First Gift for an Old Walk

When Charles Rankin, Class of 1939, passed away not long ago, his family made a thoughtful gift to the Arboretum in his memory.  Charles had been a life member of the Arboretum Association since 1984.  He adopted a large Taxodium distichum, bald cypress that stood on Founders Green because it was outside his window when he lived in Barclay Hall.  This tree was the tallest on the Green and unfortunately a strike of lightning brought it down in July of 2005.  We were able to get a ring count on the trunk and determined that the tree was approximately 107 years old.  The Arboretum replaced it in kind that same fall.

We wanted a tree to be planted for Charles, but where?  The Arboretum staff thought long and hard as to how to honor a great friend of the  Arboretum. The Meeting House walk came to mind.  This walk was traveresed by the young men (and recently women) attending Haverford before, during and since Charles’ time on their way to weekly Meeting.  As you may know, the venerable allee of stately Ginkgo biloba, line the walk only part way.  We decided to use the gift from family and friends of Charles as a starting point for the continuation of Meeting House walk trees.  Two young male ginkgo trees Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’, were planted in step with the old guard and is the first phase of a determined effort by the Arboretum to complete the old walk with young, non-fruiting ginkgoes.