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Tree planted on campus in memory of recently deceased state senator


Dec. 15, 2011

Capitol Campus Update

The Department of Enterprise Services recently planted a native Garry oak tree on the west Capitol Campus in memory of state Sen. Scott White of Seattle, who passed away unexpectedly in October.

The senator’s mother made a donation to the state to pay for the cost of the tree and the labor to plant it.

The new tree, also known as the Oregon white oak, replaces a diseased 90-year-old Port Orford cedar that died and was removed in October. The Garry oak is planted just west of the Tivoli Fountain.

The 2009 West Campus Landscape Master Plan calls for planting a Garry oak tree as a replacement species for the cedar, with an understory planting of three Serviceberry trees. The Serviceberry trees are scheduled to be planted in the next couple of weeks.

The Garry oak is most often found growing in prairie habitat, most of which has been lost to development, farming and invasive species in western Washington and Oregon, but can thrive in a wide variety of soil types and conditions. It can grow up to 90 feet tall, but is usually much smaller.

The Serviceberry is a small tree that produces showy white flowers in spring that become edible blueberry-like fruit in summer; a favorite food of native birds. The leaves turn orange-red in autumn.

Enterprise Services maintains the grounds and buildings on the Capitol Campus. This includes Capitol Lake and Sylvester, Marathon, Centennial and Heritage parks.

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