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West campus tree work begins Sept. 26

Cherry Lane to lose namesake trees Oct. 5

Department of Enterprise Services grounds staff will soon be busy with a number of projects to plant, prune and remove trees on the west Capitol Campus.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, two young katsura trees will be planted along the east edge of the Pritchard Building parking lot, flanking the driveway where the parking guard house previously stood. Planting the trees will complete an effort to improve the parking lot perimeter landscaping.

On Saturday, October 5, staff will remove as many as six dead cherry trees along Cherry Lane which runs north-south next to the Capitol Building. A total of 28 cherry trees line the street between Sid Snyder Way and 11th Avenue. Many have already been lost to disease and poor conditions.

All of the trees to be removed were planted in the last five to 15 years to maintain the tree-lined street edge. The exact cause of their demise is unknown but cherry bark tortrix, an invasive moth species, and the poorly draining clay soil of the west campus likely contributed to their failure.

The removal will begin at about 7:30 a.m. and should be finished by about mid-afternoon. There will be two flaggers to direct traffic around the work site.

Replacements for the cherry trees are under consideration. The department's West Capitol Campus Historic Landscape Preservation Master Plan includes a recommendation that the state diversify the tree species planted on the campus. Currently, more than 35 percent of the trees on the west campus are cherries.

Additional planned work yet to be scheduled includes removing:

  • Seven dead hawthorne trees planted in 2010 at the east and west entrances to the Flag Circle. These will be replaced with a columnar-shaped flowering crab apple.
  • Two cedar shrubs planted at the south corners of the Temple of Justice. They were planted too close to the foundation, are rubbing against the sandstone, and have proven a poor choice in this location.

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