Video by Matt Haugen, WSU News
PULLMAN, Wash. – Towering over the center of the WSU Pullman campus is the Lowell Elm. The American elm tree has stood in front of Bryan Hall for almost 120 years, offering shade and a place to relax on a hot summer day.
As one of the few remaining elms originally planted near Bryan Hall, the Lowell Elm has reproduced, but not via nearby fallen seed, as you might think. Just down the hill, near the Veteran’s Memorial, a tree with a small dedication plaque is growing strong. This is the Lowell Elm as well.
How can the same tree be in two places at once?
The answer is a cutting, and that’s thanks to Chuck Cody, Plant Growth Facilities manager. He took branches off the original elm in 1993 and, after growing them in climate controlled facilities, was able to transform those branches into trees.
“It took about five years to get it up to a sizable enough tree we felt comfortable putting into the ground,” Cody said. “Their life expectancy is 100 plus years, 100 to 120 years, and so technically it could be in the ground for that long.”
The new tree was dedicated in 2003 and will be a historic reminder of the original elm when it eventually comes down.
There are not many trees of this size on campus, Cody said, “so even if people know nothing about the history of it, it catches their attention just because of the sheer size.”
For more about the history of the Lowell elm, click here.
Chuck Cody, 509-335-4064, email@example.com
Matt Haugen, WSU News, 509-335-0487, firstname.lastname@example.org