With an inventory of over 1,000 trees on campus, a Tree Tag Tour was given the day before the memorial tree planting for Robert L. “Bob” Mallat, Jr.

Assistant Director of Physical Plant/Grounds Bud Winsor led the Tree Tag Tour around campus telling stories and providing information about some of the tagged trees. The tour was held on April 21, at 10 a.m.

Some trees that were tagged had QR codes that can be scanned on a smartphone to provide information about the tree’s location and condition, among other qualities. Winsor said, “We are a school, so [the codes are] one more subtle learning tool that’s right under your nose all the time.”

Winsor said an arboretum was developed back in 1996, and that back in those days all they had was a book. “A lot of things have changed over the years,” Winsor said. “Now its web based and you can zero in on a tree and you can find out where it’s located and information of the ultimate height of the tree, photographs of seasons of interest for the tree. We did it in two pieces; we did 500 in 2012 and 500 in 2014.”

Winsor said that tree tours are given every year to area elementary schools, college classes and some of the people in adult education. From the tree tour, he said he hopes that people take away “an appreciation and start to really notice trees.”

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Winsor said, “The thing about the trees is that there are a lot of stories behind particular trees, especially the memorial trees.” Winsor continued, “There are probably 40 or 50 dedicated trees.”

Robert L. “Bob” Mallat, Jr.’s memorial tree is the newest memorial tree to be added to the inventory. A tulip tree was planted in his memory, and a plaque was unveiled on Friday, April 22, at 11 a.m. Winsor said, “When they are mature trees they are magnificent. Bob worked at the college for 40 to 50 years. He was involved with the physical plant like I was. He was still here when I started working.”

Winsor continued, “Bob Mallat did an awful lot as far as facilities that are on campus. He helped on the building of Carle Hall, Holloway and Owl’s nests. He was kind of a community leader.” Winsor also said that Mallat had been a Keene State student at one time.

Campus Gardner Joe Britton was also present for the memorial tree planting. Britton said he is responsible for lawn fertilizing, lawn seeding and the gardens on campus. “We do a lot of the mulching and general maintenance and upkeep of the landscape. I work a lot with Noah on some of the tree projects,” Britton said.

When asked what he thought about having trees planted as a memorial for someone, Britton said, “I think it’s great. I think it’s a great way to remember someone.” Britton continued, “When Bud and I were first talking about what to do for this tree, we wanted something big because of Mr. Mallat’s stature and how he’s known across campus. We also wanted something that we didn’t have a lot of in the arboretum inventory already.”

Britton also said, “My only thing that I get nervous about is students don’t realize often times that trees are dedicated memorials. We’ve had vandalism. People tie their bikes to them and don’t treat them with the respect that people who come to visit the tree would treat it.” Britton continued, “The trees are going to be here a lot longer than the students are. If they can respect them and take care of them then that’s their gift to future generations of students that are going to be here.”

Arbor and Grounds Attendant Noah Washburn was one of the people to help plant the tulip tree and, at the memorial tree planting, was one of a few who helped put mulch down around the base of the tree.

Washburn said he thought the event went well, despite its “small” turnout. “I think the tree is in a great location. Once it gets large the canopy is going to be really nice. Over the years, I get to take care of it. We’ll put it in our inventory and put a tag on it,” Washburn said.

Bud Winsor said it is important to know and understand the history of the campus. “There are many people that worked really hard to make it what it is, and Bob Mallat was one of those guys. Without him, Keene State really wouldn’t be where it is today.”

Adam Urquhart can be contacted at aurquhart@kscequinox.com

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply