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Tree added to Arboretum; walkway to be constructed

Washington State University’s annual Presidential Tree Planting ceremony took place May 3 on the southeast side of the WSU arboretum east of Hulbert Hall and north of the Lewis Alumni Centre. (Seen in the photo above are WSU President V. Lane Rawlins, left, and Rhonda Kromm, second vice president of the WSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.)

Members of the WSU Arboretum Committee and Horticulture Club planted a Persian parrotia tree, said club co-adviser and associate professor Larry Hiller. A relative of northern Iran’s witch hazel, the tree will grow 20-40 feet high and is known for its red, yellow and orange foliage. Trees planted in previous years have included American sweetgum and bur oak, among many others.

In addition to bringing a beautiful, peaceful place to the WSU Pullman campus, plans for the arboretum call for the planting of a wide variety of trees that horticulture and landscape architecture can use for identification and educational purposes.

Capital Planning is currently preparing for the construction of a walkway through the arboretum, with about $117,000 in financing coming from the WSU Alumni Association, said Tim Pavish, executive director of the Alumni Association.

In September, the Master Gardeners Association will hold its annual statewide convention in Pullman and will adopt a portion of the long-term plan and expansion of the arboretum.

“It’s turning into a very beautiful and special spot,” said Rawlins.

The tradition began some 20 years ago, Hiller said, when Sam Smith was president at WSU. President V. Lane Rawlins, who also participated in the planting ceremony, has supported continuing the tradition, Hiller said.

Hiller said over the years the planting has helped to beautify the campus, as well as honor the spring graduating class.

Hiller said each year’s tree is selected with input from the Arboretum Committee, grounds supervisor Kappy Brun and a WSU alumnus who owns the Clarkston nursery that supplies the tree.

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