Arboretum & Landscape Committee
Annual Report: 1995-1996
The Arboretum and Landscape Committee has continued throughout the year to deal with a large volume
of business of many kinds. The active building program around the University has occasioned the review of a number
of major projects, notably the new grounds of the Darden School and the remodeled Law School. These plans have
from time to time required delicate negotiations with forceful architects and their determined clients. The Committee
believes that the interactions have resulted in better solutions than would have otherwise prevailed. Another major
project has been the woodland garden being designed by Mr. Meade Palmer for Carr's Hill.
The Committee has been involved in the planning of the ISTEA project for improvement of Rugby Road and
we note with pleasure that construction has begun. The Committee contributed $25,000 to the project from the
Seward fund. Other grants have gone to the rescue of plants from the expansion of the Biology greenhouse ($5,000)
and to the purchase of seedlings for landscaping at the Park ($750). The Committee currently has a substantial
balance on hand and proposes in the coming year to promote actively some of the initiatives now being developed
by the Office of the Architect.
A number of significant trees have been lost this year to disease or storm damage. These include the large
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) that stood between University Avenue and Brooks Hall, a fine White Oak (Quercus
alba) at the Monroe Hall bus stop, a large Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) east of the rotunda, and four trees on
the Lawn. Fortunately the recent infusion of funds from the central administration has made it possible to replace
many of the losses of the last few years. An exact count if difficult to reach, but about fifty important replacements
have been made.
On Founder's Day, the Committee continued its practice of planting a tree in honor of a member of the
University community. This year's selection was former President Edgar F. Shannon, for whom a White Ash
(Fraxinus americana) was added to the Lawn. In addition, an unusual number of memorial and honorific trees were
contributed privately. Trees were planted on the Lawn of the Darden School in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles C.
Abbott and Mr. and Mrs. C. Stewart Sheppard. Others honored were Kate Conway, J. E. Dion, John M. Duva,
Brenda H. Loyd, and Ruth S. Burnley. A special "Peace Tree" (Franklinia alatamaha) was contributed to the Clemons
Library Garden. Another gift, from a group of visiting dendrologists, was a specimen of Florida Leatherwood
Leitneria floridana), the only member of its peculiar family, the Leitneriaceae.
As usual the review of landscaping plans occupied much of the Committee's time during the year. These
1. New sidewalk for Alderman Road.
2. Parking lot for the Multistory Hospital.
3 Faulkner dormitories.
4. McCormick Road dormitories.
5. Steam tunnel on McCormick Road.
6. Emmet Street parking garage.
7. Pergola for Carr's Hill.
8. University Gardens.
9. Hereford College.
10. The Superfield, now called the Park.
11. Fence for Zehmer Hall.
12. Relocation of the 7 Society plaque.
13. Temporary dining facility.
14. Lady Astor tennis courts.
15. Gilmer Recreation Center.
16. Contractors' entrance to Newcomb Hall.
17. Dawson's Row.
18. Fluids Research Building.
19. Extension of the Gilmer greenhouse.
20. New Observatory Hill dormitory.
21. Bulb plantings.
22. Math-Astronomy hill.
23. Clark Hall expansion.
The Committee fulfilled its mandate to make an annual visit to Blandy Farm and was pleased to note a number
of advances, notably the completion of the outdoor theater and the remodeling of the building used for outreach
Several long-standing problems continue to trouble the Committee. Chief among them is the lack of long
range plans for the development of utility corridors around the Grounds. Especially in the case of communications
cables, individual lines still run haphazardly in all directions. Not only does this make utility work a problem, but it
also threatens to restrict the possibilities for future landscaping and planting.
Another problem recognized by the Committee is the intrusion of heavy bus traffic into the central Grounds.
There needs to be a peripheral location for parking tour buses and a method of transporting visitors from there to
Finally the Committee is much concerned about the prospect of opening the socalled North Grounds
Connector. The Architect of the University has discussed the idea with the Committee, urging its careful
consideration. The Committee views this question as one of the most important and potentially determinative issues
in landscaping planning to come up in this century.