The Town of Webster’s official tree

In today’s History Bit, we shine a spotlight on the Webster Arboretum, and a beautiful little tree with the peevish name, the crabapple. 

Most people probably don’t realize that the flowering crabapple is the Town of Webster’s official tree. According to the Webster Arboretum website, that designation can be traced back to Elizabeth Sykes, a member of the Webster Country Gardeners Garden Club. Back around 1970, she urged the Town to adopt the tree as the Town Tree. (No one seems to know why she chose the crabapple).

Sykes then asked Jean Thompson and Carole Huther to approach the Town about establishing a crabapple arboretum. The perfect location seemed to be a parcel of land the Town had purchased several years earlier, two family farms on Schlegel Rd. owned by Herman Rieflin and Walter Wright. On June 21, 1971 the Town accepted the proposal and set aside 20 of the 80 acres for the arboretum. 

Of course the first plantings were crabapple trees.

In the years since it was established, the Webster Arboretum, now about 40 acres,  has seen many improvements and expansions, especially in anticipation of the Town’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1990. The beautiful results of those efforts and continuing support from the Town of Webster, Webster community members and a dedicated team of volunteers can be seen today in its bountiful gardens and along its peaceful, flower-filled paths.  

The Webster Arboretum is located at 1700 Schlegel Rd. To read more about this beautiful park, visit the Arboretum website at

Discover more interesting bits of local history at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Visit the website at to learn more.

Missy Rosenberry
Webster Community Blogger

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