Don’t blink or you’ll miss it

THE HARSH ENVIRONMENT of the cold, windswept Aleutians keeps little foliage other than grasses from growing on the island of Adak, which is home to the westernmost city in the United States. But in WWII and during the Cold War, when the island was a strategic military outpost, a general thought it would boost morale for his soldiers to plant Christmas trees. Most of the trees died off, but a few hardy conifers refused to give way to the elements.

About 30 evergreens remain standing. The community on Adak referred to the small grove as America’s smallest national forest. The running joke is even supported by a sign standing near the trees that reads, “You are now entering and leaving Adak National Forest.”


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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