Magazine article American Forests

Campus Craze

Magazine article American Forests

Campus Craze

Article excerpt

Students at Minnesota's Winona State University need to be on their toes about the trees that grace their Winona campus. At least when senior groundskeeper and horticulturist--and now published author--Bill Meyer is around.

Spend time with Meyer at the university in Winona, and you'll soon be repeatedly quizzed about the 93 tree species that grace the university's main campus. For example, what deciduous conifer that harkens back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth and at one time was believed extinct was "discovered" in remote China in the 1940s? (See end for answer.)

Meyer's obsession blossomed into a 96-page book, The Trees of Winona State University, which features charming photos of blooming trees, leaves, fruit, and bark and intriguing information on campus trees.

"A tree is really beautiful," says Meyer, who co-authored the 2004 book with Tom Grier, WSU public information officer. "You see beauty in the spring with the flowers. You see beauty in the summer with the leaves and shade they provide. And in the fall you see the beautiful fall colors."

A meticulous university caretaker for 18 years, Meyer also admires trees' longevity. "They have this timelessness about them," he says.

Several years ago Meyer and WSU President Darrell Krueger were admiring a majestic Homestead elm. …

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