Purdue landmark serves as fundraiser for Arboretum

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Artwork made from a landmark horse chestnut tree that was on the Purdue University campus is on display and for sale.

“People who buy the pieces would have a memento of that old horse chestnut tree that was in Memorial Mall,” said Rich Aldefer, Purdue Agriculture graduate and Indiana woodturner.

In July 2009, Purdue had to remove the tree, a favorite resting place for students and a main attraction along The Purdue Arboretum trail, from Memorial Mall because of safety concerns.

To memorialize the tree, Aldefer worked with Purdue staff to collect pieces of the tree, which were sent to members of the Montgomery County Woodworkers Association and the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Woodturners.

Members of the two groups fashioned the pieces into bowls, sculptures and other artwork.

The artwork can be viewed in the Rudolph Room of the Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center. Anyone interested in purchasing one of the pieces can contact Matt Jenks, professor of horticulture and Purdue Arboretum director, at jenksm@purdue.edu. All proceeds will benefit The Purdue Arboretum.

“It will help ensure that the arboretum will have the opportunity to continue planting trees for generations to come right there on campus,” Aldefer said.

The Purdue Arboretum was started in 2008 with the goal of recreating the Purdue campus as a living laboratory to enhance learning and discovery. It is a collection of woody plants – trees, shrubs, woody ground covers and climbing vines – that serves as a resource for classes, research and community outreach programs, Jenks said.

“We would envision that instructors on campus who teach courses on trees or shrubs – dendrology, plant pathology and entomology, even art and design courses – would use this resource,” he said. “There are many people on campus who would have an interest in the kinds of material we’re documenting.”

For more information about The Purdue Arboretum, go online to https://www.arboretum.purdue.edu

Writer: Julie Preble, 765-494-8402, jmpreble@purdue.edu


Sources: Matt Jenks, 765-494-1332, jenksm@purdue.edu

Rich Aldefer, 765-361-0937, richa@wico.net

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer, sleer@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page


Related Web sites:
Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Central Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Woodturners

Purdue Arboretum, 625 Agriculture Mall Dr, West Lafayette, IN, 47907
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