|Music Hall Surrounded by Maples - Madison WI|
In 1925 the first pamphlet about the UW campus trees was assembled by Charles E Brown. Then, in 1998 for the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial, The University released a pamphlet with maps for two tree walks. The first of those walks, the trees of Bascom Hill, is repeated here.
These pamphlets are hard to come by today. The State Historical Society has a copy which you can browse in their reading room only. The call number is 08-1126, ask circulation to fetch it for you. My version will differ somewhat from the 1998 tree walk. Some of the trees have been cleared to make way for facilities improvements ... and there are a few additions I have made.
BASCOM HILL TREE WALK MAP (FULL SCREEN LINK HERE)
In Europe sacred trees were often decorated with ribbons tied to lower branches. In trees that possessed a hollow, offerings of coins and buttons were placed inside. Sometimes great warriors were buried beneath a tree so that their spirit could be taken into the tree, making the tree a guardian against evil. American Indians believed in the spirits of trees and offered tobacco by burning it in their fires. A tree is a common symbol of life, being planted for occasions such as the birth of the child, the death of a parent, on a wedding day, or on the first day of moving into a new home.
The tree pictured here is located on the Yahara River Parkway near Rutledge St. It was part of a 2014 public art display by Thomas Ferrella.
TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
The first tree on my UW tree walk is not located on the map. I will let you try to find it. It is the Tree of Knowledge and is located near the base of Bascom Hill. This is the mark of The Riverside Press, commonly known as Houghton Mifflin. The words Tout Bien Ou Rien mean "all good or nothing". In other words, do something right or do not do it at all. An unidentified classical figure plays a musical instrument next to the rising sun alongside a river. The figure sits beneath the Tree of Knowledge. All of these symbols combine to express enlightenment and commitment.
#1 BLACK LOCUST
The black locust is a native of southeastern United States. Its bark and leaves are toxic, though its seed pods are edible raw or boiled. It's wood is strong and rot resistant making it prized for furniture making. It can grow on nutrient poor soils because it is a nitrogen fixer - meaning it brings nitrogen from the air and places it in the soil, effectively providing its own fertilizer.
#2 REGAL HYBRID ELM
This particular regal is resistant to the Dutch Elm disease. It is a resistant clone developed on the UW campus by Professors Smalley and Lester and was introduced in 1983.
#3 SUGAR MAPLE
It is popular for its fall foliage and its sap can be extracted in spring and made into maple sugar and syrup.
#4 AMERICAN LINDEN
The Linden is also featured in the title of one of my all-time favorite short stories. Read it here: Three Lindens by Herman Hesse
#5 WHITE OAK
#6 EUROPEAN LARCH
This tree is native to China and Korea. It is often planted outside Buddhist temples. A profusion of white petals can create a white carpet beneath the tree. This tree is the largest of its kind growing in Wisconsin - making it an outright state champion tree.
#8 SHAGBARK HICKORY
#9 AMUR MAPLE
The amur maple and its cousin the tatarian are perhaps the most photogenic on campus. They can be planted close to buildings and in this case they are both planted near the entrance to Music Hall.
#10 TATARIAN MAPLE
This is a hardy tree and the first to leaf out in spring. It produces a fragrant yellow-white flower - an unusual trait among Maples
This graceful and delicate tree provides a range of leaf colors: reddish purple as the leaves emerge, bluish green in the summer, and yellow to apricot in fall. Some say that the fall leaves provide a cinnamon/brown sugar fragrance.
#12 AMERICAN BEECH
#13 WHITE FIR
If you are having trouble shaking shadow from you life - use white fir in a diffuser blend and it will energetically cleanse and protect your home and spirit..
"The pine tree seems to listen, the fir tree to wait: and both without impatience: They give no thought to the little people beneath them devoured by their impatience and curiosity" - Friedrick Nietzsche
#14 BALSAM FIR
#15 WHITE OAK
#16 PONDEROSA PINE
#17 LIMBER PINE
#18 RED PINE
#19 BLACK OAK
#20 OSAGE ORANGE
This tough tree can endure under a wide range of site conditions. It was used by FDR in the Great Plains Shelterbelt - a project to prevent soil erosion. Due to its thorns it is also used as cattle deterring hedges.The fruit of the osage orange is poisonous.
#21 DAWN REDWOOD
One of Earth's few living fossils this magnificent tree had been observed only though its fossils until its discovery in 1943 in China. It is one of the world's 21 critically endangered conifer spices. It can reach heights of 160 feet
#22 AMUR CORKTREE
Amur Corktree has earned its name from the spongy bounce of its furrowed bark.
#23 NEWTON'S APPLE TREE
#24 GINKGO MALE/GINKGO FEMALE
#25 STAGHORN SUMAC
The bark of this tree is soft and fuzzy like the velvet of new antlers on a male deer, hence the name staghorn. This tree grows rapidly in spreading colonies from root suckers. These trees are often seen growing along highways and in urban waste areas, thriving on dry sterile soil. Their berries persist into winter, feeding birds.
The fruits of persimmon are abundant with sugar, were dried and used in persimmon bread and puddings. Explorer Hernando de Soto wrote to his brother in 1694 that the Cherokee Indians offered him Persimmon bread that was “made from medlars and services, and has a very good taste.” Another explorer, Jaques Gravier, commented that the persimmon was “the most delicious fruit that the savages have from Illinois to the sea” after receiving persimmon bread form a Qupaw chief
#27 NORTHERN RED OAK
During the time of the American Revolution, Liberty trees were planted around the thirteen colonies. Many think that these Liberty Trees were only elm trees, but in fact Tulip Trees were planted as well. Whenever the British found these trees, they would be immediately chopped down because of what they stood for.
#29 BOTTLENECK BUCKEYE
An attractive ornamental shrub that does well in a shaded understory the bottelbrush buckeye is native to southeastern US. The large upright spikes of tiny white flowers remind some of the kitchen implement used to clean the inside surface of bottles. The suckering habit creates multi-stemmed clusters and will hold their leaves late into autumn, unlike other buckeyes.
UW MADISON CARILLON
A most unusual musical instrument stands proud on Bascom Hill overlooking Lake Mendota in Madison. A Carillon, or Glockenspiel, is a percussion instrument composed of bells mounted in a bell tower that is played with a keyboard where each key or hammer is rigged to a single bell.
GHOSTS, GRAVES, LEGENDS AND FLESH EATING BEETLES ON BASCOM HILL
Bascom Hill is the University of Wisconsin's front yard, the symbolic core of the campus. Bascom Mall is it's official name; it was designed in 1851. North, South, and Main (Bascom) Halls were the original three buildings on campus. In 1909 the Lincoln Terrace and Lincoln statue were placed. Old Abe keeps watch over the campus, State Street, and the State Capitol.
WALK TO PICNIC POINT
With company such as the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Canyon, Picnic Point in Madison was picked as one of the top ten best places in the world to kiss by the San Francisco Examiner. It is a destination for the romantic, for runners, hikers, and bikers, and for students just out to have a fire by the lake. You could even bring a picnic.