BGSU Century Trees

About the project

Urban forester Stephanie Miller, from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources forestry division and Dr. Helen Michaels, BGSU biological sciences professor, record data as University horticulturist Frank Schemenauer takes a tree core sample to determine its age.

As part of BGSU’s centennial celebration, the University identified all of the trees on its Bowling Green campus that have been here at least as long as we have.

Twenty-three trees met that century requirement. Ages of the trees were determined by taking a small core sample with the help of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources forestry division. Historic photos of campus were used to identify likely candidates.

The oldest tree is a White Oak (#4) in the center of campus near Williams Hall. Because it leans dramatically toward the south, it can be easily spotted in the earliest photos of campus, including one taken from the steps of University Hall in 1920.

The youngest tree identified is about 112 years old.

All of our century trees are some variety of oak – either white, red, black, “swamp white,” or chinquapin.

Most are located in the oldest part of our campus, but there is one on Thurstin Avenue and three on Ridge Street, including by the Student Recreation Center. Another is behind the Bowen-Thompson Student Union and one sits on the south side of McFall Center on Wooster Street.

These 23 trees alone absorb more than 32,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year.

The University will be updating this site throughout BGSU’s centennial. Be sure to check back for additional seasonal and historical photos of our 23 Century Trees.