What is it? The Patriot Tree Project is an initiative to document the trees and ecological communities on the George Mason University Fairfax campus (Figure 1). Faculty and students in the Department of Biology began this project in 2015, with support from the Patriot Green Fund, as an opportunity to educate the broader Mason community about the biological diversity of campus and its value for ecosystem and human health.

Figure 1. The Fairfax campus is a mosaic of disturbed forests (green areas in map) within a highly-managed landscape.

Where is it? Over 70 native and non-native trees located on the Fairfax campus have been identified and labeled (Figure 2, Table 1). The black, rectangular labels are attached to the trunks of the majority of these trees and are visible from sidewalks. Scientific vouchers for each tree have been deposited in the university herbarium to verify identification and key ecological measurements, such as height and DBH, have been recorded for future reference. Data files can be downloaded from links below.

Figure 2. The Arboretum is divided into three walking trails: West Campus, North Campus and South Campus.


Table 1. List of scientific and common names of trees in the George Mason University Arboretum – Fairfax Campus, version July 15, 2017.

1 Gleditsia triacanthos Honey Locust 39 Kalmia latifolia†
2 Pinus echinata Shortleaf Pine 40 Fagus grandifolia†
3 Koelreuteria paniculata* Goldenraintree 41 Ginkgo biloba*
4 Cercis canadensis Eastern Redbud 42 Pinus strobus
5 Magnolia grandiflora Southern Magnolia 43 Hamamelis virginiana
6 Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia 44 Salix babylonica*
7 Morus alba White Mulberry 45 Prunus subhirtella*
8 Acer rubrum Red Maple 46 Ficus sp.*
9 Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip tree 47 Cornus kousa*
10 Quercus alba White Oak 48 Quercus phellos
11 Quercus palustris Pin Oak 49 Picea pungens*
12 Quercus rubra Northern Red Oak 50 Cedrus atlantica*
13 Platanus occidentalis American Sycamore 51 Cedrus deodara*
14 Prunus serotina Black Cherry 52 Cryptomeria japonica*
15 Quercus falcata Southern Red Oak 53 Acer saccharum
16 Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 54 Lagerstroemia indica*
17 Carya glabra Pignut Hickory 55 Amelanchier canadensis
18 Magnolia X Soulangeana* Saucer Magnolia 56 Pyrus calleryana*
19 Nyssa sylvatica Black Gum 57 Robinia pseudoacacia
20 Pinus virginiana Virginia Pine 58 Aralia spinosa
21 Acer platanoides* Norway Maple 59 Picea abies*
22 Prunus yedoensis* Yoshino Cherry 60 Rhus copallinum
23 Fraxinus pennsylvanica Green Ash 61 Quercus alba
24 Liquidambar styraciflua Sweetgum 62 Cornus florida
25 Zelkova serrata* Zelkova 63 Castanea mollissima *
26 Acer palmatum* Japanese Maple 64 Tsuga canadensis
27 Quercus acutissima* Sawtooth Oak 65 Chamaecyparis pisifera*
28 Tilia americana American Linden 66 Betula nigra
29 Tilia cordata Littleleaf Linden 67 Pinus sylvestris*
30 Quercus shumardii Shumard Oak 68 Salix nigra
31 Ulmus rubra Slippery Elm 69 Juniperus virginiana
32 Magnolia stellata*† Star Magnolia 70 Morus alba
33 Acer buergerianum* Trident Maple 71 Sassafras albidum
34 Gymnocladus dioicus Kentucky Coffee Tree 72 Ilex opaca
35 Juniperus communis† Common Juniper 73 Quercus coccinea
36 Pinus elliotiii† Slash Pine 74 Morus alba
37 Metasequoia glyptostroboides*† Dawn Redwood
38 Paulownia tomentosa*† Princesstree


* not native to Virginia
removed since 2015

Data files

1. Arboretum map, version 2015 (PDF)
2. Arboretum map key, version 2017 (PDF)
3. Ecological measurements for the trees, version 2015 (MS Excel)

For more information, please contact Department of Biology professor, Dr. Andrea Weeks.