Celebrating Big Trees at Smith College

Friday, April 29, 2016
Campus Arboretum

The Smith College Campus Tree Advisory Committee and students invite the community to celebrate our Champion Trees on Campus during Arbor Day, April 29th from 11:00 am-1:00pm.

The Committee has selected four large trees on campus to highlight. Three of these are the largest specimens for that species in the state of Massachusetts. We are showcasing one elm to highlight the 16 large American elms that the Botanic Garden is working hard to maintain, despite the stresses of soil compaction on a college campus and the threat of Dutch elm disease. Did you know that up to 50% of a tree is in the root system, underground invisible to us?

The Campus Tree Advisory Committee and student volunteers will be posted at each of the four trees. We will be encouraging passersby to take a small survey flag and place it around the tree to visually show where the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is. This area around a tree, where roots are growing underground, should be protected from regular foot traffic and other soil compaction. To help protect our trees we encourage everyone to stay on paved pathways while commuting through campus.

Follow the chalk path from the Champion Ginkgo in the Systematics Garden near Lyman Plant House to the Champion Metasequoia behind Neilson Library. Visit the massive American Elm on Chapin Lawn and our champion London Plane Tree behind the Fine Arts Center on Seeyle lawn.

Additionally, we want to bring to everyone's attention to the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive exotic pest introduced into this country. We will be putting out large green tree tags on several ash trees and other species that are vulnerable to the emerald ash borer. This pest, discovered in Michigan in 2002, is now spreading. It has been found in Windsor, Massachusetts, only about 30 miles west of Northampton and is expected to be in our area within the next few years.