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Students of Sears' horticulture class usually take their learning outdoors every spring. In 1995 they dug 20 flowering crabapple trees from Mr. Ragsdale's garden and transplanted them to the Ragsdale Grove on campus. Two English Oaks (Quercus robur) that were grown from seed 7 years earlier were also planted in the Ragsdale Grove.
Every spring students prune and fertilize these trees, cutting off bottom branches and cutting back unruly branches. In 1988, "Horticulture" students dug and transplanted field juniper to add to the visual screen across from the entrance to campus. These trees were dug from waste fields near campus and since transplanted have grown to 8-9' tall by 2000.
Students learn about plants, principles of design, group interactions and decision making, along with the history and philosophy behind various landscape movements. They also get their hands and knees dirty as they learn how to plant trees and shrubs by doing it.
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