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Tree planting to honor 130th founding of Hastings College

Tree planting at Hastings College is a tradition with very deep roots. Archival photos indicate the College’s founders planted an American elm to mark occasion of the groundbreaking for McCormick Hall, HC’s first permanent building, on April 25, 1883.

Similarly, as the College celebrates the 130th anniversary of its founding on Thursday, September 13, 2012, officials will plant a Princeton American elm close to McCormick Hall (812 N. Turner Avenue) on that day at 2:30 p.m.

“[Long-time Hastings residents] Gretchen and Hal Lainson reported that at one time HC had nearly 200 elms on the main part of the campus, but most died in the 1960's and 1970's from Dutch elm disease (DED),” said Dr. Will Locke ’61, Professor Emeritus of Teacher Education and volunteer with the Hastings College Arboretum. “Now we have only three large American elm specimens left, and we want to continue on the American elm legacy.”  

New trees were planted around the Morrison-Reeves Science Center, the newest building on campus, included several types of American and even Asian elms, all of which, according to Locke, show good resistance to DED.

“Our favorite is the Princeton American elm because it has a very high level of resistance to DED, and it has an upright habit very much like our largest American elm located 70 yards northwest of McCormick Hall,” said Locke. “The Princeton elm cultivar comes from cuttings from elms near the Princeton campus in Princeton, N.J., that survived Dutch elm disease and, based on testing, appear to possess a high level of resistance to DED.”

Dr. Locke will be available at the tree planting ceremony to answer additional questions about the Hastings College Arboretum.

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