Taking Root Trees of Merit Cool trees in the eight county Tri-State can be nominated to be a Tree of Merit. The nomination process can be completed by anybody, including the owner of the tree. It is submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. If the tree is approved, and if we have permission from the tree’s owner, a photo of the tree will be posted to the Zoo’s website, the Taking Root website, and Plant Places. If the tree is truly special, it will be awarded as a Tree of Special Merit. Expand here to nominate a tree!