University of Southern Maine Arboretum
Administrative Offices (Area E)
From the terrace of the Brooks Student Center walkers can view Philippi Hall. Head down the stairs, cross Campus Avenue, and walk past Philippi towards USM’s School Street entrance. The white building on the left once housed a sorority before being renovated into the current USM Human Resource office. On the rolling lawn that meets the north side of the building, walkers will encounter an Aristocrat Ornamental Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Aristocrat’) (E-1), a Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) (E-2), and a Baumannii European Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum ‘Baumannii’) (E-3). The Northern Catalpa’s wood has been used for railroad ties due to its extreme resistance to rot in moist areas. A notable characteristic of the Baumanni European Horsechestnut is its perfect white flowers, which make a mid-May appearance. This tree demonstrates rapid growth, and does well against hot dry temperatures, insects, and disease. Across the street is a row of three Pinkspire Malus (Malus sp. ‘Pinkspire’) (E-4) that bring beautiful pink flowers to USM’s entrance in the spring.
Located at the side entrance of the Human Resource building is a Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides) (E-6). In its native country of China, the bark of the Rubber Tree is used for tonic and medicinal purposes. Here on campus, it is valued for pest resistance. Continuing behind the Human Resource building, walkers will see a Sugar Hackberry (Celtis laevigata) (E-7). This tree has a broad spreading habit and produces a very sweet fruit enjoyed by birds. It is also extremely tolerant of city conditions and air quality.
In the island in front of the McLellan House, a red brick building, one will find a Golden Desert Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)(E-8), identified by its yellow-green leaves in the summer and golden leaves in the fall. Using the clay from Tommy’s Brook which bordered his property, Hugh McLellan built this first brick house in Cumberland County in 1773. In 1966 Gorham State College converted it to an honors dormitory for woman. Islands within the parking lot also contain an Emerald Sentinel Juniper (Juniperus virginiana L. sp. ‘Emerald Sentinel’) (E-5) and a Kyushu Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’) (E-10). Although the Kyushu Hudrangea is not considered a very attractive fall or winter specimen, it is the most cold hardy of the hydrangeas. At the far end of the parking lot, walkers will find a Western Arborvitae (Thuja plicata D. Don.) (E-9). Because of its extreme durability, this coniferous tree is used for shingle manufacturing in the U.S.Start Slideshow