Freed-Hardeman University is in the initial phase of making its campus a certified arboretum. The Bulliner Foundation, named in honor of local banker Jack Bulliner, is playing a role in that process.
Tennessee Urban Forestry Council certifies arboreta in the state. Their guidelines define an arboretum as “an area that has a significant amount of woody vegetation in tree form that is cultivated for educational, scientific or aesthetic purposes.” To be certified by the council, an area must be open to the public; trees must be protected and maintained as well as properly labeled for educational purposes.
FHU students enrolled last spring in Dr. Paul Fader’s plant taxonomy class located and identified approximately 60 different kinds of trees on the campus. Funds from the Bulliner Foundation are being used to purchase bronze plaques to identify 34 of the trees. The plaques, inscribed with the scientific and common names of the trees, will be installed on pedestals near the trees.
Initially, FHU will seek certification as a Level 1 arboretum which calls for having 30 trees identified and labeled and a campus map identifying trees for self-guided tours. According to Fader, the university should be able to move to Level 2 fairly easily since only 60 different species are required.