Campus Canopy Acrostics

poems by Anna Young 

photographs by Ryan Pugh

 

I created these acrostics after learning the histories of a few storied trees on the Pullman campus of Washington State University. They combine these histories with the images of present in a simple format. Each one tells a story with both the words and the shape. The collection of five acrostics spans trees across campus, creating a connection between each of the five despite the distance between them. - Anna Young
 

Silver Maples (Animal Sciences Rd.)

 

Most of the silver maples on campus have been removed due to aging. These trees have an expected lifespan of 80-120 years, after which falling branches and decay make them a liability. The maples on Animal Sciences Road are some of the last remaining on campus. Anyone who ventures out onto this relatively remote part of campus will find the silver maples often house wild birds from meadowlarks to red-tailed hawks.

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Willows (across from Beasley)


Did you know Mooberry Track used to be a lake? Silver Lake was constructed on six acres of land purchased by WSU for just $275 in 1899. It used to be a popular hangout for students -- and willow trees. In 1929, the lake and surrounding Tanglewood were filled in to allow for construction of Hollingbery Fieldhouse and the track. The willows were mostly lost, but you can still find a few in the parking lot across from Beasley Coliseum.

Silver Maple (Animal Sciences Rd.)


Most of the silver maples on campus have been removed due to aging. These trees have an expected lifespan of 80-120 years, after which falling branches and decay make them a liability. The maples on Animal Sciences Road are some of the last remaining on campus. Anyone who ventures out onto this relatively remote part of campus will find the silver maples often house wild birds from meadowlarks to red-tailed hawks.

Dawn Redwood (Centennial, near Abelson)


The dawn redwood, a “living fossil,” was believed to be extinct for many years until its rediscovery in remote China in the 1940s. WSU’s redwood is in a courtyard between Abelson and Heald, planted by professors Marion Ownbey and Adolph Hecht in the 1960s. The courtyard also boasts WSU’s largest and oldest tulip tree. Along with the redwood and the two kinds of magnolias in the grove, the trees here have stood since being planted — they’re all originals.

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Lowell Elm (Bryan Hall)

This specimen was planted in 1893 by Harriett Bryan, wife of then-WSU President Enoch Bryan. Officially known as the American elm, these “Lowell elms” were given to the Bryans during their visit to the James Russell Lowell estate in Massachusetts. The Lowell elm
outside Bryan Hall is about 120 years old. Though it is near the end of its life expectancy, there is a cutting from the Lowell growing by the Veteran’s Memorial which will keep the tree “alive” even after the original is removed.

Flowering Cherries (Alumni Arboretum)


In 1983, Japanese exchange student Koichiro Iwasaki earned his master’s degree in economics here at WSU. Coming from a prominent Japanese family, he sent the university several Yoshino cherry trees as a gift in 2002 as a symbol of friendship. Twenty-six of these flowering cherries found their new homes in the Alumni Arboretum and bloom every spring between March and April.

Flowering Cherries (Alumni Arboretum)

 

In 1983, Japanese exchange student Koichiro Iwasaki earned his master’s degree in economics here at WSU. Coming from a prominent Japanese family, he sent the university several Yoshino cherry trees as a gift in 2002 as a symbol of friendship. Twenty-six of these flowering cherries found their new homes in the Alumni Arboretum and bloom every spring between March and April.

Anna Young is a senior creative writing major from Helena, Montana.

Ryan Pugh graduated from WSU with a major in anthropology.

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