Tree removal to enhance campus biodiversity

Several large trees near Peavy Hall that are limiting the use of those grounds as a “living laboratory” will be removed over winter break, university officials say.

The trees to be removed, none older than 40 years, include three giant sequoias, one black cottonwood and a Douglas-fir. In all cases, their shade and increasing size is interfering with needed plantings or the growth of other valuable trees, such as the “moon tree” that is growing from a seed that circled the moon on Apollo 14.

“This area is used frequently by students from forestry, botany, horticulture and even local high schools to learn about native trees and shrubs, and these few large trees are limiting our ability to grow many more species,” said Edward Jensen, associate dean of the College of Forestry.

“We’ll leave some logs on the ground to provide character and enhance biodiversity, cut some into firewood to support Linn-Benton Food Share, and chip branches into mulch for use on the grounds,” he said. “Then next spring we’ll be able to plant a wide variety of trees and shrubs, such as whitebark and Jeffrey pines, Engelmann and Sitka spruces, Alaska-cedar, Pacific madrone, golden chinkapin and a host of native shrubs.”

The changes should greatly enhance the teaching collection for several decades, Jensen said. The plans have been approved by OSU and the Corvallis city forester.

One Response to “Tree removal to enhance campus biodiversity”

  1. Bonnie Johnson says:

    “Of all John Muir’s special interests in nature, it is probable that none made to him a stronger appeal than the giant Sequoias .. It was his firm conviction that they represented the supremest examples of majesty among all living things, and his journey around the earth to compare the Big Trees with the trees of the world left him with settled conviction regarding the correctness of this view. For many years he gave himself to the protection of these “Kings of the forest, the noblest of a noble race.” At this time of national movement for the preservation of these forests through the Save-the-Redwoods League, it is particularly fitting that we present the sentiments written years ago, in support of just such a movement, by the friend who fought so hard, so faithfully, and so long in this good cause. Cutting the giant sequoias is irrational, any of the trees that need to be planted could be planted in dozens of other locations, the sequoias lend beauty and strength and embody the idea of forests. Those sequoias are the largest trees on the planet and many preservation groups have spent extensive efforts to preserve them, to so callously remove is counter to the spirit of forest management.