Failing Trees to Be Removed to Avoid Major Risks to Campus

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Jessica Rose
Analytics & Communications
Facilities Management

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A diverse group of stakeholders works very hard to avoid tree failures on campus. The Georgia Tech Landscape Services team includes two certified arborists. Together with members of the Capital Planning and Space Management department, these Tech employees regularly evaluate tree health and ensure that master planning efforts include green spaces to support and expand the urban forest. Tree removal decisions are made only after extensive efforts to save the tree — often involving third-party reviews — have been made.

Summaries

Summary Sentence:

The two trees — a 106-foot-tall willow oak located just south of Tech Green and a 58-foot-tall water oak located at the northeast end of Fitten Residence Hall — are failing and have both been deemed very high risk by an independent arborist.

Full Summary:

The two trees — a 106-foot-tall willow oak located just south of Tech Green and a 58-foot-tall water oak located at the northeast end of Fitten Residence Hall — are failing and have both been deemed very high risk by an independent arborist.  

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  • Branched Oak Tree Branched Oak Tree
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Beginning as early as next week, crews will be on campus to remove two large oak trees. The two trees — a 106-foot-tall willow oak located just south of Tech Green and a 58-foot-tall water oak located at the northeast end of Fitten Residence Hall — are failing and have both been deemed very high risk by an independent arborist.  

“Removing iconic trees on campus due to structural failures and safety concerns is a very difficult — but necessary — decision to make,” said Hyacinth Ide, associate director of Landscape Services and Fleet Services. “However, we are very thoughtful in making such decisions. Third-party assessments along with replacement and reclaiming strategies ensure that our urban forest campus status will be preserved for generations to come."

The decision comes after the unfortunate splitting of a large willow oak (pictured here), also located in the area south of Tech Green, this fall. That particular tree failure happened in the middle of the day, with limbs falling along Tech Walk and throughout the triangle. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

Both of the current failing trees are located adjacent to high occupancy buildings and high pedestrian traffic areas. Taller trees are particularly susceptible to large limb failures during high winds.  

A replacement tree plan is currently being designed for these particular areas. It is expected to include the addition of at least 12 various oak tree species as well as maintaining some turf areas south of Tech Green to provide a park-like setting.

Since 2006, the Institute has been expanding the tree canopy on campus, with a goal of 50 percent canopy coverage. Every year, Facilities Management supports the planting of at least 100 additional trees on campus to help achieve this goal. According to the latest estimates by Georgia Tech’s Center for Spatial Planning and Analytics Visualization, there is approximately 23 percent canopy coverage across Georgia Tech’s main campus. 

 

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Facilities Management

Categories
Institute and Campus
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Newsroom Topics
Campus and Community
Keywords
tree campus, forestry, Facilities Management, ecosystem services, urban canopy, risk assessment
Status
  • Created By: Jessica Rose
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 9, 2018 - 6:18pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 30, 2018 - 9:38am