Thursday, February 23, 2012

Storm damage serves new purpose

Fallen, removed trees will be recycled for campus improvements

By Caitlin Elrod, News Reporter

Jan. 12: The first ice of the storm hits Pacific Lutheran University. Between Jan. 19 and Feb. 3, a total of 86 trees and shrubs either fell or were removed around PLU due to extensive damage caused by the ice storm.

However, from those 86 trees and shrubs came wood that will be put to use around PLU campus.

Director of Facilities Management Dave Kohler said a Tree Campus USA Committee has been meeting on campus to discuss how to replace the trees that have been removed or have been labeled for removal on campus. Trees labeled for removal include all those with caution tape around their trunks surrounding Red Square. Until replacements are set up, the trees will not be removed.

“For every tree that is removed or falls, two go in its place,” Grounds Maintenance Manager Rob Audet said. “However, that rule may not be upheld due to the extensive amount of trees that have fallen and the space there is to put them. All the trees that were removed or that fell will be replaced, but they may not be replaced with the same species, or in the same spot.”

A tree hanging over the Women’s Center was removed due to the risk of it falling over all the way. Acting Director of the Women’s Center Jennifer Smith said the tree caused damage to the neighbor’s camper, roof and garage and continued to hang over the Women’s Center. A gutter had to be replaced as did a privacy fence.

Once the trees are removed, the wood will be chipped up and used on campus as mulch on pathways such as the one installed near the University Center Feb. 12. Some pieces have been chopped into bits of firewood for the community to use free of charge. Most of the wood will be sent to Northwest Hardwoods, where it will be used in upcoming projects around campus.

The lobby of the black box theater is embellished with Douglas Fir wood from tree removals performed last spring outside Kreidler hall.

Other ideas include using the wood in the remaining Eastvold renovations, including the Tower Chapel.