U of M News
University Designated as Level II Arboretum University News
For release: July 8, 2008

For press information, contact Curt Guenther

The University of Memphis campus has been designated a Level 2 Arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and the Tennessee State Division of Forestry.  To achieve that designation requires that at least 60 varieties of trees must be labeled and available for a self-guided tour.  At the U of M, 67 varieties of trees meet those criteria. 

A special campus map, which denotes the location of these trees, is available at the University’s Visitor Information Center and at the Facilities Operations Desk at the U of M’s Physical Plant office; the map is also available online at:  http://bf.memphis.edu/pp/arboretum.pdf

University President Shirley Raines (center) is shown accepting the campus arboretum sign from Shawn Posey, West Tenn. Regional Urban Forester. Also pictured are (far left) Bruce Webster, staff forester in charge of Urban Forestry for the state, (second from left) Joellen Dimond, U of M horticulturist, and (far right) Patrick Haller, State Arboretum coordinator. (UofM Photo by Lindsey Lissau)

U of M Horticulturist Joellen Dimond said the wealth of different trees on the campus has not only enhanced the beauty of the campus, but has been of educational benefit to University students and to elementary school students at the Campus School and to pre-school students at the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School.  The arboretum serves as a living research lab for students of U of M Biology Department Chairman Randall Bayer, as well as for the younger students, who often do projects related to the trees.

The campus achieved Level 1 arboretum status in 2004, with a total of 31 varieties of trees. Since that time, the 30-person staff of the campus Landscape Department has planted more varieties, marked them, and tended them carefully through droughts and freezes to make the campus even more truly green. Their efforts are now aimed at reaching Level 3 status, which requires 90 varieties of trees, when the campus arboretum’s re-certification takes place in 2013.

The U of M arboretum is one of 17 certified arboreta in West Tennessee, one of 12 in Shelby County.

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