CLEVELAND — The willow tree at Edgewater Park is so iconic to Cleveland that its mere existence attracts residents from all over Northeast Ohio.
The presence of the Willow tree, located at the northern tip of the shoreline, is immediately noticeable and one that gets questions of its origin.
“We get questions all the time about this tree,” said Judy MacKeigan, of the Cleveland Metroparks. “Why it's here, who planted it, where it came from.”
The willow tree has been a silent witness to Cleveland’s history over the years.
Historical records point to some clues about the tree. What historians know for sure is the land the tree sits on was not there prior to 1950. The willow tree shows up on aerial maps at least around 1979.
From the battering winds of the lake during the winters to the heat and sun during the summer, the Willow tree has stood the test of time for decades.
Residents from all over do yoga, take family and graduation photos, and even get married under the tree.
The willow tree sparks a reaction in every visitor who stops by its flowing branches.
When News 5 photojournalist Dave Colabine recently visited the Willow tree, reactions from Clevelanders were immediate.
"It's very poetic and it's gorgeous," said one visitor. Another said, "it's like music. It's beautiful."
"It's a great place to come and just unwind. It actually makes me feel soothing," said another visitor.
The willow tree continues to be a symbol of Cleveland's resilience and a place that provides comfort to those who sit under its branches.
“If you're here, luckily alone, you could sit under that tree, watch the waves, and it's just it's just a beautiful spot,” said MacKeigan.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.