JOPLIN, Mo. — Mike Shade was former chairman of the city of Joplin Tree Board. He passed away Friday, October 28, 2022 in Joplin. Mike will be remembered for his business, The Botany Shop, which he operated in town for decades.
But he will also be remembered for the Mike Shade Gingko Tree. The 100-yr-old tree stands in the shadow of the new Cornell Center for the arts near 7th and Wall Ave.
“The Mike Shade Gingko Tree. This 100 yr. old gingko tree was saved from destruction by Mike Shade and will forevermore be known as the Mike Shade Gingko Tree.”
— Foot stone, base of tree
Family of Shade told us the story in 2018 and we remember it today as he is laid to rest at Ozark Memorial Park in Joplin.
About 2010 Mike was chairman of the city’s Tree Board. The tree was to come down as a new parking lot was being created. However Mike moved to save the rare tree.
The parking lot was delayed for years and designed to save the tree. This Gingko Tree is more than 100 years old.
Gingko trees are native to China, in some monasteries the Gingko trees are 1,500 years old.
This tree was saved long before the idea to create the new Cornell Arts Center, where Spiva Art Center Connect2Culture are located, which opens November 12, 2022 at 7th and Wall.
How appropriate it will continue to stand close-by as a living memory of Shade. A man who brought so many plants and trees, breathing life, into the city of Joplin.
You can read Shade’s obituary here and sign the linked guestbook.
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