Published on 02/04/16

UGA Arboretum honors winners of 2015 Memorable UGA Campus Trees and Shrubs Photo Competition

By Merritt Melancon

The University of Georgia Campus Arboretum Initiative, sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Horticulture, has announced the winners of its 2015 Memorable UGA Campus Trees and Shrubs Photo Competition.

Thirty-nine students, from second-year undergraduates to doctoral candidates participated in the contest, which is organized to celebrate the campus’s uniquely lush tree canopy.

“The UGA campus nourishes many gorgeous and significant trees,” said Donglin Zhang, contest organizer and Michael A. Dirr Endowed Chair Professor for Woody Plant Instruction and Introduction. “We want our students to be part of it and to share their vision and appreciation of our beautiful campus trees.”

This year’s first place winner was Katharine Rose Hall, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders in the UGA College of Education. Her photo juxtaposes the crown of a North Campus Ginkgo tree with one of the UGA Holmes-Hunter Academic Building’s Corinthian columns.

Landscape architecture student Mackenzie Katherine Bourne’s photo of a water oak on North Campus won second place.

Suraj Upadhaya, who is pursuing his doctorate in integrative conservation in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, won third place with his photo of a South Campus street scene that celebrates the vibrancy of the campus canopy in autumn.

Other student photographers who earned honorable mention include Jennifer C. Bloodgood, Seung Woo Ha, Maulesh S. Trivedi, Gabrielle Rosenthal, Kristina Casmir Naso, Victoria Viktorovna Sorokin, Martinique Edwards, Sean Tackett, Jonathon Matthew Ray, Moon Jeong Kang, Matthew Michael Nahrstedt, Katie Morgan Landers and Jacob Harrison Schindler.

The University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia, is unique because the entire campus is considered an arboretum. Led by famed, now retired UGA woody ornamental plant breeder and horticulture professor Michael Dirr, the UGA Campus Arboretum committee launched the project in the 1990s, providing interpretive signage for more than 150 specimens and creating a walking tour of the campus’s trees.

Today, instructors use the arboretum as a living laboratory in horticulture, forestry, landscape design, biology and ecology courses.

A self-guided walking tour of campus trees continues to draw fans of city trees to campus. The UGA Campus Arboretum committee works to increase access to the campus’s specimens by mapping each tree in Google Maps.

As the keepers of UGA’s arboreal legacy, the current committee hosted the photo contest to help document the trees that have become part of the campus’s personality.

The winning photographs and honorable mentions are on display at

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
Download Image