CSU, Chico News

Tree Tour to Reveal Rich Campus, Community History

Date: 02-03-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

A free tour of the unique collection of native and exotic trees and shrubs around California State University, Chico and Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park will be offered Wednesday, Feb. 4.

The leisurely and informative walk begins at the gazebo in front of Bidwell Mansion at 9:30 a.m. Parking is available. The tour ends at about 11:30 a.m.

The tour will cover 20 to 30 trees on the mansion and University grounds and will be led by biology professor emeritus Wes Dempsey, who taught on campus for 40 years.

Included on the tour will be the magnificent southern magnolia located in front of the mansion, which was planted by General Bidwell in 1863, prior to the building of the mansion. South of the mansion, along Sowilleno Avenue, the Bidwells planted American chestnuts, some of which still remain and still produce delicious nuts.

Other noteworthy specimens to be seen on the tour are a monkey puzzle tree (from Chile), dawn redwood (China) and water oak (southern United States).

Dempsey will discuss current horticultural and pruning practices as well as make suggestions as to selection of plants for Chico yards. Participants are encouraged to bring in leaves from plants they wish to have identified or talk about problems they are having with insects or diseases.

For more information, contact the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park at 530-895-6144 or the University at 530-898-6222.