Date: July 5, 2006
Below is a note from Dennis Woodland, curator of the Andrews University Arboretum and professor of botany, sharing some of the interesting things happening right now with several of the campus' trees.
One of the objectives of the Arboretum Council and the "Arboretum Concept" applied to our campus is to provide interesting and different kinds of woody plants for student and staff enjoyment. For those of you who like conifer evergreen trees you might find interest in what is taking place just east and southeast of Price Hall of the Science Complex. "Coning" is taking place! Fir trees (Abies) produce fleshy seed cones, not woody ones, on the upper branches not on the lower, and these cones stick upright like little owls sitting on a branch. When frost comes they disintegrate with the seeds carried by the wind, leaving a central stalk sticking up in the air. They many times have great gobs of pitch on them.
East of Price Hall you will find two Nikko Fir (Abies homolepis) with many small cones. Next to them is a Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika) with many woody cones hanging down from the upper branches. At the entrance of the gravel service road to the back of the Science Complex on the south, is a bluish, short tree with two very large cones (6-8 in) on this Noble Fir (A. procera) from the Coast Range of Oregon. They are truly spectacular! Across the gravel access road on another small tree are reddish cones of the Korean Fir (A. koreana)--smaller than the Noble Fir cones but still rather striking. The many small brownish papery structures on the lower branches are the spent male pollen cones. Having shed pollen earlier this spring or summer they will now dry and blow away.
At this time, name plaques are not present but should be in place by the end of the summer. And while you are exploring the campus, check out the two young Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) from California between Chan Shun Hall and the Seminary. There is a third tree doing very well between Bell Hall and Johnson Gym.
I hope you will enjoy your excursion around the Science Complex, and bring your camera.