Arboretum and Landscape Committee
Annual Report: 1994-1995
During the past academic year the Committee has continued its efforts to increase the amenity of the Grounds
of the University. The Committee has met almost biweekly and has dealt with a large number of projects and
There have been several notable gains and losses of trees over the year. On Founder's Day a new Sycamore
(Platanus occidentalis) was added to the grove north of the Rotunda in honor of Mr. William Middleton, joining
several other honorific trees in that area where losses have been heavy over the last decade. Other trees have included
a Franklinia at Gilmer Hall in honor of Mr. Raymond Bice, and a Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica) near Olsson Hall
in honor of Mr. Sture G. Olsson. The Committee has also brought to completion a project to commemorate the
McGuffey Ash. The table commissioned from Mr. David Ramazani has been installed in Pavilion VII. The Committee
hopes to make a formal presentation to the University in the fall.
A number of trees have been lost to construction projects, the most regrettable of which is the large White
Ash near the new Bryan Hall bridge. With better supervision this magnificent tree need not have been destroyed. In
that vein, the Committee refused to sanction the removal of the very large Deodar (Cedrus deodara) by the lower
entrance to Carruthers Hall, since careful work could accomplish the desired renovation without its disturbance.
The most heartening development of the year has been the augmentation of the Facilities Management budget
for landscaping, both the one-time allotment for infrastructure and the permanent addition for tree maintenance. The
Committee believes that this commitment to better care will save many emergency costs in future years. The
Committee itself has committed a total of about $75,000 to various projects this year, major ones being the
renovations at the Senff Gates and the Comer, the landscaping of the Gilmer Pond, and cooperative projects with
the Small Business Administration urban forestry projects.
An important initiative has been the development, in conjunction with the Office of the University Architect,
of a long term plan for the rejuvenation and regularization of the plantings on the Lawn. Over the next 100 years the
Committee hopes to achieve a planting plan that will complement the architecture of the pavilions, improve the
quality of the turf, and provide a continuing arbor of trees of all ages.
The number of plans and projects that the Committee has reviewed during the past year is legion. A simple
list will give some idea of their range and variety:
1. Sites for satellite dishes at Zehmer Hall.
2. Pruning for security at Gilmer Hall.
3. Sites for picnic tables at Alderman Library.
4. Extension of box hedges at Alderman Library.
5. Access for contractors to the new Observatory Hill dormitory site.
6. Sidewalk for Alderman Road.
7. Landscaping for the Observatory Hill Dining Hall.
8. Landscaping for Hereford College.
9. Parking plan for Zehmer Hall
10. Landscaping for the Children's Rehabilitation Center.
11. Landscaping for the North Grounds electrical substation.
12. Bridge for the Copeley complex.
13. Flower beds on the comer of Lee Ave. and Jefferson Park Ave.
14. Landscaping between Minor and Maury Halls.
15. Recycling center for Bryan and Cabell Halls.
16. Renovation of the Lady Astor tennis courts.
17. Disposal of fill from the North Grounds construction.
18. Benches for the Oak Grove by the Comer.
19. Landscaping for the new parking garage.
20. Landscaping for the Senff Gates.
21. Landscaping for the Comer Building.
22. Landscaping for Brooks Hall.
23. Landscaping for Bonneycastle Drive.
24. Labeling for the Morea garden.
25. Landscaping for Halsey Hall.
26. Redbud plantings on Massie Road.
27. Recycling containers for Mechanical Engineering.
28. Access for the handicapped:
Old Forestry Building
In addition to these projects, two major precinct plans were prepared by the Office of the Architect and
presented to the Committee. They treated Emmet Street from the pedestrian bridge to Jefferson Park Avenue, and
the awkward space south of New Cabell Hall from Dawson's Row to Wilson Hall. These plans await funding.
Several issues of concern remain to be dealt with. Plans are in hand for the landscaping of the Gilmer Pond.
It remains to be seen whether their implementation will serve to repair this serious ecological blunder. Another open
issue is the request by the city for the University to accept the city standards for signage. The Committee is on record
in favor of following city standards on joint signs but retaining the University's graphically superior standards for
purely University signs. A final issue has arisen over the designation of the Childress Memorial Garden. The
Committee does not believe that it should undertake to determine the appropriateness of such designations, but that
its role should be restricted to the review of the plans, once the designation has been established. We recommend
that the Office of the Architect should undertake the primary role of determination.
In accordance with its charge the Committee made its annual tour of inspection of the Blandy Experimental
Farm. We were very pleased with the progress that has been made in the past year. The new entrance is settling in
nicely, although there is a, need for some tree replacement as a result of poor performance by the landscaping
contractor. The amphitheater is now functional, with a program of artistic events scheduled for this summer. The
Committee discussed with the Director several issues arising from the review of the Master Plan for the Farm, such
as the needs for additional parking, a locus for major events, and new residential construction. Much progress has
been made in the reclamation of unlabeled plants in the arboretum.
Finally the Committee would like to go on record in acknowledgment of the extraordinary services of Mr.
Tom Leback. During his tenure in the Office of the University Architect the Committee has received a continuous
stream of ideas, plans, and initiatives that has made for a most exciting and enriching collaboration. The University
will carry the marks of his skill and judgement for many years to come.
J.J. Murray, Chairman
Arboretum & Landscape Committee
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY
TEL. (804) 982-5474
July 7, 1995
University of Virginia
Dear Mr. Casteen:
I enclose herewith a report on the activities of the Arboretum and Landscape Committee for the 1994-95
academic year. On behalf of the Committee I should like to thank you for the opportunity for us to serve in this
capacity. This is one Committee that truly enjoys its work.
We wish you a pleasant and productive summer.
J. J. Murray, Chairman
Arboretum & Landscape Committee
cc: Mr. Sandridge