One of the most beautiful—and most overlooked—features of Wesleyan’s campus is its rich variety of trees. Foss Hill in the autumn is a sight to behold. Unfortunately, though, trees do die, or get in the way, or fall on things, and so someone occasionally needs to remove them.
I had never thought about who removes them, until I came across Physical Plant’s Grounds web page, which lists every tree that has been removed from campus, from April 18, 2007 through August 4, 2008. Some of the commentary is great, albeit sad. For instance, the author laments the removal of hemlocks at 333 High Street:
The last of these hemlocks are giving up the ghost. While others on campus are holding their own, I will have to remove these.
Apparently trees have crotches:
A very large elm tree in front of ’92 Theater split apart on Saturday, September 22, during the football game with Middlebury. Altho that did not alter the outcome of the game, it did make me very sad. The problem was a weak crotch, and the health of the tree worked against its continued survival.
An amusing feature of the site is its constant misspelling of “hazard”:
This maple is dropping deadwood in an area where little children play. It has been deemed a hazzard, and will be removed.
It’s not all about sick and dying trees, though. A June 25 entry claims that “the fall season is here, and the leaves are falling.” Never mind the seasonal abnormalities, chalk one up for sustainability:
This is just a memo to the Wesleyan community that we do not waste the leaves. They are trucked to a composting farm in Middlefield, to be turned into new soil and reused.
Additionaly, the trees that we prune or remove are turned into wood chips, and picked up by a firm from northeastern Vermont. They are used in energy production and mulch. Great to know that the material is being recycled in a positive manner!