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More than 2,500 trees call the UVM campus home. Like their human counterparts, they come from all over the globe. Native Vermont sugar maples and oaks grow along with exotic ginkgos and a rare dawn redwood. When Ira Allen gave this land to the newly created state of Vermont for a college 1791, he insisted there be an open common. The creation of such started with the clearing of a stand of pines; however, over the years, trees have slowly returned. Some were planted by university officials and others by students wishing to beautify their campus. The most recent inventory of 500 of UVM's trees estimated their value at $1,725,108.14.

For nearly 100 years, elms reigned as a street tree in Burlington. From the mid-1800s to mid-1900s their high, graceful canopies shaded the green's walkways and lined many streets in Burlington. The arrival of Dutch elm disease in the 1930s devastated these trees, and by 1980 had destroyed almost all of Burlington's 10,000 elms, 1,000 of which were on UVM’s campus. The last remaining mature elm on the green was removed in January of 2005. Fortunately, an active replanting campaign beginning in the 1970s has helped create a much more diverse collection of trees species, more resistant to such disasters. Today, students in dendrology, forestry, and ornamental horticulture learn to identify scores of tree species right on campus, art students draw and paint them, and ethnobotany students study their cultural uses and significance.

students hugging tree students gathered around a tree climbing a pignut tree standing near a tree

Last modified November 30 2014 12:50 PM

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