Trees surround students walking on campus.

Whitman College has once again been awarded the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA designation, which honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students, staff and faculty in the spirit of conservation. 

In celebration of National Arbor Day 2022, the Tree and Landscape Committee announced the campus Whitman College Tree Information Website. The project was initiated and nurtured over the years by Landscape Supervisor Bob Biles ’74 (retired), Landscape Technician Kirk Huffey ’95, Grounds Supervisor Jeff Jensen and Casey Doe ’20, who have gathered much important data while caring for these many trees. In Fall 2021 semester, the initiative evolved into a website developed as a capstone project by senior computer science majors Spencer Van Koevering, Marco Thompson, Colin Aslett and Tristan Chung, supervised by Associate Professor of Computer Science William Bares and in cooperation with members of the campus Tree and Landscape Committee.

The website allows anyone to input a tree code (all of our trees are labeled with a coded metal tag on their trunk at breast height) to find information about the tree. New tree information is being added on an ongoing basis.

Tree inofgraphic

Here’s a glimpse at Whitman’s fabulous trees—by the numbers.

  • Whitman has a 1:1 student-to-tree ratio—or 1.22 trees per student, to be exact.
  • There are 1,641 trees on campus. The most common species are flowering dogwood and Norway maple.
  • The giant sequoia near the Hall of Science is the college’s tallest tree at 147 ft.
  • Twenty campus trees are more than 100 years old. The oldest of these, a wych elm in front of Hunter Conservatory, is also one of the tallest at 100 ft.
  • One in five campus trees are evergreens, including both conifers and broadleaf trees that happen to be evergreen.
  • Whitman’s campus boasts four “champion” trees—defined as trees that are among the largest—if not the largest—of their species in Washington state. They are the weeping cherry in front of Marcus House, the golden rain tree west of Maxey, the burr oak next to Douglas, and the hackberry on the southwest wall of Maxey West.