News Item

Lander University Observes Arbor Day

December 18, 2014
Arbor Day 2014 Photo
From left are Lander arboretum committee member Chuck Bender; Lander grounds supervisor Frank Sells; Lander Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Andrew Schwendemann; Greenwood horticulturist John Elsley; Clemson Extension Agent Jim Hodges; arboretum committee member JoAnn Purkerson; Greenwood Council of Garden Clubs President Vivian Kelley; and Lander first lady Marge Ball.
Lander University marked Arbor Day this month with a dedication ceremony for a dwarf tulip poplar, planted recently in front of the Lander Science Building.

Greenwood horticulturist and Lander arboretum committee member John Elsley, who spoke at the ceremony, said the spot was “the right place for that tree.”

The dwarf tulip poplar is a scaled-down version of the full-sized tulip poplar, growing to a height of only 25-30 feet, but Elsley said it has the same “attractive form, attractive foliage and attractive flowers” of its namesake. He called it “one of the finest dwarf trees in America.”

Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska in 1872, is observed in South Carolina on the first Friday in December. It’s an ideal time to plant trees, according to arboretum committee member JoAnn Purkerson, because “trees are dormant, and they can get settled.”

The earth would be a far different place without trees, according to Lander Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Andrew Schwendemann, who said that trees play an important role in lowering temperatures, purifying water and adding oxygen to the atmosphere, in addition to the “aesthetic enjoyment” we get from them.

“Each one makes a significant difference,” Schwendemann said.

Observing Arbor Day each year meets one of the requirements for Lander to maintain its Tree Campus USA status. The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota created the program to recognize colleges and universities that promote healthy trees on their campuses and engage students and staff in conservation.