Planting kicks off effort to catalog, expand campus trees

  Friday, April 24, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Planting kicks off effort to catalog, expand campus trees

When Cate Breneman, PSU’s grounds maintenance supervisor, and her crew prepared to plant a new tree at the Wilkinson Alumni Center Friday, they had some expert advice coming from the crowd assembled to watch.

A tour group from Wichita, including members of Botanica and the Kansas Association of Arboreta and Botanical Gardens, participated in the planting as part of their observance of Arbor Day.

R.O. “Dick” Weidenbach, a landscape architect from Wichita and the founder and chairman of the KAABG, said he has been organizing similar trips all across Kansas for 30 years, but this was the first to Pittsburg.

“You have a beautiful campus,” Weidenbach said.

Weidenbach tossed in the first spade of soil around a Yoshino cherry tree that Breneman said was selected for its prolific and fragrant blossoms. The tree’s fruit, meanwhile, are a popular food source for birds and small animals.

Ken Bateman, a PSU alumnus and former director of PSU Alumni and Constituent Relations, led the group on its tour of campus. He said planting the tree was the first effort in a drive to identify, mark and expand the number of trees on the campus. Private gifts and grants will support that project.

Breneman said that as trees are added to the campus landscape in the coming months and years, particular attention will be paid to selecting species that are native to Kansas and are hardy in this region.



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