An Oregon State University campus landmark between Benton and Education Halls for over a century, this poplar was planted in the early 1880’s by George Coote, the College’s first horticulturist. The Class of 1901 christened it as the “Trysting Tree” after college President Thomas Gatch admonished two students for meeting there regularly for romantic purposes. Homer Maris’ song Carry Me Back, which became OSU’s alma mater in 1919, memorialized the poplar in verse. Serious decay forced its removal in 1986. A cutting was made from the original tree several years earlier and today Trysting Tree II grows strong nearby.
“I love to wonder on the pathway, down to the Trysting Tree.” “For there again I see in fancy old friends dear to me.”