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Plant Life and Vegetation

Dexter Lawn is home to many different species of grasses and trees. The types of trees that grow on the lawn include the California Redwood, the Deodar Cedar tree, and the London Plain Trees. Types of grass that grow on the lawn include the Perennial Rye, Common Bermuda, and Tall Fescue.

Basic maintenance that goes on the lawn includes mowing and edging. Dexter Lawn is mowed once a week and is commonly checked for broken sprinkler heads. Since there is a lot of activity on the lawn broken sprinkler heads are a common problem. During the summer has to be watered 3 times a week and during the winter not very often. Pesticides have only been used a couple times on the lawn but fertilizer is commonly used on the lawn. Facilities fertilize the lawn about 4 times a year. The only times the lawn gets replaced is when major construction goes on in that area and the grass is too damaged to stay alive.

Dexter Lawn is home to a California Redwood Tree. California Redwood Trees are one of the oldest and tallest types of trees in the world. The tree can reach heights up to 112m tall and 7m in diameter at its base. They can also live up to ages of between 2,000-3,000 years old. The bark on the tree is very thick; it can grow up to 30cm thick. This bark is special because it is fire proof and protects the tree from insects. The tree is only found on the Pacific Coastal Region. This is because the tree usually grows off mountains where there is much precipitation coming off of the ocean.

Dexter Lawn is also home to one Deodar Cedar tree ( Cedrus Deodorus ). This tree resembles an evergreen and grows 1-2 inch long sharp needles. It also produces fist size cones that shatter to pieces in the spring time when the seeds ripen. These pine cones grow erect at the end of tree branches. Instead of falling off the tree, it breaks apart scale by scale. It is the fastest growing evergreen and can grow up to 80ft. tall. As the tree ages the lower branches are known to bend toward the ground.

On the west side of Dexter Lawn grows the London Plain Trees ( Platanus Acerifolia ). The London Plain Tree is a mix of two trees: the P. orientalis and P. occidentalis, and is the more disease resistant of them both. The tr ee is one of the tallest deciduous trees in the county and can grow to the height of 100 ft.

One of the three different types of grasses that grow on the lawn includes the Common Bermuda Grass. This type of grass is usually used to control soil erosion. This type of grass is adapted for a wide range of soil types from sandy to clay soils. This type of grass is very drought tolerant but can stay alive when flooded for a short amount of time. This type of grass is very versatile used for roadside erosion control, lawns, athletic fields and pastures.  

The Tall Fescue grass is also found on Dexter Lawn. This type of grass was introduced to America from Europe in the 1800's. There are over 100 species of this type of grass. This grass grows up from three to four feet high and has broad, dark green basal leaves. This grass produces the most growth in the spring and the fall, and has a deep rooted system that helps it withstand drought conditions. When watered on a constant basis this grass stays green year round and has good shade tolerance. This grass is usually used in golf courses and athletic fields.

The final type of grass you will find on Dexter Lawn is Perennial Rye grass. This is one of the most commonly found types of grass in America in lawns and pastures. It is one of the most commonly used grasses in America because of its adaptability to adapt to different types of soils and climate. Its ability to reproduce so fast also enhances its likeability. This type of grass can be used in common lawns or playing fields.

The vegetation and plant life of Dexter Lawn help to beautify the campus and add to the diversity of Cal Poly's natural landscape.

Information found at:


University of Washington

Brigham Young University

Thanks to Doug Overman for all of the help and information about maintance and plant life on Dexter.

We love Dexter