Dr. Kovalski with tree surgeons after the professional pruning of the Marlboro Tree, April 30, 1999.
Now 152 years old, this massive black willow
tree, which came to be known as the Marlboro Tree only in
1998, measures 76 feet in height and 19' 8" in circumference.
Its protector, Dr. Paul Kovalkski of Marlboro, notes that five
adults must hold hands to fully encircle the tree. Its Latin
salix nigra, referring to the blackish color
of its bark. The Marlboro tree has several trunks,
characteristic of black willows, and black willow's natural
habitat is along stream banks, where the trees help to hold
the banks against erosion from spring floods. The Marlboro
Tree is located near one of the Big Brook tributaries, in an
area of the township known as Marlboro Village.
The Marlboro Tree has been certified by the New
Jersey Forest Service as a "State Champion" tree, signifying that
it is the largest known tree of its species in the State of New
Jersey, and the largest tree of any kind in Marlboro Township.
The land on which the tree stands holds historical
significance from many periods in the region's past. This area
around the black willow is one of the top three sites in the state
for dinosaur fossils, and Ice Age mammal fossils have been found
nearby. It is estimated the tree began to grow in 1848, the year
the township was settled. It became the official tree of Marlboro
as part of the town's 150th anniversary in 1998, and was
prominently featured on a commemorative 24K gold plated
sesquicentennial medallion. It was also included by the Marlboro
Township Historic Commission in the town's sesquicentennial
Dr. Kovalski, who discovered the tree and is
responsible for its protection and preservation, was awarded in
October 1999 the Green Community Achievement Award for his efforts
in greatly contributing to the field of urban and community
Project documentation comprises a five-page
narrative, eight color photographs, a dedication ceremony program,
a Green Community Achievement Awards program, and a gold-plated
Marlboro Township Sesquicentennial medallion.
Originally submitted by: Rush D. Holt, Representative (12th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.