Digital tour a chance to admire Nevada City’s heritage trees |

Digital tour a chance to admire Nevada City’s heritage trees

The Nevada City Tree Tour map, now available online, highlights some of the city's oldest trees, like this Redwood, which was planted in Calanan Park 90 years ago.
Elias Funez / |

A Nevada County woman is bringing some of Nevada City’s oldest and most unique trees into the digital age with the updated Nevada City Tree Tour map, now available on computers and smartphones.

The original, paper map was created in 2008 by a group of community members, including local arborists, in an effort to honor Nevada City’s heritage trees.

Pamela Biery helped launch the digital version of the map this year, which she hopes will keep the project alive for future generations.

“It was a project that people worked hard on,” Biery said. “I wanted to be sure it wasn’t lost.”

The interactive map is now available online through the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce website, under the “maps” link.

The tour highlights 42 trees in Nevada City’s downtown historic district.

Disheartened by the many dead and dying trees around Nevada County, which is the result of recent drought conditions and bark beetle infestations, Biery thought giving the tree tour map an update was the perfect way to help others recognize the importance of old trees, she said.

“Often, we see a big problem and it’s really hard to find a handle on,” Biery said. “I ran into that when I wanted to become an advocate for the bark beetle problem. I realized there was nothing I could do for that, but what I could do was educate people on the importance of these 42 old trees in Nevada City.”

Biery hopes the tour will help inspire people to care for trees.

“I find that we protect what we understand,” she said. “So by increasing understanding and appreciation of trees, these trees are more likely to remain with us longer. Perhaps more trees will also be planted and protected, cared for and positioned with consideration to growth and longevity.”

Zeno Acton, an arborist with Acton Arboriculture who helped fundraise for the original map, said the tree tour provides a unique benefit to Nevada City.

“It’s a cool thing to be able to send family and friends who are visiting out on a free tree tour if you’re busy or have work during the day,” Acton said.

Old trees, he said, are often more resistant to droughts and fires and are beneficial to ecosystems. The tour, he said, provides Nevada City with a new way to show off some of its greatest assets.

“A lot of these trees included in the map are species you don’t even see planted anymore. They’re really interesting,” Acton said.

According to Biery, the digital map is still a work-in-progress.

She continues to raise money to help pay for updates, and encourages anyone who appreciates Nevada City’s heritage trees to donate through a GoFundMe site she set up at:

“It’s a small project,” Biery said. “But a handful of small projects can make a big difference in a community.”

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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