Magazine article American Forests

Champ on the Move

Magazine article American Forests

Champ on the Move

Article excerpt

They're planning a new arts center for Purdue University and from all accounts it sounds like a pretty impressive place. But we're even more impressed by what's happening there before construction begins. Rather than destroy the national co-champion smoketree, which currently calls that piece of earth home, Purdue has announced plans to move it.

It's the first time we know of that someone has attempted to save a national champ by moving it.

The dilemma was brought to Purdue's attention by Guy Sternberg, a landscape architect, AMERICAN FORESTS member, and Purdue alumni. Sternberg also put his call to save the smoketree on the Internet, and Purdue officials say they've gotten letters and emails from as far away as France and Japan.

In a letter to University president Steven C. Beering, AMERICAN FORESTS Executive Director Deborah Gangloff wrote: "I urge you to save this tree, as it is a significant link to our forest heritage and a beautiful example of the diversity of trees in the United States. It also serves as a living landmark on the Purdue campus."

Smoketrees are generally small trees with short trunks and wide-spreading crowns. The unusual name comes from its clusters of smoky-pink flowers, which from a distance resemble puffs of smoke as they fade. …

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