UMass Amherst Again Earns Tree Campus USA Designation

Arbor Day Program to Highlight Waugh Arboretum, Campus Skills
TC USA logo

AMHERST, Mass. –  For the third consecutive year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The award will be accepted at a state Department of Conservation and Recreation ceremony May 30 in Northampton.

Jack Ahern, professor of landscape architecture and director of the Frank A. Waugh Arboretum, which covers the core campus, said, “The Tree Campus USA designation for our campus arboretum recognizes the extent and quality of our tree collection and the institutional infrastructure that the arboretum committee and the Physical Plant-grounds department have built in recent years. Special recognition is due to Pamela Monn, assistant director of Buildings and Grounds, and her staff for their extraordinary leadership and support for the campus arboretum.”

The university achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

The arboretum also has been awarded a Level IV Accreditation – the highest level – by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program for achieving high standards of professional practices for arboreta and botanic gardens.

Meanwhile, the campus community is invited to a close-up look at the arboretum and the work of arboriculturists during events hosted by the arboretum, UMass Extension and UMass Landscape Services on Arbor day, Friday, April 27.

  • Arboretum T-shirt and seedling giveaway Campus Center, Information booth will be open throughout day
  • Campus tree walk Begins outside the Student Union entrance, Informative campus tour of notable trees commencing at the Chancellor’s House, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Climbing demonstration with arboriculture students Heritage oak collection across from Old Chapel, Demonstration of climbing practices led by arboriculture students 11 a.m.-noon
  • Big tree measurement with the DCR Legacy Tree Program Sawtooth oak across from Old Chapel, Learn tools and techniques of measuring mature trees, 11 a.m.-noon
  • Class of 2018 tree planting Southeast corner of Bartlett Hall, This year’s class tree is a shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria), 1-2 p.m.
  • Tree spade demonstration Lawn south of Integrative Learning Center, east of Campus Pond, Mechanized digging and planting for large tree transplants 2-3 p.m.

The Frank A. Waugh Arboretum is named for the first head of the university’s landscape architecture department. It is home to 8,000 actively managed trees of more than 350 species.

Among the champion trees on campus is a national champion, the Japanese elm on the southeast side of South College, which is the both the oldest and largest on American soil. It was brought to campus from Japan in 1890 by William Penn Brooks, who would later be 10th president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College.