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W.J. Beal Botanical Garden’s

Every Spartan Tree Has a Story

MSU Science Festival 2022
Self-Guided Tree Tour


Welcome to the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden’s self-guided tree tour of some of the historical and significant trees located in the West Circle Dr. area of Michigan State University. The MSU Campus is home to thousands of trees, many pre-dating establishment of Campus itself. Take the tour and learn about the amazing diversity of trees on Campus, how these trees are used in science, and the some of the many ways that these trees are connected to Spartan history.

Some of the trees are the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) rediscovered in 1939, after it was thought to be extinct, Norway Spruces (Picea abies) planted in 1865, Huntingdon Elm (Ulmus x hollandica 'Vegata') planted by President Theodore Roosevelt, and the “Resilient Oak”, White Oak (Quercus alba) that is 375-400 years old.

Instructions: Begin your tour at the Dawn Redwood in the Botanical Garden. You can find the tree by using the image below or using the interactive tree map at the link. Each tree is labeled. You can click through below to find information on each tree, or scan the QR code listed on the “Spartan Tree Story” tags attached to each tree. Use the image or the campus tree map to navigate to the next tree. Please share your thoughts or ask questions by sending us an email at We hope you enjoy the tour!

Dr. Frank W. Telewski

Photo Credit: Peter H. Carrington

Dr. Frank W. Telewski
The text on the individual tree pages was derived from text written by Dr. Frank W. Telewski, retired Director of W. J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum and retired Professor of Plant Biology. Dr. Telewski is a long-time advocate and historian of the Campus MSU Arboretum.
  He has made many contributions to Beal Botanical Garden and the MSU Arboretum from his many international trips, including the Chinese Ash (Fraxinus chinensis var. rhyncophylla) and the Mongolian Oak (Quercus mongolica) both of which are on the tour.





Self-Guided Tree Tour Map: PDFJPG


1. The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides, CC0707*01)

2. The Beal Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum, CC0728*01)

3. Chinese Ash, Hua Qu Liu (Fraxinus chinensis var. rhyncophylla, 93N315*05)

4. The 1865 Norway Spruces (Picea abies, CC0749*02)

5. Mongolian Oak (Quercus mongolica, 93N339*03)

6. The Asa Gray Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba, CC0246*01)

7. The Roosevelt Elm (Ulmus x hollandica 'Vegata,' 19070001*01)

8. The Resilient Oak (Quercus alba, CC0376*01)

9. The Sherwood Forest English Oak (Quercus robur, CC1266*03)

10. The 1865 White Cedars (Thuja occidentalis, CC1293*01)

11. American Elm (Ulmus americana, CC0220*01)

12. The Mary Abbot Commemorative White Pine (Pinus strobus, CC0059*01)

13. The Mary Mayo Swamp White Oaks (Quercus bicolor CC1179*01)