Trees planted for new, campuswide arboretum

Though spring has seemed to get a bit of a late start in Jackson this year, spring planting is already well under way at Union’s new arboretum, which includes trees planted in various locations across campus.

Mark Bolyard, biology department chairman, said additions to the living collection that predates Union’s move to this area include trees that have special significance to the university, trees that have been added since the advent of the university, and trees that will be added in the future.

Bolyard said Union has three goals for Union’s newest project: to glorify God, make it part of the sciences programs, and to unite Union and the community.

“We hope the community receives a deep appreciation for God’s creation through the trees we have on campus and that the arboretum would become a standard requirement for students in the biology department and other students in science programs or classes as part of their liberal arts education,” Bolyard said.

“We also hope that the arboretum will be a way for alumni and friends of Union to participate in university life in a new and exciting way,” he added.

Those interested can get involved in two different ways: to adopt an existing tree on campus, which can be done “in honor of” or “in memory of” a special person or people, or to become a “Friend of the Union University Arboretum.”

Adopting a tree costs $500 and is tax-deductible. Participants may adopt existing trees on campus, or eventually, trees that will be planted in the future.

They also may commemorate the tree “in honor of” or “in memory of” the person or people of their choice.

A Bible verse or a quotation from a preselected list from “Heroes of the Christian Intellectual Tradition” may be placed on a sign in front of the “adopted” tree.

People adopting a tree receive framed prints of the arboretum and other memorabilia. Bolyard said that even though trees last a long time, they all eventually die but are replaced by the same tree (if available) or another tree similar to it.

“We know the trees will be part of our arboretum for a long time, but at some point or another, we will have to replace them,” Bolyard said. “While we want to do our best to replace the tree with the same species in a nearby location, that may not always be possible.”

Becoming a “Friend of the Union University Arboretum” involves yearly participation with the arboretum. Different levels (with annual giving amounts) include:

  • The “Cedar” level, for a $250 donation to the organization (the tax-deductible portion is $220)
  • The “Sycamore” level, for a $100 donation (the tax-deductible portion is $100)
  • The “Poplar” level, for a $50 donation (the tax- deductible portion is $50)

Participants at every level receive a certificate of appreciation and a small print of the arboretum. “Sycamore” friends will receive a Union Arboretum umbrella, while “Cedar” friends will receive an umbrella and a Union Arboretum tumbler.


  • To become a ‘Friend of the Union University Arboretum’ or to adopt a tree on campus, contact the Office of University Relations at 661-5050.
  • For more information, email


About Chesney Monroe 31 Articles
Chesney is a senior public relations major graduating in December, 2014. She loves writing and is looking forward to graduate school where she intends to study child life.