Farewell to the Beloved Sumac Trees: Honoring the Legacy of Our Old Friends.

For decades, the central courtyard at Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) has been a place of serenity, and a sanctuary for patients, families, WCH employees, and wildlife of all kinds. The courtyard’s koi pond and the comforting shade of African sumac trees are cherished by those visiting WCH.

It’s a place for quiet contemplation, where the gentle sounds of trickling water from the pond and the chirping of birds create moments of peace and tranquility.

Unfortunately, a disease called shelf fungus (also known as bracket fungus) infested the two large sumac trees. This fungus develops inside the tree – causing the trunk and branches to become weak. On what seemed like a typical morning in May, a large branch snapped and fell into the courtyard striking and damaging a table and crushing the umbrella at that table.

There is no remedy for this tree disease. Two certified arborists inspected the trees and concluded they should be removed. After considering the risk of falling branches and the potential for injury to patients, staff, and the courtyard or building, WCH decided to remove the two large trees, while keeping the smaller tree next to the koi pond, as there is no visible evidence of shelf fungus.

A company called Trees for Needs began the removal process Friday.The arborists used chainsaws to cut the tops of the trees and then carefully lifted the larger pieces over the Hospital with a crane onto a trailer on Rose Lane. The stumps were ground down and removed to create a clean slate for future vegetation.

WCH Plant Services is exploring options to ensure future visitors continue to enjoy a shaded retreat in the courtyard. WCH is committed to maintaining the serene atmosphere that our patients and our staff have come to appreciate so much.

In partnership with WCH, the Foundation focuses on improving, growing, and adapting to meet the ever-changing health and wellness needs of the rural communities we serve.

To achieve this, we rely on the generosity of people like you who wish to shape the future of our community.

Please join our generous donors and make a personally meaningful contribution to the Foundation by visiting our donation page at https://bit.ly/2GivetheGiftofHealth.