The University of Arkansas at Monticello planted an American elm on campus in recognition of the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care.

The observance is one of five requirements for the campus to maintain its standing as part of Tree Campus Higher Education. The other standards include maintaining a campus Tree Advisory Committee, a campus-wide tree care plan, an annual student service project and verification of the tree care plan’s dedicated annual expenditures.

Prior to the tree planting, UAM chancellor Dr. Peggy Doss spoke briefly about Arbor Day and the university’s participation in the Tree Campus Higher Education program and UAM forestry professor emeritus Dr. Lynne Thompson discussed the selection of trees for specific geographic locations, according to a UAM news release.

The planting was conducted by Harold Fisher, the urban forestry partnership coordinator with the Arkansas Forestry Commission, and several UAM forestry students. Fisher conducted an in-depth demonstration on tree planting and discussed the after-planting tree care, such as watering and pruning.

UAM forest health associate professor Dr. Mohammad Bataineh told the ceremony attendees the American elm they planted is a remarkable achievement because much of the species has been lost to Dutch elm disease. A large research effort in tree breeding led to American elms that are now resistant to the disease, according to the news release.

After the ceremony, Dr. Thompson and forestry students planted a Pin Oak sapling and a Chinkapin Oak sapling by the UAM museum. The saplings and the American elm tree were donated by Arkansas Forestry Division. The species will be used to help improve the variety of trees used on campus for plant identification classes. Thompson said the university was lacking those species of trees.