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The Missouri Arboretum, with  more than 1,700 trees and more than 160 species from throughout the world, is a Tree Campus USA for the sixth consecutive year. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

The Missouri Arboretum, with more than 1,700 trees and more than 160 species from throughout the world, is a Tree Campus USA for the sixth consecutive year. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

May 28, 2019

Northwest is Tree Campus for 6th year, grant funds aid maintenance

The Missouri Arboretum benefits natural science and agriculture students as a place for study and research, in addition to the Northwest community with its three walking trails.

The Missouri Arboretum benefits natural science and agriculture students as a place for study and research, in addition to the Northwest community with its three walking trails.

For the sixth consecutive year, Arbor Day Foundation has named Northwest Missouri State University a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in conservation goals.

Northwest achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five core standards for effective campus forest management, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

“It’s an honor to be designated a Tree Campus USA,” Pat Ward, the director of the Missouri Arboretum at Northwest, said. ”The importance of trees to the environment is becoming more and more evident as we have problems with air quality and high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which the trees sequester. We’ve got so many trees on campus, we are probably a carbon dioxide sink; we take in more carbon dioxide than we put out, which is good.”

This spring, with the assistance of a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant award of $23,860 from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Northwest took actions to improve the health and sustainability of the Missouri Arboretum while improving pedestrian safety.

Arborists removed two Ginkgo trees and three Cottonwood trees deemed hazardous, and they pruned 12 Oak trees and eight Crab Apple trees as part the University’s three-year pruning rotation. Northwest also took steps to preserve its 50-foot Northern Catalpa, a legacy tree on the campus, by adding limb support and lightning protection to the tree. Additionally, Northwest is enhancing the grounds near the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation with new trees, pollinator plants and prairies grasses.

“We thank the Missouri Department of Conservation and the TRIM grant for helping us remain a Tree Campus USA,” Ward said. “Without the grant to be able to take care of removing and protecting some of these trees, the survival of our heritage trees would be in question.”

The Missouri state legislature designated the Northwest campus as the Missouri Arboretum in 1993. Last year, the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum granted the Missouri Arboretum at Northwest a Level II accreditation for achieving standards and professional practices outlined by its global initiative. Today, the campus is home to more than 1,700 trees and more than 160 species cultivated from throughout the world.

The Missouri Department of Conservation also recognized two trees in the University’s collection as the largest trees of their kind in the state. An Overcup Oak measuring 64 feet tall with a 76-foot spread was named the state champion, and an American yellowwood, measuring 40 feet tall with a 53-foot spread, is a co-state champion. Both are located between the B.D. Owens Library and the Garrett-Strong Science Building.

The University’s legacy of caring for trees and developing its lush landscape dates back to nearly 50 years before the institution’s founding in 1905. About 85 acres of the 330-acre campus were originally part of a tree farm and nursery established by Thomas Gaunt in 1857. The Gaunt home now serves as a residence for the University president and his family.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe, said. “Because of your school’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner, and your students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”

For more information about the Missouri Arboretum, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/arboretum/.
For more information about the Tree Campus USA program, visit arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468