Archive for Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Seedling from Thomas Jefferson’s tree at Monticello takes root on KU campus

March 28, 2006

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Beneath the broken limbs of a storm-damamged walnut tree, Greg Wade, KU landscape architect, left, and Dennis Farney, right, plant a young tulip poplar tree in Marvin Grove on the KU campus. The tree is one Farney grew and is from a certified seedling of a tree that Thomas Jefferson planted at his Monticello home in 1807. Wade, a 1963 KU graduate provided the tree to KU to help replace trees destroyed in the March 12 storm. The two men planted the tree Monday.

Beneath the broken limbs of a storm-damamged walnut tree, Greg Wade, KU landscape architect, left, and Dennis Farney, right, plant a young tulip poplar tree in Marvin Grove on the KU campus. The tree is one Farney grew and is from a certified seedling of a tree that Thomas Jefferson planted at his Monticello home in 1807. Wade, a 1963 KU graduate provided the tree to KU to help replace trees destroyed in the March 12 storm. The two men planted the tree Monday.

Broken and battered trees dot Kansas University's landscape. But a new tree was planted among the old ones Monday.

"This may be the first replacement tree we've planted," said Gregory Wade, KU landscape architect, referring to the March 12 storm that destroyed about 100 trees at KU and damaged many more.

A seedling from the 200-year-old tulip poplar at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate in Virginia was planted in Marvin Lawn near KU's Spencer Museum of Art.

"It's a tree descended from a man who loved learning more than anything," said Dennis Farney, a KU alumnus who donated the tree.

Farney bought the seedling several years ago at Monticello.

The tree is a seedling from the tulip poplar that stands on the west lawn at Monticello. According to records, Jefferson likely planted it in 1807.

Tulip poplars can grow taller than 100 feet. They produce cup-shaped blooms that resemble tulips.

Farney flew the seedling home and has been raising it. It's about 8 years old, he said.

"I'm just delighted that we can plant it here on a spot where I walked by many a time myself," Farney said Monday after helping plant the tree.

Farney earned a journalism degree from KU in 1963 and a master's degree in political science two years later.

A retired journalist, he held many positions, including White House correspondent, at the Wall Street Journal.

He was a finalist for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for the series "The American Civilization," which measured contemporary society against Jeffersonian ideals.

Comments

local_support 9 years, 3 months ago

Many thanks to Mr. Farney and his generosity.

kansas_prairieland 9 years, 3 months ago

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