Arbor Day Foundation Names USC Upstate Tree Campus USA

May 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Some of the most attractive areas of the University of South Carolina Upstate campus are its manicured quads, beautiful meandering creek-side arboretum, and the abundance of perennials and ornamental plantings sited among the outdoor sculptures. All of these areas across the campus’ 330 acres have a healthy, and growing, tree canopy to complement the settings.

In fact, in 2011 there were 126 trees planted by the Landscape Services department across campus, adding to an ever-expanding inventory of trees. It was for this planned and sustained tree planting effort that, for the fourth year in a row, the university was named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.

“In 2008, when we first received Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation, we inventoried 1,471 trees,” says Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services. “In 2011 we inventoried a total of 2,267 trees – a difference of 796 trees planted over four years.”

The USC Upstate campus was the first public university in the state to achieve the honor, and is one of four universities in the state to be named a Tree Campus USA.

“The Tree Campus USA program will have a long-lasting impact at the University of South Carolina Upstate as it engages college students and local citizens to plant trees and create healthier communities for people to enjoy for decades to come,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The university will benefit from exceptional tree-care practices on campus as it works with tree-care professionals in the community to improve the tree canopy in Spartanburg.”

“We are fortunate that we have a number of visionary community leaders and university friends who donate trees to our campus inventory,” says Suddeth. “It’s been a pleasure to watch our entryways develop with new plantings, as well as to see our arboretum take shape with a mix of established and new plants, and to enjoy an allée of Golden Dawn Redwoods on the upper quad.”

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors college and universities and the leaders of the campus and surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota.

USC Upstate met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body. USC Upstate’s Landscape Services department was also required to submit a detailed inventory of trees, which included 131 species of trees in 59 genera.

More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.

For more information about the Tree Campus USA award, please contact Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services, at bsuddeth@uscupstate.edu or (864) 503-5500.

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“Arch,” a steel sculpture located on the Lower Quad, can be seen in the photo at left, but, four years later is obscured by (l to r) Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Filicoides Aurea’ or Dwarf Hinoki Cypress; Thuja orientalis ‘Gold Cone’ or Gold Cone Arborvitae; and the silver tree in the background is Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Silver Smoke’ or Silver Smoke Arizona Cypress.

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Created as an attractive handicapped entryway from the Lower Quad to the second floor of the Smith Building, the area containing the rock waterfall and a handicapped ramp was planted in 2008 with 127 conifers, 150 perennials, 60 gardenias, and approximately 20 trees. The trees include hollies, cedars, Japanese maples and Italian Cypress. The waterfall circulates 160 gallons of water a minute.