Tree Tours March 15 and 29
Campus 125th Anniversary Celebration to Show Original Trees March 15 and March 29
CSU Chico and Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park will show off their remarkable collection of old trees on tree tours scheduled for March 15 and 29. The easy walks will meet in front of the mansion at 10 am and last about 2 hours. Leaders will be Gerry Ingco, former park and US Forest Service ranger, and Professor Emeritus Wes Dempsey. Parking at the mansion is provided.
Among the many trees that date back to the 1888 establishment of the campus is a row of American chestnuts along the creek by Holt Hall. An entry in Bidwell's diary relates that he and Annie harvested these trees first in 1880. Along the south side of the creek the Bidwells planted oaks; several imposing water and American white specimens remain.
More impressive is the long row of large European linden trees between Butte Hall and the creek. Between the mansion and the railroad tracks was a double row of California incense cedars; a couple o these can be seen between Holt and Ayers Gym. None of the Canary Island date palms that bordered the walk up to the old Administration building are still around but 2 grow west of the mansion.
Old photographs of the 1888 Administration building show several rows of London Plane and California Incense Cedars on the west side. About half dozen of these still exist including the spectacular "Founders Tree" in front of the present administration. Most of the trees in front of Laxson, Kendall, and Trinity Halls date back to the construction of those buildings in the 1930-1934 period.
On the lawn of the mansion the Yulan, white-flowered magnolia is currently blooming. This tree was probably planted by the Bidwells soon after the building of the mansion; the species is one of the parents of the pink-flowered saucer magnolia that is so popular around Chico. The large southern magnolia in front of the mansion was planted in 1863, according to Bidwell's diary, and thus predates the mansion and the campus.
Each tour will cover about 30 of the 200 species of woody plants. Information about diseases and other problems along with planting, pruning, and watering will be given.
A Map and Guide to Campus Trees will be available as well as a guide to a Campus Nature Walk. Many of the trees have labels. For further details call the University at 898-6222 or Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park at 895-6144