Strolling through Berkeley Campus, perhaps you’ve stopped, once or twice, to gaze up through the branches of a magnificent redwood and wondered how many others over the decades had done the same. Or maybe as a student you enjoyed the dappled shadows of an oak dancing across the pages of your textbook as you studied.
If you’ve ever been curious or dazzled by the great diversity of foliage that bursts from the Berkeley landscape, you’ll likely enjoy Trees of the Berkeley Campus, co-authored by CED alumni Jim Horner (BLA ’71) and Lorraine Freeland (MCP/MLA ‘07). Written and compiled over the course of nearly six years, and just published last fall, this is the third edition of the historical book, which had not been updated in over 40 years. Horner, who was widely respected as UC Berkeley’s Campus Landscape Architect, retired in 2014, and recruited the talented Freeland to work together with him on the project.
In addition to listing the botanical and scientific names, descriptions, and locations of all 279 trees found on campus, Horner and Freeland’s book has been greatly expanded to include an extensive history of development and planting on campus, highlighting notable and landmark trees, and new boundaries of the Berkeley campus including residence halls, People’s Park and the Clark Kerr campus. It also contains an abundance of facts and insights about the history and growth of trees on campus, as well as anecdotes on topics that have never been written about before in many cases.
With 79 new additions and 78 losses, the campus has seen over 150 tree species come and go in just the past 40 years. “What stands out to me is the rich history embodied in Cal’s memorable and heritage trees. This book gives a nod not only to those which are still standing, but to those that once were,” Freeland explained.
Many would also be surprised by the variety of plant life, including specimens as exotic as the Queensland nut (macadamia ternifolia) and Tasmanian tree fern (dicksonia antarctica), as well as 22 different kinds of oaks and 22 different types of pine trees. “We live in a unique place with a temperate climate, and though there are trees on campus from all over the world, they all seem to survive here,” Horner noted.
Both Horner and Freeland hope that Trees of the Berkeley Campus will describe the campus canopy as accurately as possible, “with cultural and historical information that could be useful to students, faculty and the campus community,” Freeland said.