The OSU Campus Tree Inventory was started in 2011 after two large sycamore trees, both close to 60 inches in diameter, were almost bulldozed to build a temporary construction road near the medical center complex. Two employees at the medical center spearheaded an online petition to save the trees, and after collecting over 1500 signatures and discussions with OSU President Gordon Gee, the trees were saved successfully. After this, it was realized that a greater effort needed to be made to protect the trees on the campus of The Ohio State University even as necessary development of campus continues. Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens partnered with the university landscape architect to identify and map all of the trees on campus, with the goal of obtaining Tree Campus USA certification from the Arbor Day Foundation.
To become a "Tree Campus", a university must have an active tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, an annual tree management budget, an Arbor Day observance, and a tree-related service and learning project for students, faculty, and staff. Chadwick Arboretum has stepped up and met these requirements with programs such as ArboBlitz, annual Arbor Day celebrations, and weekly volunteer events with STICKS (Sustainable Tree Inventory CareKeeperS) that allows volunteers and students to work hands-on with Chadwick Arboretum staff to identify, measure, and map trees. Thanks to these efforts, student employees, staff members, and volunteers had mapped, identified, evaluated health, and measured the diameter for nearly 4,000 trees after the first full year of tree mapping. Receiving its first Tree Campus USA certification in 2012, The Ohio State University has continually met the required standards and is still certified today.
Today and the Future
Chadwick Arboretum continues to encourage public involvement with our trees. Every Friday as weather permits, Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens hosts a tree inventory event where our staff works with volunteers to map a specific section of campus. For more information on how to get involved with this event, please visit the Chadwick Arboretum Events page
As of August 2014, over 16,000 trees and woody plants have been recorded on campus and throughout the arboretum. Currently, Chadwick Arboretum uses a combination of aerial paper maps and Esri's Collector app to live-update a digital map of the aboretum. Chadwick Arboretum is in the process of developing an updated online search tool to help visitors to the arboretum locate specific trees within our gardens.
Maps and Databases
Explore trees and other woody plants at Chadwick Arboretum and the general Columbus campus grounds through the Ohio State Tree & Plant App. This interactive map can be used to search for individual trees and plants, apply filters for customized searches, or just explore our collection of plants.
- Begin by typing in the search box at the top left of the window, indicated by a magnifying glass.
- To search within a selected category, choose Tree Species, Memorial Trees, or Plant Species in the drop-down by clicking on the downward arrow at the side of search box.
- Select from the search dropdown list to zoom to a specific tree and view available data.
To highlight selected plants of interest, apply one or more filters to your search by following the steps below:
- Select the Filter tool from the left toolbar by clicking on the funnel icon.
- Filter by Plant Genus, Plant Common Name, Tree Genus, Tree Common Name, Tree Size, Memorial Trees, and/or Heritage Trees by selecting from the drop-down under each category, or typing in the box.
- To activate one or more filters, click the grey on/off switch next to the category name. When activated, the switch will turn green.
- Note that activating more than one filter will highlight all trees and plants that fit at least one part of the defined criteria.
If you are interested in learning more about GIS in public gardens, visit UCDavis' Alliance for Public Gardens GIS website.