Cameron University will hold its annual Arbor Day celebration in conjunction with Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22 at Noon. Members of the Biology Club and Cameron’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society will be on hand to assist with the planting of three Bosnian pines on the south side of Nance Boyer Hall. Following a brief ceremony, members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will plant a Prairiefire crabapple tree on the west side of the Academic Commons. They will be assisted by Dr. Cheryl A. Monts, who played a key role in founding Cameron’s Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter. Both ceremonies are open to the public.
Since 2006, the Cameron campus has seen the addition of almost 1,000 trees. Earlier this year, the university received Tree Campus USA designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Both the Bosnian pine and the Prairiefire crabapple have been have been recognized as “Oklahoma Proven” varieties by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape at Oklahoma State University. Plants that are given this designation have been determined to be well-adapted for planting in Oklahoma.
The Bosnian pine is a popular ornamental tree noted for steady growth. A mature Bosnian pine will have a neat, conical crown. It is also noted for its decorative purple cones. It is a dense, pyramidal tree that makes a fine landscape specimen, accent tree or windbreak.
The Prairiefire crabapple blooms in May with crimson-colored buds that open to purple-red flowers. The dark red bark resembles cherry. In autumn, the leaves turn bright orange and the trees bear shiny red, cone-shaped fruit, a favorite of songbirds.
In addition to adding to the campus’ beautification efforts, the benefits of planting trees are numerous. Trees play an important role in intercepting urban storm water runoff, which can contain chemicals, oils, salts and/or litter. Strategically placed trees can increase energy efficiency. In summer, trees shading east and west walls keep buildings cooler. In winter, allowing the sun to strike the southern side of a building can warm interior spaces. Trees also play a role in air quality by absorbing pollutants, intercepting particulate matter such as dust and smoke, releasing oxygen through photosynthesis and lowering air temperatures, which reduces the production of ozone.
The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska in 1872, when an estimated one million trees were planted. Arbor Day is now observed in all 50 states on varying dates in accordance with local climates.
April 17, 2014