Annual SOU Botanical Tour to begin with Friday launch party

NEWS RELEASE (available online at
(Ashland, Ore.) — A launch party on Friday for Southern Oregon University’s Botanical Tour will introduce a fully web-based tour option that includes 107 GPS coordinates for trees located across the university’s 175-acre campus, along with a printed tour brochure.
The current version of SOU’s tree tour is the largest at any university in Oregon – and possibly in the U.S.
“This is a unique area,” said Mike Oxendine, SOU’s landscape services supervisor and resident arborist. “We can grow a wide variety of trees in southern Oregon, and we have benefitted greatly from our predecessors who planted many types of trees for us to enjoy.”
There are more than 300 tree varieties at SOU and many are still being identified. SOU’s Siskiyou Arboretum in Roca Canyon – just south of the Science Building – contains more than 70 different species of trees that are native to the region and were donated to SOU by Plant Oregon in 2016.
Friday’s Botanical Tour will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the Plunkett Center, at Siskiyou Boulevard and Mountain Avenue, following a brief presentation highlighting the tour’s goals. The online tour can be found at
SOU’s Botanical Tour was launched in 2015 by Environmental Science Program student Daniel Collay, with collaboration from the Landscape Department and faculty and staff across campus. The purposes were to educate southern Oregon residents about SOU’s sustainability programs and biodiversity, inspire people on- and off-campus to expand sustainability efforts and foster engagement with groups throughout the community.
For the tour, SOU’s campus is divided into north, south east and west quadrants and selected trees are numbered from one (a black oak on the north campus) to 107 (a Douglas fir on the south campus).
About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit