Fall is officially here, and what better way to celebrate than with events and resources that honor and acknowledge WashU’s magnificent trees? This fall, WashU is pleased to unveil trees.wustl.edu, a new website that catalogs and highlights trees of merit across the Danforth campus. The website will continue to grow as additional trees are selected for the collection, but the first 26 are prime specimens of a wide variety of native, adaptive, and historic trees and tree species.
In addition to the online resource, each of the cataloged trees will have a tree tag affixed to the tree or staked in the ground nearby that identifies its taxonomy (scientific name and cultivar). Tree tags have a QR code that can be read by the camera of most smartphones without the need for an additional application.
Trees.wustl.edu is a project that provides a public outreach component of WashU’s Arboretum. With the first 26 trees identified, labeled, and linked together through both a virtual and self-guided tour, WashU is pursuing Level 1 accreditation as an Arboretum through ArbNet’s Morton Register of Arboreta.
The new website and tree tags are part of a long-term project coordinated by WashU’s Facilities department. The project has benefited from student engagement as the campus has been used as a living laboratory for hands-on learning. Last spring, students commissioned through the Student Technology Services created the website and online tour. This fall, a student team participating in the Sustainability Exchange interdisciplinary class is supporting the rollout of the program, collecting additional information and seasonal photos of the first 26 trees, and creating entries for the next 25 trees.
Celebrate this fall with WashU’s trees through the upcoming events and tools:
- Annual Tree Planting: October 25, from 2 to 4p (meet at the Whittemore House on the south side of Forsyth).
- Fall Arbor Walk: October 30, from 11a to 12p (meet on the south side of the DUC).
- Instagram Contest: Between October 19 and 30, the Campus Sustainability Month Instagram Contest challenges you to post pictures of your favorite tree(s) on campus! Tag your photo with both #washusustainabilitymonth and #washutree to enter. Winners will choose from a selection of sustainable-lifestyle-enabling prizes, including bamboo cutlery sets, reusable metal straws, and sustainability shirts.