The Goff family invites you to sit on a branch of their family tree. They were on campus last Thursday to present the horticulture department with a spectacular bench crafted from a fallen portion of the historic larch named after their forbear, Emmett S. Goff, the UW’s first professor of horticulture and one of CALS original faculty members. The wood had been salvaged when the world famous geotropic Goff Larch lost a major limb during a winter storm in 2007.
With the Goffs’ generous financial support, Madison artist Aaron Laux bult the bench, using the living portion of the tree as inspiration for the design. Laux said he was “honored to work on a project that memorialized Goff in a place where it will be appreciated by so many people for so many years.”
The bench was unveiled at the Department of Horticulture’s annual garden party, which was also a celebration of the department’s 125th anniversary, held in the Allen Centennial Gardens, where the surviving portion of the Goff Larch still grows. The family members also participated in a ceremonial “planting” of a new larch (it was too wet for a real planting) on the bank of the garden’s newly reconstructed pond.