The Arboretum Revitalization Plan Continues
The second of a three-phase Arboretum Revitalization Plan is now underway and will continue through October 31. Designed to preserve and enhance the Haverford College Arboretum for generations to come, here’s what we can look forward to in the coming months.
New trees: Continuing the plan to plant twice as many trees as must be removed, more than 200 trees have been added over the past year with a goal of 300 by year’s end. This includes the 116 2.5" caliper trees planted along the Nature Trail along with 65 others planted by visiting local school children, and nearly three dozen trees planted at the library construction site.
Maintenance: What we do today prevents problems tomorrow. The campus is divided into five zones and each is pruned during the winter cycle. This includes painstaking structural pruning to remove weak crotches—a preventative measure for the overall health of the tree and, in turn, everyone’s safety.
As we’ve noted in past communications, trees that are in distress receive extra attention. Our principal goal is to preserve major specimens for as long as possible, and the fact that the campus hosts so many majestic examples testifies to the care that the College has applied to the arboretum ever since William Carvill’s plan was adopted nearly 200 years ago.
But it is also true that despite ongoing best efforts, several specimens have declined to the point that they pose a safety threat; when pruning cannot mitigate this risk, such trees must be removed. Several trees that you may be familiar with have, unfortunately, reached the end of their life expectancy and, with the guidance of certified arboreal consultants retained by the College, will be taken down during this second phase of the program. They include:
- the white pine in front of Sharpless Hall, which has already lost its top;
- the ash on Lancaster Avenue, which has been ravaged by a pest called Emerald Ash Borer;
- the scarlet oak, also on Lancaster, which has root collar decay and trunk cavities;
- the walnut on Barclay Beach which has severe decay and poor structure;
- the maple at One College Circle, which dates from a period when the allée was lined with sugar maples and has succumbed to severe rot and root collar damage;
- the scarlet oak on the College Lane allée which has bacterial leaf scorch;
- the tilia outside Roberts and Union which has root collar decay, heartwood decay and a structural issue known as ‘co-dominant stems’;
- the red oak on the west side of Stokes Hall which has a large cavity in its trunk on the south side – not a good sign.
It’s worth noting that a number of these trees already have successor specimens planted in their vicinity; the white pine by Sharpless is a good example. Removal of the older adjacent trees can spark dramatic growth by these successors. Most prominent is the scarlet oak on Founders Green, right outside the president’s office. It has grown rapidly this year thanks to the foresight of our predecessors who planted it more than 30 years ago with an eye toward the day that the established tree adjacent to it would have to be removed (which occurred last year).
Find out more. Details about the revitalization program have been posted to this site, with our Facebook page (and its companion Friends of the Nature Trail group) a good way to stay up to date on progress.