Tree Time in Bushnell Park

Trees are invaluable additions to our community. They provide shade, which cool our buildings and neighborhoods and reduce energy costs. They remove various pollutants, improving our air and water quality. Trees also capture stormwater runoff, reduce noise pollution, and increase property values. Based on these qualities, Hartford’s trees provide over $300,000 in services each year. In acknowledgment of the indispensable services trees provide, we’d like to share and recognize one of the city’s most incredible tree havens: Bushnell Park.

Established in 1968, Bushnell Park is the nation’s oldest publicly funded park, and not surprisingly, it is a veritable arboretum of over 450 magnificent trees and 76 different tree species. In celebration of Walktober, a series of guided walks in Hartford, City Forester Heather Dionne and DEEP Urban Forestry Coordinator Chris Donnelly led a tree tour around Bushnell Park on October 11th. The two knowledgeable guides shared various facts and information about the history and health of the park’s rare and native trees. Of particular interest was the Scion of the Charter Oak, the state tree of Connecticut.

The Scion of the Charter Oak is a first-generation descendant of the famous Charter Oak, which is known for being the former hiding place of the state charter. Its role helped Connecticut earn its nickname as the Constitution State. In addition to this historic tree, there are four champion trees within the park. Champion Trees are the largest of their species within the state. Visit the park to see these incredible trees in person.

To see these trees while they’re at the peak of their autumn glory, take your own self-guided tour of the park’s Champion Trees or all of its trees with the Bushnell Park Foundation’s resources.


Photo: Scion of the Charter Oak, planted in 1871