Contacts: Jeanne Curran, (207) 287-3156
Maine Department of Conservation: Statements on the Passing of Frank Knight, Noted Maine Forester
(May 15, 2012)
AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Department of Conservation has issued the following statements regarding the death of Frank Knight, 103, of Yarmouth on Monday:
“As the guardian of the fabled elm, ‘Herbie,’ and a prominent Maine forester, Frank Knight had a long association with the Maine Forest Service and Project Canopy, our urban forestry program, under the Maine Department of Conservation,” said Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley.
“As he has always been identified with the oldest and tallest elm tree in Maine and New England, so we always considered him to be larger than life in his professional and personal stature,” Beardsley said. “I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Frank during our annual Arbor Week celebration, and I know his kind and gracious presence will be missed.”
“The Maine Forest Service is grateful for Frank Knight’s decades of service to the forestry community, especially to the trees and people of Yarmouth,” said Doug Denico, Maine Forest Service director. “His passion and caring for the trees of Yarmouth inspired everyone he knew to appreciate the simple beauty of trees in our communities.”
“It has been an honor and a joy to work with Frank and call him a friend over the last 12 years," said Jan Ames Santerre, Project Canopy director. “I will never forget my first meeting with him, touring the town’s trees.
“Yarmouth has many magnificent elms, a line of unusual and large oak trees that grace the front lawn of the library, and many others that Frank planted and cared for,” Santerre recalled. “He saved the best for last on that day. While driving to view ‘Herbie,’ he paused at some distance to observe the splendid and graceful tree, remarking ‘Isn’t he beautiful?’ Frank’s passion for the town, its trees, and his kind and gentle manner was an inspiration to all those who knew him.”
Knight served the Town of Yarmouth as tree warden for more than 50 years. Because of his devotion to the community and its trees, the Maine Forest Service named the annual excellence in community forestry award for Frank Knight.
The Maine forester will be remembered at this year’s annual Arbor Week awards ceremony at 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, at the Longfellow Elementary School in Portland. During the ceremony, Knight’s work and the work of other volunteers will be honored.