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Campus Gardens

Cherry Tree Allee

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Thirty-one Yoshino cherry trees (Prunus yedoensis 'Akebono') line the long walk from the residence halls of Cedar Dell Village to the academic quad of the UMass Dartmouth campus. Recently planted along one side of the 1000 foot walkway from the Ring Road to the Fine Arts Building (Gp 6) they make a "half allee" and are a welcome sight for students on their way to classes, and for others hoping for more color on campus. These trees bloom in early to mid April. They were planted in March 2000.

The flowering cherries are of the same hybrid variety of flowering cherries (Prunus x yedoensis cv. 'Akebono') that grace the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC every April with clouds of cherry blossoms. They are also called Potomac cherries. What is so impressive about this half allee of cherries is that the trees are all the same age, about 18 feet round and with 5-6" caliper size trunks. The cost of buying such large trees would have been prohibitive, but these and other flowering trees were a gift to the University, in 1982, by Lloyd Macdonald of South Dartmouth who had grown them from saplings planted. aculty and students in the multidisciplinary course "Landscape and Garden", taught by Professors Donna Huse and Jim Sears, developed the design of the allee in the fall of 1999. Based on several hundred interviews with students and other users of the campus, it was clear that what is needed on campus is more interesting landscaping to soften and humanize the campus architecture, more color, and pleasant and safe places to sit or walk. While the design concept and plan for the allee was developed in the fall of 1999, the actual installation had to wait until spring 2000.

In March of that year, the large trees were moved one at a time from 11 miles south of campus. each tree was dug and moved by a large tree moving machine called the "tree spade", owned and operated by White Pine Farms in Fall River. The 4' x 7' root balls each weighed about one and a half tons, not a job for hand and shovel. This and other recent landscape projects were made possible by grants to Professors Huse and Sears for Campus Beautification from President Bulger's Office. Part of these grants were used to dig, transport and replant the 31 Yoshino cherries and likewise for over forty flowering cherries, pears and crabapples that were moved and planted at the residences of Cedar Dell Village by students and faculty the previous fall.

 Last Updated On: 2/25/04

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