What is Tree Campus?
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. West Virginia University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, 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 project. Currently there are 402 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
WVU Tree Care Plan
- Increase and maintain diversity of tree species
- Develop preferred species list
- Develop ‘do not plant’ list
- Choose some species based on their potential for incorporation into the student curriculum
- Maintain and improve canopy cover in landscaped areas
- Develop tree replacement recommendations
- Support WVU urban forestry
- Evaluate the need for updating equipment
- Establish volunteer tree work with student organizations
- Monitor and maintain trees in rain gardens
- Maintain tree inventory database
- Use the database to monitor tree health
- Educate the campus community on the importance and value of trees
- Keep stakeholders from negatively impacting trees
- Prepare people for when declining tree health necessitates removal of historic trees
Tree Campus Activities
- First time celebrating Arbor Day on campus in 2017 and continued in 2018, 2019, and 2020 with no guests. In-person ceremonies returned in 2021 with the planting of a dawn redwood outside of Colson Hall.
- Completed a tree inventory of campus trees in landscaped areas in Spring 2018.
- Planted 200 saplings in rain gardens on campus in Spring 2019. Planted an additional 100 in April 2020. Some will stay in rain gardens permanently, while others will be transplanted when larger.
- Planted 40 trees on campus in Fall 2019 with a grant from the WV Division of Forestry. Planted 11 in Fall 2020 through a second round of the grant. Planted 15 in Fall 2021, including 5 4"-5" caliper trees. Replaced the E. Moore Sycamore in a similar location with a London Plane tree.
- Celebrated 200th birthday of the E. Moore Hall sycamore in November 2019.
- Planted more trees than were removed in 2019-- removed 41, but planted 51.