Heritage Trees

Trees designated as Heritage Trees on the Purdue University campus are those that have developed exceptional historical, cultural, or aesthetic value because of their age or their association with an important event or person. These specimens have been evaluated by the university tree advisory committee and designated as trees of special significance to our campus. 

Fall Habit

The Heritage Trees on Purdue’s campus are often considered irreplaceable. Many of them contribute to significant views on campus or provide spatial structure to outdoor spaces. These mature trees integrate buildings and blur the visual boundaries between nature and the built environment. Our Heritage trees are exemplary representation of species’ characteristics. They make a vital contribution to our educational programs in horticulture and landscape architecture, forestry and natural resources, plant biology, and environmental science.

An example of a Heritage Tree of exceptional character on our Purdue campus is the American Planetree, known as the Diversity Tree.  It is painted in celebration of National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council and is well-known to many on campus.

Trees like this also support environmental health. They provide habitats for numerous species, contributing to local biodiversity. They provide ecosystem services including air purification and shade.

Our Heritage Trees are mature specimens that significantly benefit human health. They make important contributions to the physical and mental well-being of our students, staff, and the local community. Many of our Heritage Trees on campus are particularly significant to Purdue alumni. They are often associated with traditions, stories, and rituals that have been passed down through generations of students. Purdue's Heritage Trees are living connections to our past and are, in many instances, older than the university itself. They are a precious resource that becomes more valuable over time.  Purdue is committed to preserving these special trees. The Arboretum and our campus arborists closely monitor them and provide proper maintenance, care, and protection of these irreplaceable specimens.

This tour will highlight many of Purdue’s specimen trees throughout campus.