New trees will support campus pollinators

students planting a tree
Student volunteers plant American Persimmon trees near the Roberts House pollinator garden. Photo provided

This spring a small team of George Mason University students used the Patriot Green Fund to enhance the diversity of the university’s Honey Bee Pollinator Garden. This garden, which sits outside of Roberts House on the Mason’s Fairfax Campus, serves as a biodiverse pollinator haven for the bees currently residing nearby in one of the Honey Bee Initiative’s apiaries.
On April 8, the student volunteers assisted in planting three American Persimmon trees. The trees are the new additions to the Mason Arboretum, a nationally accredited collection of trees and woody plants. Once the trees reach maturity, they will have vibrant blossoms in the spring and, with the help of the pollinators, will produce edible fruit in the fall. 
The garden is supported by the Office of Sustainability’s Greenhouse and Gardens Program and Facilities Management’s Grounds Department. The trees, supplies, and coordination for this planting event were donated by Facilities Management.

group of students outside
From left, student volunteers Adam Radwick, Aiden Wells, Erich Miller, Derrick Wallis, Ethan Mercado, and Matthew McConnell. Bottom row from left, Mason professor Andrea Weeks, Marin Hull, Allanah Brathwaite, and Subihi Setiwaldi. Photo provided

“Student and community planting events such as this are crucial to our programming here at Mason, as they ensure our responsibility to provide continued education, awareness, and stewardship of our natural environment,” said Erich Miller, certified arborist and Facilities Management grounds program manager. “We hope that the skills and information passed on to the students will resonate, not only here on our campus grounds, but wherever their paths may lead.”

“Attending the planting allowed me to experience what it must have been like to plant the rest of the trees on campus that are registered within the Arboretum," said environmental science major Aiden Wells. "It was an enjoyable perspective to have, and granted me an even greater appreciation for the variety of plants we have on our campus."

Trees highlighted in the Mason Arboretum are labeled with signs that include scannable barcodes to its online catalogue.

Interested community members can support future tree planting events at Mason by donating or volunteering to help. Learn more by contacting