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Who is your favorite tree?

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About Our Noble Trees

culture and community

Trees are venerated in cultures across the world. In many African cultures, the baobab tree is known as "The Tree of Life"; it bears fruit and retains water even in the dry seasons. Sacred trees remain common in India, where it is believed that spirits may dwell within them. 

In Minnesota, where this project began, there are many sacred sites – such as a grove of sacred oak trees at Coldwater Spring near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Some are listed on the Minneapolis Parks Board Registry of Heritage Trees, and even more are an integral part of indigenous native culture. 

The inspiration for the project "Our Noble Trees" came from time spent in Latvia, where notably oak trees attain a special designation when they reach a certain age or size. They are called Dižkoki – meaning noble or sacred tree. Many of these trees are hundreds of years old, and have outlasted anyone living on or occupying the same land. 

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Open Call

who is your favorite tree?

Share your story about a tree –  whether it’s
a tree you take care of, remember, or simply admire.
Submit a photo or drawing with your story.

Our Noble Trees, a community art project led by Mara Pelecis,
will be exhibited October 24, 2021 at the University of Minnesota
Landscape Arboretum following the Season of Trees.



write us! tell your tree story. send it with a photo, a drawing, or without.

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News and Events


University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, August 26

Andersen Horticultural Library
Rare Bookroom Tour and Stan Tekiela
Book Signing
August 26 - 4:00 - 6:00 p.m

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, October 24

University of Minnesota Arboretum Season of Trees Finale with Our Noble Trees, October 24 - 12 p.m.-3 p.m.

In the news

Article in the Latvian magazine on the project! Yes, it's in Latvian – but there are pictures and submissions. Send us a note for a translation!

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Thanks for submitting!

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