Stretched across the 35 acres of COA’s campus, our growing arboretum collection consists of a rich diversity of mature trees that are remnants of the cottage-era estates and the addition of native, non-native, and experimental trees planted by a former botany professor, Dr. Craig Greene, and his students.


History

If you traveled back in time, you would find most of COA’s campus as former cottage estates, Photo taken by Alexander Brown '23 • Spring 2021Photo taken by Alexander Brown '23 • Spring 2021situated between Eden Street and the waterfront. The cottage era estates left behind an abundance and rich diversity of mature trees, many of which were unscathed by the fire of 1947.

Many of the younger trees and shrubs in the arboretum today result from Dr. Craig Greene’s efforts to bring more native and unusual trees to the campus. We have also received several tree donations to the college.

 


Arboretum guides and resources

Explore the interactive GIS map to learn about and locate certain trees throughout the campus. Along with the map, you can reference the plant inventory document to see a list of tree species and their descriptions. (last updated: June 2021)

Check out the campus walking guide created by Elyse Dana for her senior project in 2009. Although the campus has changed, the three main walking routes are still walkable and show many of the arboretum trees.


Interactive arboretum map


Dr. Craig Greene

Dr. Craig Greene 1990Dr. Craig Greene 1990Dr. Craig William Greene (1949-2003) earned a B.S. in Forest Botany from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; he then received an M. Sc. in Plant Taxonomy from the University of Alberta. His Ph.D. was in Biology from Harvard University, under the advising of Reed C. Rollins. Craig’s dissertation was “The Systematics of Calamagrostis (Gramineae) in eastern North America.”

After completing his Ph.D. in 1980, Craig became a professor at the College of the Atlantic. He enjoyed taking his students into the field to study different sites on Mount Desert Island. Starting in 1985, he worked as an ecological consultant for Acadia National Park and was a member of the Maine Endangered Plant Technical Advisory Committee (later called the Botanical Advisory Group) from 1987. The appreciation for Craig’s work resulted in dedicating the Botany Lab at COA to him on May 21st 2003, after he passed away from pancreatic cancer at 54. The words on the bronze plaque outside the Botany Lab summarize his stature: “His knowledge, excellence in teaching, and enthusiasm for the role of plants in human affairs have inspired two decades of students and beautified the landscape of our campus.”

Sources: Botanical Society of America. “Craig William Greene. 1949 – 2003.” Plant Science Bulletin 49.3, 2003. Web. 18/4/2013.

Doubnerova, Marketa. “History of Arboretum of Eden.” Arboretum of Eden, 22 Dec. 2015, arboretumofeden.wordpress.com/education/history-of-arboretum-of-eden. (Marketa’s Senior Project on COA’s Arboretum)


Where to see some of the trees planted by Craig and his students

During his time at COA, Craig made wish lists of trees to try on campus. Many of the plants came from Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum and are planted on the road leading up to the Center for Human Ecology (CHE) on the North Lawn. You will find a nice collection of maple trees on the North Lawn, flowering trees by the pier, and a diversity of trees around the Campus Green perimeter.

Notable trees include some of the living fossil species, which are the Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn redwood), Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree), and Sciadopitysverticillata (Umbrella pine). Many of the young trees in the Davis Village are a result of Craig’s wish list, which was discovered after he had passed away. The London Plane tree was planted in honor of Craig. Craig always kept his briefcase by his bedside until he couldn’t walk. Even after chemo treatments, you could find him surrounded by his students as he dug a hole for a new tree.

Credit: Alexander Brown '23 • Spring 2021

Thank you to Isabel Mancinelli for organizing the arboretum’s updates and providing a wealth of information on the history of COA. Also many thanks to Gordon Longsworth for helping to update the GIS map.