Your very own UC Berkeley tree guide

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Whether we’re walking to Chem 3A, Psychology 1 or Underwater Basket Weaving 101, we rarely stop to think about the different kinds of foliage we pass by every day. Unless we’re forestry majors, rattling off the names of trees isn’t in our daily routine. But the Daily Clog worked with environmental sciences, policy and management professor Lynn Huntsinger to create a handy identification guide of common trees on campus. Now, you can show appreciation to that white alder by fondly whispering, “Thank you, Alnus rhombifolia,” when you rest in its shade. Read the rest of Huntsinger’s tree guide here.

1. Oriental flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata)

Cherry tree

Located right next to GBC, this Japanese cherry tree produces beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring.

2. Box elder (Acer negundo var. californicum)

box elder

An endemic (native) species to California, this deciduous tree produces pink flowers. Look for it between the Cesar Chavez Student Center and Dwinelle Hall.

3. London plane (Platanus x acerifolia)

London Plane

This tall deciduous tree grows in the grove around the Campanile, so every student has seen it before! The strange shape of the branches is due to a form of pruning called “pollarding” that creates a compact shady canopy. Evans Hall and LeConte Hall are in the background of the picture above.

4. Copper beech (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea)

copper beech

You can spot this smooth-barked tree on the shady road next to the Valley Life Sciences Building.

5. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)


Otherwise known as the California redwood, this tree is the only living species of the genus Sequoia, and individual trees can live for thousands of years. Also, this tree is the mascot of a subpar university in the Bay Area. Look for one near Morrison Hall, along campus creeks, and surrounding the memorial pool in Memorial Glade.

6. Maidenhair tree (Ginko biloba)


One of the few trees also recognized by its scientific name, this species has no living relatives. Its distinctive fan-shaped leaves turn yellow in the fall in a spectacular show of color. Keep an eye out for it near the bridge by Giannini Hall.

7. Blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus)

blue gum

Located next to VLSB and Strawberry Creek, this evergreen tree is so widely cultivated in Australia that it’s Tasmania’s floral emblem. It’s also the tallest tree on campus.

8. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)

ponderosa pine

Finally, a name that’s easy to remember! Interestingly, this tree was named the Ponderosa pine because of its heavy wood (ponderous means “slow and clumsy because of great weight”). Look for its distinctive scaly bark around Mulford Hall.

Image sources: Image 1Image 2, Image 3Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8

Contact Katy Yuan at [email protected].