Published: April 18, 2019

Campus community member walks across Norlin Quad

CU Boulder has been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for the ninth year in a row.

​​ By the numbers

  • Full-time arborists: 4
  • Cultivated trees on campus: 3,844 at last count, not to mention thousands more non-cultivated trees along the Boulder Creek corridor and other natural areas on campus
  • Tree species: 103
  • Species native to Colorado: 14 (out of about 24 that are native to the state)
  • Most-prevalent evergreen species: Colorado blue spruce (Picea), our state tree
  • Most-prevalent deciduous species: Ash (Fraxinus)
  • Biggest (and oldest) tree on campus: Plains Cottonwood on the south side of Old Main; stands 110 feet tall and dates back to 1879 or 1880
  • Years with Tree Campus USA designation: 9

The campus is home to more than 3,800 cultivated trees, not to mention several thousand more along the Boulder Creek corridor and in other natural areas. The inventory includes more than 100 species, including 14 of the roughly 24 species native to the state.

Tree Campus USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program launched in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging employees and students in conservation goals. Schools must meet five criteria to qualify for the honor, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for the tree-care program, conducting an annual Arbor Day observance and sponsoring student service-learning projects.

In addition to outreach with various academic programs on campus, CU Boulder Arboriculture Manager Vince Aquino and his team will work with the Student Association of Landscape Architects (SALA) for the fifth year in a row this year to recognize Arbor Day.

The project culminates with the group’s planting of three to five trees around Arbor Day each April, along with a visit from a state forest service representative who presents the campus with its formal Tree Campus USA recognition.

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, with Tree Campus USA colleges and universities investing more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at the Arbor Day Foundation website.