Spring pruning

The whir of chainsaws and the thud of branches hitting the ground filled the quads this Thursday as tree-service company The Care of Trees gave the University's greenery a spring trim. On a balmy morning a seven-man crew donned hard hats and pruned oaks in the quads' northwest corner. After hoisting heavy-duty ropes around the trunks, workers climbed to the treetops using harnesses. At the top, the crew chopped off branches injured by the winter elements. According to The Care of Trees' Web site, such routine pruning is particularly important for city-dwelling trees, which must "contend with air pollution, road salt, confined roots, trunk damage, compacted or poor quality soils, improper pruning, and other stresses." Operations and maintenance director for University Facilities Services Bob Tiberg notes that the University has become "much more attentive" to arboreal care over the past few years. Since the trees are not yet in full bloom, he adds, now is the ideal time for trimming.

Such seasonal maintenance also prepares trees to deal with weather like last October's violent lighting storm that felled more than 40 campus trees. Discussions are underway to determine how many of the lost crop will be replaced, and Tiberg expects to see new trees planted late summer, when the environment is "most cooperative" for growth.


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Photos (left to right): Tree maintenance on the northwest quad; a tree-service employee trims branches; Wheeling, IL–based company The Care of Trees descends on campus; more members of the tree-maintence crew.

March 22, 2007