The Oval: The Heart of Colorado State University

One cannot picture the university’s iconic Oval without its cherished, giant elm trees. Many of the trees date from the 1880s and 1920s and their size and beauty make the Oval a popular icon of the university, likely the most photographed location on campus, as well as a site for graduation celebrations, weddings and festivals.

Today, CSU maintains routine pruning of the trees to help prevent damage and keep the trees healthy, an investment of $125,000 or more each time the trees are pruned. Costs are supported through university funds. The Oval Tree Preservation Endowment was created several years ago to devote resources specifically to preserving the elms, and contributes a fraction of the costs until it reaches a sustainable level.