The city of Boise is known for its unique tree history from the North End’s Moon Tree to the giant sequoia outside of the St. Luke’s hospital campus. It’s one of the reasons Boise is coined the City of Trees.
One tree in particular, a magnolia, has its own special meaning for one Boise family. The tree was planted on the St. Luke’s campus back in 1972 in honor of Rolland Smith, a local pilot who died in a tragic plane crash.
The magnolia tree was a gift to the Smith family from students at North Junior High School.
“It was a nice memory to think the students of North Junior High, at that time, thought to plant something in his honor that now, all these years later, has grown,” Marisue Smith, Rolland’s daughter said.
The tree serving as a sign of life for Smith and her family after they had lost their father in a plane crash earlier that year.
“They were flying passengers from Boise to Sun Valley and one of the planes blew up in midair right over Fairfield," Smith said.
The tree has moved a couple of times over the years at St. Luke’s to make way for the hospital’s continued expansion. However, on Thursday it was moved for the final time.
“It's worth it to plant something in someone's memory. Here we are all these years later and it just still means a lot to me,” Smith said.
A memory that’s being passed down to Smith’s daughter, Natalie Banes, as the tree moves into Banes' front yard.
“Turns out it's just the perfect spot to put this tree. So now she's going to have her grandpa in her front yard,” Smith said.
“I'll look outside the window and say 'yup that's my grandpa,'” Banes said.