2017 Class Gift Alive with 127-Year History

Japanese elm gift of Class of 2017
The Class of 2017's Japanese elm

The Class of 2017’s new gift to the university already has more than a century of living history.

The gift, a Japanese elm planted May 5, was grown in the Physical Plant tree nursery from a cutting from the South College Japanese elm, the oldest and largest example of the species in North America.

The South College elm, which was carefully preserved during the recently completed South College renovation and expansion, was brought to campus from Japan in 1890 by William Penn Brooks, who would later be 10th president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College.

The cutting was taken by alumnus and renowned tree exert Michael Dirr, who earned his Ph.D in plant physiology at UMass Amherst and who has worked closely with the Physical Plant over the past five years to improve the campus landscape.

The new tree was planted in a lawn behind Munson Hall and in front of Curry Hicks Cage. See more on the UMass Amherst Facebook page