Old, diseased trees uprooted

By Jessica Marrella
October 30, 2003

Steph Mangold

Before this semester began, a tree fell on the Upper Gulph Road entrance. There was no real reason why the 150-year-old oak tree fell, but it was obvious that the roots had just given up.

The facilities department is hard at work trying to prevent this type of incident from happening again. Their new maintenance program concentrates on maintaining the trees that are already on campus and also planting new ones for the future.

The department prunes the trees and also checks for fungus. “Fungus is an indication of trouble, especially at the base,” Howard Holden, director of the facilities said. This does not mean that all fungus is harmful to trees. The facilities department just further investigates a tree with fungus as a precaution. The department is especially concerned with the trees around areas like the peace pole and the tennis courts, because those can be heavily populated areas at times.

Over the summer, a representative from the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania came to Cabrini to perform a safety inspection of selected trees on campus. “Although large mature trees are the feature signature of the Cabrini campus landscape, it is imperative that they are maintained and periodically inspected to insure that they will not create a potential danger to the college community” Holden said.

An instrument called a Resistogragh was used to detect trees for decay and cavities. The instrument drills into a tree with a small brad-point bit and measures the resistance. Those measurements are then printed out on a graph. Trees are drilled in more than one spot so that a more thorough analysis can be reached. From the graph, the department can tell which trees have decay or cavities and which trees are completely healthy. Based on this information, the department decides which trees need to be removed.

The trees on campus are one of the first things noticed when visiting. They create a “secluded retreat” Holden said.

Stacey Turnbull, a freshman Business major, said, “The landscape definitely had something to do with my choosing to come to Cabrini.”

The main concern is the safety of the Cabrini community. With the wooded campus also comes responsibility. A good portion of the trees on campus are over 100 years old although the majority is less than that. These elderly trees need attention and care in order to continue to grow healthy. The facilities department will continue to monitor the trees and take the necessary actions.

Posted to the web by Stephanie Mangold

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Jessica Marrella

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