Mizzou Botanic Garden plants 175 trees for 175 years.
The Mizzou Botanic Garden commemorates its 15th anniversary Aug. 26, 2014, which falls during Mizzou’s 175th anniversary year. To celebrate, the garden will plant 175 trees, adding to the 6,000-plus trees already on campus. The first of the 175, an espresso Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus Espresso), was planted Jan. 14, 2014, at the northeast corner of Lewis and Clark halls. For the university’s sesquicentennial in 1989, a red oak (Quercus rubra) was planted south of Tate Hall at Conley Avenue.
Three self-guided tree trails meander through campus: The Jesse Hall Trail features 48 trees, the Lowry Mall Tree Trail 27 and the Memorial Union Tree Trail 37. Each tree is labeled with a QR code that allows smartphone users to learn more about it. A tree even older than the university, a 200-year-old black walnut (Juglans nigra), resides in Peace Park (No. 32 on the Jesse Hall Trail).
Three trees on campus are recognized as state champions by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Based on their height, crown spread (the average width of the tree canopy) and trunk circumference, Mizzou’s state champs are a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) and roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii).
At the corner of College Avenue and Rollins Street stands a collection of native Missouri trees, a gift from the late Allan Purdy, BS Ag ’38, MA ’39, and his wife, Vivian. The stand includes the sour gum (Nyssa sylvatica); white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus); sassafras (Sassafras albidum); hackberry (Celtis occidentalis); and pawpaw (Asimina triloba), a small tree that produces fruits with a sweet custard flavor.