Bald Cypress : On the UVM Campus
For a tree that thrives in the southern swamps of the United States, how did it make its way up to Burlington, VT? Thanks to Dr. Mark Starrett, an associate professor at UVM with expertise in horticulture and plant pathology, we have these beautiful trees on campus. He gathered the seeds used to grow the Bald Cypresses on campus from a tree at Smith College in Northampton, MA. This specific tree was selected to give its seeds because it had already been growing in an area colder than its native habitat, so its offspring would probably also be able to adapt to the colder climate of Vermont. He collected the seeds in 1998 and planted them at the UVM Horticulture Farm. The best growing tree was selected from those seedlings and then planted outside of the Hills Science Building on the south side in 2002. However, when Carrigan Wing was being built nearby the young four foot tall tree was cut down and run through a chipper. To save the species presence at UVM, Starrett collected pieces of the branches and rooted around 10 of them. These trees were then planted in various locations around campus. They can be found behind Jeffords, between Marsh Life Science and Stafford Hall, and next to Morrill Hall facing Main Street.