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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Done with winter snow, come the summer trees

Tree Alley
Tree Alley (Photo credit: troryANCAS)

Summertime is here! Isn’t it about time to celebrate that point of the year when you get to hang out with your friends at pool parties (responsibly, I hope) and work on the sun-kissed skin you have been dreaming of all winter.  Don’t you also think the summer looks so gorgeous with all the blossoming trees on campus? Our campus is showered with trees of all kinds of colors. Everywhere we see red, white, and green trees overtaking the atmosphere with lively energy, almost as if we feel energized just by looking at the trees! The tree season is near full swing.

In regards to the explosion of floral colors, it should be no surprise to learn that a lot of tree-related activities have sprung into action. A new book titled Dependable Landscape Trees has recently been published. Written by CSU Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture James Klett and graduate student Sarah Shaub, the book informs its readers about trees enduring the harsh conditions in Colorado.

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The trees in the book were evaluated at the CSU Arboretum at the W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center. The CSU Arboretum is a demonstration garden created in order to study which trees are most suitable for the Rocky Mountain area and then present these trees’ performances to students as well as the public. The trees included in Klett and Shaub’s book were evaluated over a 15-year period from 1997 to 2012. Each tree in the book underwent evaluation for at least 10 years. The judgment was based on aesthetic value, plant health, vulnerability to insects and diseases, and cultural and maintenance problems.

Readers can expect to find pictures taken of most of the trees included in the book and general introductions about the trees’ performances and aesthetics. The book is accessible to both personal gardeners and professional nurseries.

Back to the trees we see on our campus every day. For the third straight year, CSU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America. Tree Campus USA acknowledges universities and colleges that generate sustainable and healthy groves in the community. It also motivates universities and colleges to engage students in learning about trees. The value of trees is not limited to providing campuses with vibrant views or shady spots for students and faculty to relax under. Well-maintained trees also help reduce the energy a campus needs to produce as well as the carbon dioxide levels in the air.

The Arbor Day Foundation serves to conserve and celebrate the beauty of trees as well as to educate people about planting and nurturing trees. With a plethora of programs designed to make the world a greener place, the organization has helped preserve forested areas around the world and provide ample opportunities for volunteers to participate in a global effort to create a more sustainable earth. In addition to planting and caring for trees, volunteer opportunities include taking pictures of street trees, celebrating trees on social media, calculating the benefits of trees and many more.

If you are interested in planting and taking care of trees, learn more about volunteer opportunities at http://www.arborday.org

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