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USU to cut, replace trees on Quad, across campus

August 26th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Safiyyah Ballard

LOGAN—USU has begun implementation of a long-term plan to remove and replace  mature trees across campus.

Darrell Hart, USU’s vice president for facilities, said the trees on campus are just getting old and some are diseased. “There’s nothing really wrong with them,” he said. “Trees just get old.”

USU spokesman John DeVilbiss said the tree replacement plan started with the replacement of the landscape in front of the Ray B. West Building on the south side of the Quad over the summer. “This plan is based on the life of the tree and it is not a rigid plan” DeVilbiss said. “Some of the trees are just in the final stages of their lives.”

DeVilbiss said the average lifespan of the trees is 60 to 80 years and most of the trees on campus were planted in the 1930s. Under the proposed plan, “double planting” will be used to ensure that the new trees have time to grow and mature before removal of the old trees. With double planting, the old trees will be pruned to allow the new trees to receive sunlight.

Forestry professor Michael Kuhns said the plan will replace the Norway maples that are used across campus with the stronger, fast-growing London plane tree, also known as the sycamore.  “Norway maples are decay-prone and have the potential to become a real weed and start showing up in the [Logan] Canyon,” he said.

Kuhns said that the tree replacement plan is not as common as it should be. “Too often, the city or community just deals with trees as they fail,” he said. “That’s not a very good way to manage a community tree resource. You should anticipate what trees might fail.”

He added that old trees can be injured when they are young, and those wounds can cause decay in the trunk or the root system. “If you get decay, you get a tree that is growing every year but getting weaker every year,” he said. “A storm or a weak branch could cause a hazard, especially when there are a lot of buildings or people walking around.”

It is unclear how soon new plantings will begin, or how soon after that the existing trees will be removed. USU issued a press release on the tree replacement plan earlier this afternoon (Aug. 26): Click here. A link to the complete Quad tree replacement strategy appears at the bottom of the release.


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  1. One Response to “USU to cut, replace trees on Quad, across campus”

  2. By Johansan on Sep 1, 2010

    Cutting the trees is really bad idea, the trees dont get old, but gold.six figure mentors

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