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The UMD Arboretum was founded by Jim Sears in 1976. Students and faculty in Biology helped plant over 40 trees and shrubs in the spring of that year. The chestnut and oaks were grown from nuts and acorns planted shortly thereafter and the English oak, also planted from an acorn few years later. Prior to these plantings this area between Textiles and Violette buildings had only a lawn. Now a much more diverse community, birds and butterflies make it their home. Trees of special interest include a spectacular silk tree (Albzia julibrissin), two tall Dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostrobioides) and Franklinia alatamaha, planted in memory of one of our biology students. The saucer magnolia (Magnolia solangiana) is in full bloom by the end of April in the center of the garden, followed by a large double pink flowered Kwanzan cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan').
The collections are used by classes in horticulture and biology and by people who want a pleasant place to sit, relax, or practice Tai Chi among birds, trees and lawn. The vegetation of the Arboretum provides a welcome change of scenery from the gray concrete that dominates the inner campus landscape. A small nursery bed was begun in 1998 for starting woody plants propagated by students in horticulture class or from the Arnold Arboretum fall plant sale. Kris Kearney, a horticulture student, planted a trial bed of native plants and wildflowers and other students plant flowers they had started in the greenhouse each spring.
Last Updated On: 2/25/04
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