If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Who knows, but when a tree falls at Pacific Lutheran University it doesn’t go unnoticed.
What used to be a canopy of cherry trees outside of Ordal was cut down because of structural decay. These trees were the most recent in a series of trees being cut down due to disease and rot.
Once trees show significant decay and rot, they become a hazaard for people walking by. Facilities Management took the trees down to prevent a harmful collapse.
Not to worry – laminated signs around the stumps recently announced the replanting set to happen this fall.
The particular species of cherry tree on campus, Prunus emarginata, has difficulty growing in a wet climate, suggesting the culprit was a spring filled with record-breaking rain.
Lately, trees campuswide have been rotting and being cut down. In February, an arborist hired by Facilities Management detected an outbreak of fungus in the honey locus trees surrounding Red Square. Last year, a discovery of similar fungal conks growing on the base of trees required a immediate removal from campus.
The removal of the trees imspired students to write eulogies.
“A deep connection with nature is a symbiotic relationship that benefits both us and Earth,” senior Nathan Ries said. “Those trees represented that. I hope more cherry trees will be planted soon.”
A student protesting the removal of trees founded the still running GREAN Club more than 10 years ago. The group currently focuses more on improving sustainability in and around campus instead of protesting tree removal.
The Grounds Maintenance Specialist, Kenneth Cote, promised a replant using species exclusive to the Pacific Northwest.
Some replanting is already underway. The concrete boxes that held once cherry trees already have smaller trees starting to grow.
To learn more about the vegetation, contact Facilities Management at their website: http://www.plu.edu/facilities-management/.
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