A new self-guided walking tour showcases 40 of the University’s most unusual trees.
The guide includes a map and descriptions of the plants.
“We picked trees that are impressive because of their size and grandeur, or because they are rare, bear a special flower or fruit, or have a particularly interesting leaves or bark,” says Mark Brand, professor of plant science and co-chair of the University’s Arboretum Committee.
“Some of the trees have been here since 1895 such as the jumbo-sized Camperdown Elm,” says Brand, who wrote the guide with input from other members of the committee.
“When we know certain facts of interest, we’ve included them.”
The guide was designed by graphic artist Virge Kask.
One of the trees included on the tour is a Giant Sequoia, located in the Torrey Life Sciences courtyard.
“They’re the largest trees on earth and it’s unusual to find them on the East Coast,” Brand says. “They’re native to California and better adapted to the Pacific Coast environments. The courtyard here protects the UConn specimen from the drying winter winds.”
Another noteworthy tree is a Japanese Pagodatree, located near von der Mehden Recital Hall.
“It’s very old and the largest in Connecticut,” Brand says.
“It has green-barked, cascading branches, and is rare to begin with. To find one as large and robust as the one we have on campus is really unusual.”
| Standing in front of a weeping maple are Gregory J. Anderson, vice provost and dean of the graduate school, President Michael J. Hogan, Virge Kask, designer, and Mark Brand, professor of plant science.
|Photo by Sean Flynn
The tour begins at the Lodewick Visitors Center and takes about an hour to complete.
“We tried to select trees at different locations across campus, so visitors could also get to see a good bit of the campus,” Brand says.
“But visitors can start the tour anywhere.”
He says he hopes visitors will take the tour when they come to campus: “We want people to know that the University of Connecticut Campus Arboretum has many wonderful plants that should be appreciated. We have highlighted some of the more special ones.”
Beyond the obvious – a beautiful campus – the trees, shrubs, and collections are used for classes in plant science and ecology and evolutionary biology.
The guide is available at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Lodewick Visitors Center and the Biology Greenhouses.
It is also available online as a PDF.