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History All Around Us

History All Around UsThe oldest landmarks on Queens’ park-like campus aren’t made of brick and mortar.

Botany students create Tree Tour to recognize native specimens.

It's easy to forget to look down while you're walking across Queens' beautiful park-like campus. The classic architecture of our Georgian buildings draws the eye past what are truly the oldest landmarks on campus - the trees.

Dr. Carrie DeJaco's botany students recently created a "Queens Tree Tour" to ensure that the significant tree specimens along our lush landscape aren't forgotten.  They picked 20 different specimens of trees that are native to eastern North American, and placed small placards at their bases.

She coached her students on how to properly identify trees, training them to look for telling characteristics such as the size of the cap on an acorn and whether the backs of leaves felt fuzzy.  They also learned interesting facts such as that juice from white ash bark helps relieve insect bite swelling and itching and that American holly trees are gender specific and must be planted in a 1 male to every 3 females ratio for good berry production.

The tour and marker project was designed to educate visitors and help the Queens community appreciate the natural history of campus, DeJaco said.

"My students thought it was really cool to look at old photographs of campus and see that some of the trees in them are still here," DeJaco said.  The willow oak (no. 20 on the tour) is one great example, towering tall at more than 100 years old.

The tour begins at the Harris Welcome Center and winds across campus, stopping in front of Burwell Hall. Click here to see the map.
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