This Japanese zelkova tree that stands next to the Owen School is one of the most noteworthy trees in the arboretum. Of the seven Tennessee state champion trees
mentioned in The Trees of Vanderbilt
in 1994, this is the only one that is still a reigning champion. One reason for its champion status is its large measured diameter of 60 cm (24 in.). However, that single measurement underestimates the actual size of the tree, since there are actually a total of four trunks. The smaller three trunks have diameters of 53 cm, 45 cm, and 40 cm, so if the tree had a single trunk, it would be much larger.
Another reason for this tree's fame is that it was said to have been planted by Bishop Holland McTyeire, who was instrumental both in the founding of the university and in planting thousands of trees
during its first decades. At the time of its planting, it stood along the main road that led from the original gates of the university to the entrance of Wesley Hall (now Library Lawn).The sidewalk and drive leading from the Law School towards the loading dock past the tree follows the path of that old road.