species if you know it. Include a picture if you can. Smartphone pictures usually have the GPS location embedded, and those are the most useful.   Don’t worry if you are uncertain about the species. We are looking for trees which, in your mind, are very large and old.  We will create a map of all your submissions (if the location is accurate) and eventually evaluate them.

Right now, we have about 200 mapped in Lexington, Danville, Paris, and Midway.  We would love to double that number.