The University of Maine campus was designated an arboretum in 2002, with its trees and gardens acknowledged as “living laboratories for enjoying and learning about plants.” (Campus Arboretum Plaque, Maine Bound Adventure Center Garden)
The two tours constituting the “World of Trees” showcase specific campus trees — some whose native range includes Maine and others native to such locations as China, Japan and the Balkan Peninsula. Among the trees chosen are deciduous ones and conifers, hardwoods and softwoods, cultivars and hybrids.
Particular trees are or have been used for research purposes, whereas others have primary value as ornamental landscape trees. The tours also include trees planted as memorials, dedications, trees young and relatively new to campus, and trees mature and long established.
Because the campus is home to thousands of trees, not all can be labeled; nevertheless, most trees on these tours are. Many tags contain both the tree’s common name and its scientific one; tags often are found on a tree’s north side.
Maine is considered the “most heavily forested state in the nation,” home to approximately 24.3 billion trees, harvestable and otherwise. Within its land grant mission, UMaine takes a leading role in teaching about and studying this significant state resource. These two tours provide a glimpse into UMaine’s — and the state’s — world of trees.