The “all you need is love” pear tree at 27th & Cherry isn’t the only famous tree in the neighborhood. The city’s Heritage Tree program was started in 1996, and the first tree to be accepted into the program was the Japanese Umbrella Pine that sits in the corner of the Curry Temple’s parking lot at 23rd & Spruce.
There’s a plaque under the tree which states:
This species is a member of the illustrious redwood family of trees, and is native only in Japan, where it is called Koya-maki.
It grows slowly in Seattle, especially when not watered in the summer. This specimen, one of the oldest in Washington, may date from 1900. In 1996 it became Seattle’s first tree designated as heritage.
The scientific name Sciadopitys dates from 1784, and derives from the Grek skias or skiados, an umbrella, and pity, a fir or pine – literally the parasol or umbrella pine, in allusion to the whorls of broad needles.
You can find the full list of heritage trees at the city’s website.