Arbor Day comes to American River College with tree planting ceremony

No students attended the first ever Arbor Day celebration on the American River College campus Friday.

The first of two ginkgo tree saplings was planted in the quad near the construction of the student services building.

Although the celebration was announced on the school’s online calendar, no students attended the small ceremony. Instead, only a small gathering of staff members was present at the event.

The roots of the ginkgo tree grow down into the earth rather than sideways which won’t destroy the sidewalk like the tree that was formerly in its place.

The ginkgo tree is an older species of tree.

“I like it because dinosaurs used to eat it,” said groundskeeper Brenda Baker. “Because of that it (the ginkgo species) evolved to be disease free and insect free because its been around for so long nothing can attack it. It has built up a tolerance for all of that.”

Baker made the decision of which tree the school would plant as part of the celebration.

“I’m part of the tree advisory committee and also a groundskeeper and the tree advisory committee left it up to me,” said Baker. “I have been here for 12 years so I kind of know what it needed.”

Don Reid, the chair of the campus tree advisory committee, has worked at ARC for 18 years.

Reid gave a speech as to why Arbor Day was finally being observed by ARC.

“With the loss of the huge oak that was over in the portable village area, a lot of us started talking about how we were going to save that wood, and that got a lot of us talking about the trees on campus,” Reid said.

Celebrating Arbor Day is the second step ARC has undertaken in gaining Tree Campus recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.

The first step was to create a campus tree advisory committee.

The next step will be to create a tree inventory on Google Maps where students can see what trees are on campus and how many there are.

“It’s a really good tree for cities,” said Reid who has a ginkgo tree at home.

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