Colorado State University to hold Arbor Day Tree Campus USA Tree Planting Event on the Historic Oval April 20

Colorado State University and the Arbor Day Foundation will hold a tree planting event on the historic Oval on Friday, April 20, to celebrate the university’s recognition as an official Tree Campus USA.

More than 100 CSU student volunteers will plant 27 Valley Forge elms in an effort to extend the Oval legacy. Oval Drive will be closed from approximately 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 20 for the event.

The tree planting event will begin with a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on the Oval. Following the ceremony, 27 elms will be planted throughout the Oval. The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota are granting 27 Valley Forge elms to CSU and are teaming up with students to plant the trees during the ceremonial recognition of the university being named a Tree Campus USA. CSU Facilities and the Colorado State Forest Service will help with planting instructions.

“The event on the Oval and the recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation point out that the simple act of planting a tree has impacts beyond our times in ways we cannot anticipate,” said Fred Haberecht, assistant director of landscaping and planning with CSU’s Facilities Management. “In 1881, when another group of people planted the first Oval trees, did they realize how cherished those trees would turn out to be, and that others would be sustaining what they started 131 years ago?”

This is only the second supplemental planting in the Oval’s history. The previous supplemental planting of 16 American elms occurred in 1996. The last mass planting on the Oval took place in the 1920s.

“We are excited for this amazing opportunity to help preserve and restore the Oval,” said Jamie Dahl, experiential learning coordinator for the Colorado State Forest Service and leading member of the tree advisory committee. “It is a wonderful way to celebrate Arbor Day.”

Last month, the Arbor Day Foundation awarded Colorado State University the title of 2011 Tree Campus USA sponsored by Toyota Motors North America Inc. CSU received this award for its excellent forestry practices and engagement of students and the community about urban tree care.

To become a 2011 Tree Campus USA, CSU was required to demonstrate that it will ensure the protection and maintenance of the campus’ urban forest, reduce hazardous tree risks to public safety and maintain a sustainable campus forest through tree species diversity and best management practices. The university joins more than 140 American colleges and universities recognized by the program.

Colorado State University currently has over 7,000 trees on campus, and some are 130 years old.

More information about the Oval Preservation Fund is at