The University of Georgia campus is one of the most beautiful in the United States. Stately, noble trees provide human scale, a sense of place, cooling shade, and tranquility to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To walk this hallowed campus is to sense the pride in its heritage and hope for the future. The designation of the campus as an arboretum not only ensures sustained, energetic tree planting and maintenance but also presents opportunities for studying trees. This “Tree Walk” is the first project of the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum initiative.
From a teaching standpoint, the tremendous woody plant diversity serves classes in Botany, Forestry, Ecology, Horticulture, and Landscape Architecture. Art and Photography utilize campus as a natural extension of the classroom.
Previous arboreta and botanical gardens were developed on campus but succumbed to development. The first, 1833-1854, was located just east of the campus and downtown Athens. The second, on south campus, was started in the early 1900s by T.D. McHatton of the Horticulture Department. The large Quercus dentata, Quercus virginiana, and Cedrus deodara are remnants from this effort. The latest, The State Botanical Garden (1968), was sited off-campus to protect it from encroachment.
Rather than designate a portion of campus for the arboretum, the entire campus, encompassing three distinct areas, North, Central, South, were selected. Tree planting and tree diversity will be sustained over time. When older trees perish, young trees will take their place.
The mission of the Campus Arboretum is to provide biologically diverse and aesthetic collections of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants in designed settings for the enjoyment and education of students, staff, faculty, and visitors. To map, label and otherwise promote the extant and future tree and shrub collections.