THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS VOLUME XIX NUMBER 3 Summer 2004
  
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Dendrology – Summer 2004 From the Desk of the Editor

Japanese Tree Lilac photo by Chris Justice

Dendrology

As readers of Keene State Today have realized by now, science is the theme for 2004 at the College, in anticipation of the opening this fall of KSC's grand new Science Center. But, because science is the study of almost everything tangible, its adherents are found not only in classrooms, laboratories, and "the field," but also among those who work in usually nonacademic areas of the College.

As you may know (I didn't until I looked it up), the study of trees is called dendrology. And the Keene State campus is a great place to do that, thanks to Bud Winsor, who heads the grounds crew, and Jeff Garland, who holds the position, rare on college campuses, of arborist. (Jeff is the former president of the N.H. Arborists Association; you know him from his tree features in our Class Notes section.) I talk with Bud and Jeff from time to time about the trees on campus, and, frankly, neither one of them has ever uttered the word "dendrology" in my presence, but, whatever the semantics, the quality, variety, and health of trees at KSC are much in their debt.

And the trees owe a debt to the KSC Alumni Association as well, and its grants program, which this spring – among funding for lecturers, a Native American art exhibit, and a trip to the NCAA nationals for KSC cheerleaders – awarded $2,675 to Bud and his team for a "tree inventory and management plan update."

Japanese Tree Lilac photo by Hal Berntsen

This systematic effort began in 2002, when consultants from the F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company joined Jeff to walk parts of the campus with a GPS receiver and other tools, logging the exact location and condition of about 500 trees. The result was an inch-thick volume with thousands of facts now used for the care of KSC trees. The 2004 study will widen the coverage to other parts of the campus. The actual number of trees here, says Jeff, is uncountable, but the new effort will document and evaluate hundreds more. It will also look at the health of trees from the earlier study that have been affected by the construction, steam leaks, and other hazards associated with life on an active and growing campus.

Unlike the pristine park that characterizes many college arboreta, the KSC Arboretum grows throughout the campus, so that all of us who live, work, and study here are always within it. Through my office window, 30 feet away, I can see the beautifully diverging trunk of a Japanese tree lilac, one of the finest examples in all of New England, kept healthy by frequent attention.

Thanks for that, Bud and Jeff.

– Michael Matros