Johnston Memorial Maple Tree
216th Street and Glover Road, Township of Langley, British Columbia, V2Y, Canada
Johnston Memorial Maple Tree
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Johnston Memorial Maple Tree consists of one mature Broad Leaf Maple Tree located at the intersection of 216th Street and Glover Road in the Milner area of the Township of Langley. In front of the tree is a bronze memorial marker that lists the name of the soldier it commemorates and a small tribute.
Planted in 1923, the Johnston Memorial Maple Tree is significant for its historic and social values, in particular for the man it memorializes and the world-shattering event it remembers.
Arthur Johnston was a grocer and local leader and was one of about 360 men from Langley who went overseas to fight in World War One. He was also one of about 36 who died in the line of duty – in his case at Ypres in 1916. The tree planted as a memorial to his death is located at a prominent intersection in Milner, beside the former location of Milner United Church. Its location and size alone make it a landmark feature of Milner's main road, but its true value lies in its association with Mr. Johnston and the role the tree plays to remind people how World War I touched so many in the community of Langley.
Also associated with this tree are Dr. Benjamin Marr and Archie Payne, Langley residents who were members of the Langley Volunteers division, which fought in France during the war. These two men wanted to honour their fallen comrades by having broad leaf maple trees planted and named after the soldiers. This tree is one of only four WWI memorial trees that have survived in the Township and represents the residents' pride in their community and their civic-mindedness in honouring those who fought and died.
The Maple Tree family is highly significant for its representational and memorial symbolism. Not only are Broadleaf Maples the largest growing maple tree native to BC (reaching up to 36 metres), they are also the symbol of Canada and an early expression of Canada's nationhood. The maple leaf was the first military insignia for Canada, so it is appropriate that a maple tree was chosen to memorialize fallen Canadian soldiers.
The listing of this tree on Langley's Heritage Register demonstrates the commitment of the Township of Langley and its citizens to recognizing and preserving its natural heritage.
Source: Langley Centennial Museum, heritage files
The character-defining elements of the Johnston Memorial Maple Tree include:
- The strong cultural associations that the community has for this tree, in particular the memorializing of Arthur Johnston and of the First World War.
- The siting and relationship of the tree to the intersection of 216th Street and Glover Road in Milner
- The orientation to Glover Road, which is an important historic road in Milner
- The longevity of this tree on this site
- Its species (Broad Leaf Maple Tree – Acer macrophyllum)
- The deciduous aspect of this tree, which results in the seasonal changes of its colour and canopy
- Its canopy, which consists of a few large, spreading branches supporting a broad crown
- The shallow grooves of the bark, which are a sign of age in this particular type of Maple tree
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Nature Element
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Langley Centennial Museum, heritage files
Cross-Reference to Collection