With the support of Campus Services, students in SM 140 Environmental Science planted a 12-foot tall katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) tree in front of Coleman Hall to replace a little-leaf linden removed in response to storm damage and rot.

In preparation for planting, Stefan Opalenick, grounds supervisor, and his crew removed sod from the planting site and circular area to be mulched around the tree. On September 7, 2016, the first attempt to plant was stymied by roots left over from the previous tree. Within the next few days, Opalenick and company moved the planting site away from the old root system, and the tree was successfully planted on September 12.

Though katsura is exotic in New York (it's native to Japan and China), it has been planted as an ornamental species for over a century in the United States without showing any potential to become invasive. Katsura produces small- to medium-sized, heart-shaped leaves that are generally reddish-purple in the spring; bluish-green during most of the growing season; and varying shades of yellow, orange, and red in the fall when the leaves also may produce an odor resembling cotton candy. The species may attain heights of 40-60 feet and spread 40 or more feet across so it is a species that needs a relatively large area in which to grow.

The planting of the tree will help Cazenovia College earn Tree Campus USA status again for 2016, the eighth time since first earning the annual award in 2009. In past years, students have collaborated with Campus Services to plant eastern hemlock, balsam fir, concolor fir, bur oak, limber pine, and red maple trees in various locations around campus.

Evan, Kristen, and Amanda finding large roots as they try to dig a hole at the first planting site.

Teasing apart the fine roots and finding the top of the root crown.

Removing the pot from around the root system.

Katsura tree and planting crew in front of Coleman Hall.

The tree should be as tall as Coleman Hall when these students return for their twenty-year reunion!