Cameron Tree Tour

Origin of the Cameron Tree Tour

The biology education degree at Cameron University was approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in 2007. As a part of the requirements for graduation, candidates are required to design and complete a biology education project.  Mr. William Schlecht is CU's first biology education graduate, and the Cameron Tree Tour is his project under the supervision of Dr. Michael Dunn.

From the existing trees on Cameron's campus, 18 trees were chosen for their ethnobotanical, economic and/or aesthetic value. Each tree is marked by a plaque that indicates the route of a one mile trail through the Cameron Green. This brochure is available at selected locations on campus and is designed as an accompaniment to the tour with interesting data about each tree.

This project supports Cameron University Plan 2013 by improving the quality of student life and promoting an active campus lifestyle, as well as educational, cultural, and social opportunities for the region. Specifically, the tree tour supports K-12 students, increases opportunities for the development of high schools as educational partners and fosters the recruitment of quality students to Cameron University. In addition, we hope that this project will inspire other projects throughout the region, which will in turn inspire a healthier lifestyle for the citizens of southwest Oklahoma.

 

The 18 Trees on the Cameron Tree Tour

Maiden Hair tree1. Maiden Hair
Ginkgo biloba

Fossils related to the Ginkgo date to the Permian Age and the plant was once thought to be extinct, but the species was preserved by Chinese monks. The bark, cone, and leaf are used for medicinal purposes. 


Eastern Red Cedar2. Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana

The species is native to Oklahoma and is now found throughout most of the state. It is most abundant in old fields and grasslands that have been protected from natural wildfire.



Silver Maple3. Silver Maple
Acer saccharinum

Named for the silvery underside of the leaf, it occurs naturally in eastern Oklahoma.  The trees are frequently planted next to houses as a shade tree.  However, the wood is brittle and weak making the trees vulnerable to wind damage. 


Green Ash4. Green Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

The Green Ash is an important commercial hardwood timber tree used in flooring, tool handles, and baseball bats because it is hard and strong. It has also been planted to reclaim spoil banks, the exposed soil of strip mines.


Mimosa5. Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin

This tree is related to the true Mimosa, as both are members of the family Fabaceae.  However, it lacks the spiny stems associated with the original tree.  Due to its attractive flowers, this tree is favored as an ornamental.


Sweetgum6. Sweetgum
Liquidambar styraciflua

The native Sweetgum is used in commercial hardwood production of  furniture in order to be stained to resemble black walnut. The bark can be processed to produce storax fluid, which is used in aromatics and medicines.


Cottonwood7. Cottonwood
Populus deltoids

Native to Oklahoma and common in floodplains, the species is sometimes divided into subspecies -- the Plains and the Eastern cottonwood that intergrade in Oklahoma. The soft wood is used for boxes and crates, paper pulp, and fuel.


Sycamore8. Sycamore
Plantanus occidentalis

The Sycamore is used as a shade tree in Oklahoma as well as for furniture and butcher blocks. The specific epithet occidentalis means "western", a designation that Linnaeus often used to distinguish North American and related European species.


Chinkapin Oak9. Chinkapin Oak

Quercus muehlenbergii

The Chinkapin is native to the eastern U.S. with the Wichita Mountains area being the far western boundary of its range. The trees are often found on or near limestone. It is named for minister and botanist G. H. E. Muehlenberg.


Golden Rain10. Golden Rain
Koelreuteria paniculata

The Golden Rain is a fast growing tree that is native to eastern Asia. Its common name comes from clusters of bright golden yellow flowers. When ripened the fruit is a papery three-compartment capsule that is a deep golden brown. 


Red Elm11. Red Elm
Ulmus rubra

Also known as the Slippery Elm, the gluey under-bark of the twig serves as a cough medicine when chewed.  In the 1970's, Dr. LaWanda Tyson and her class prevented this tree from being cut down to make way for an elevator in Nance-Boyer Hall.


American Elm12. American Elm
Ulmus americana

The American Elm is a long-lived tree that can withstand winter temperatures as low as -42 °C. Although the trees were once widely planted as shade trees, Dutch Elm disease was introduced in the 1930's, and destroyed much of the population.


Bald Cypress13. Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum

When planted as an ornamental tree away from wetlands, the Bald Cypress lacks the characteristic knobby roots known as knees.  Although this is a conifer like Pines, it is not an evergreen, but rather loses its needles each winter. 


Texas Live Oak14. Texas Live Oak
Quercus virginiana

The Live Oak produces the hardest wood in North America, and was widely used in early American shipbuilding. The frame of USS Constitution, commissioned in 1797 and still in service today, is constructed from Live Oak wood.


Mistletoe15. Mistletoe

Phoradendron tomentosum

Mistletoe is a shrub-like evergreen that is parasitic on some trees, including this one.  It is a common Christmas decoration.  The genus Phoradendron is derived from Greek, meaning "thief" and "tree," referring to its parasitic nature.


Crabapple16. Crabapple
Malus sp.

The genus contains at least 35 species. The scientific name Malus, "evil" in Latin, was given for its long and diverse place in theology and mythology from Eve and the Garden of Eden to Snow White and the wicked queen.


Western Soapberry17. Western Soapberry
Sapindus drummondii

The Soapberry is named for its use of the fruits. When crushed in water the berries create suds that were used by Native Americans to wash clothes, and as a varnish. The hard wood splits easily and has been used in basket making.


Redbud18. Redbud
Cercis Canadensis

The Redbud is the official state tree of Oklahoma. Birds eat the seeds and deer browse the foliage. Another common name is the Judas tree, because a closely related old-world tree is reportedly the tree from which Judas hung himself.

 

Printable Tree Tour Map

Cameron University is located at
2800 W Gore Blvd
Lawton, OK 73505