The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Class of 2024 to plant tree at Presidential Arboretum

Graduating seniors commemorate legacy at WSU with planting
The 2023 Class Tree planting.

Like decades of WSU students before them, the class of 2024 is commemorating their graduation by planting a tree.

Organized by the Environmental Science Club, the tree planting is set to begin by 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Presidential Arboretum to celebrate National Arbor Day, ESC co-president Sarah Olson said. The students will meet at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe at 5 p.m.

“Each year, a tree is planted to represent the graduating class,” ESC co-president Jah’niya mei Angelique Myers said.

This tree planting is a celebration for the graduating class with free participation for all, though the event targets students in the School of Environment, Olson said.

The graduating class plants a tree to commemorate their legacy at WSU and make the Arboretum more scenic for future visitors, Olson said.

WSU has planted Class Trees since around late April in 1980 to honor the graduating class and, more recently, to celebrate National Arbor Day, project manager Cynthia Arbour said.

The students vote on the tree species they are planting and help plant the tree at the event, Myers said.

Though the tree planting is not exclusive to the School of Environment, ESC assists in advertising the event and takes the students’ votes, Olson said.

The Campus Landscape Advisory Committee develops a list of potential Class Tree species based on each candidate’s adaptability to the site and educational benefits to campus, Arbour said.

The four options for the tree species were Persian Parrotia, which is not native but grows well in Pullman; incense cedar, an evergreen native to northern California mountains that already grows on campus; Hawthorn trees native to the Palouse, with a few of them available at the Arboretum; and Mountain Ash native to the American East Coast, Myers said.

The students are planting their second choice, Mountain Ash, since no incense cedars are available at local nurseries, Olson said.

“Only one tree will be planted,” Olson said.

ESC and some representatives from the Arboretum will be present at the event, Olson said. The Arboretum sourced the tree, the groundskeepers dug a hole for the tree and ESC will run the event.

The grounds staff will be responsible for taking care of the tree while it grows for about two to three years, Arbour said. The Arboretum will add a plaque identifying the tree as honoring the class of 2024.

The idea for the tree plantings came from the Tree Campus Higher Education program, which is a part of the Arbor Day Foundation, Myers said.

“Every year, we report on the number of trees planted on campus,” Arbour said.

Besides the Class Tree, the students are planting a memorial tree this year at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course, Arbour said.

WSU has recognized the Tree Campus Higher Education program for the past nine years, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

“The goal is to have this be an annual event every spring,” Myers said.

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About the Contributor
SIA CHHEDA, Evergreen reporter
Sia is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She has been working with the Daily Evergreen since fall 2023 and is driven by the curiosity to understand how individuals make decisions to shape our world.