The giving trees of Ohio State

A resident of the Oval and longtime Ohio State supporter has pledged nearly $12,000 to the university: Platanus occidentalis, sycamore tree just south of Hopkins Hall, will provide in-kind donations of storm-water management, air-pollution removal, HVAC services and other benefits to be delivered over 25 years.

In all, about 14,000 donors with roots in the Columbus campus — many of them actual buckeyes — have made similar pledges totaling more than $25 million over the next quarter century.

Everyone knows trees are beautiful — try to imagine Mirror Lake Hollow or the Oval without their leafy canopies — but who knew they actually contribute to the university as lifelong donors?

“Instead of considering them service providers, people tend to think trees are just there,” said Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens at Ohio State.

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