The custom to plant an Alumni tree during Welcoming Day for first-year students in January of each year originated in 2001.
The trees are planted on behalf of the class of the respective year and the first-year student represents the year group while the tree stands as symbol of this group who will become alumni themselves in years to come. Each tree gets a sign stating the name of the tree as well as the name of the representative and the date.
Three trees (normally the tree of the year) are planted each year by, respectively, a first-year student, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal and the Chairperson of the TuksAlumni Board.
The following representatives planted trees since 2001:
- Class of 2014: Fallon Fourie (Lavender Tree)
- Class of 2013: Tshiamo Maimane (Crossberry)
- Class of 2012: Liesl van Eeden (Red Beech)
- Class of 2011: Urooge Haq (Jacket-Plum)
- Class of 2010: Nkamogeleng Mahlaela (Common Rothmannia)
- Class of 2009: Tarryn Thomas (Tree Fuchsia)
- Class of 2008: Molatelo Thebe (Bladder-nut) (Centenary)
- Class of 2007: Jaco Jordaan (Common Wild Currant)
- Class of 2006: Atli Phatudi (Wild Promenate)
- Class of 2005: Dewald de Beer (Baobab)
- Class of 2004: Tshepo Moila (Mountain Seringa)
- Class of 2003: Ingeborg Steinmann (Red Currant)
- Class of 2002: Christa-Louié van Heerden (Cheesewood)
- Class of 2001: The late Rizqa Carrim (River Bush Willow)
Most of the trees are located around the Drama Building on the Hatfield Campus
10th year celebration of the tree-planting tradition in 2010
The Principal (middle) and other UP staff members in 2010 with some alumni who took part in the tree-planting
ceremony as first-year students over 10 years.
The tradition started on 22 January 2001 when the first tree was planted.
Inge Steinmann can be seen here with her adult Red Currant tree which she
planted in January 2003