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University of Memphis Campus Designated a Level 3 Arboretum

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey

June 16, 2014 - The University of Memphis campus has been designated a Level 3 Arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and the Tennessee Division of Forestry. Achieving the designation requires that at least 90 varieties of trees be labeled, a self-guided map be available, and guided tours offered when requested. At the U of M, 100 varieties of trees meet these criteria.

A special campus map indicating the location of these trees is available online at

U of M horticulturist Joellen Dimond said the wealth of different trees not only has enhanced the beauty of the campus, but also offers educational benefits for University students, elementary students at the Campus School and preschool students at the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School. “The arboretum serves as a living research lab for students of the U of M Biology Department, as well as for the younger students, who often do projects related to the trees,” she said.

The campus achieved Level 1 arboretum status in 2004 with 31 varieties of trees, and Level 2 arboretum status in 2008. Since then, the staff of the campus Landscape Department has planted more varieties, marked them and tended them carefully through droughts and freezes to make the campus even more green. The campus arboretum’s re-certification will take place in 2018. The U of M arboretum is one of only three Level 3 certified arboreta in West Tennessee, and one of only 29 certified arboreta in West Tennessee.

Celebrating the U of M’s designation as a Level 3 Arboretum were (from left): U of M horticulturist Joellen Dimond; Shawn Posey, regional urban forester with the Division of Forestry of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; U of M President M. David Rudd; and Wesley Hopper, past president of the International Society of Arboriculture.

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Last Updated: 4/15/15