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Morning Sun
  • PSU crews spend day planting trees

  • It wasn’t the rains or the storms that felled many of the recently fallen trees at Pittsburg State. In fact, not a single tree on campus was lost during the major storms at the end of May.

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  • It wasn’t the rains or the storms that felled many of the recently fallen trees at Pittsburg State. In fact, not a single tree on campus was lost during the major storms at the end of May.
    “It’s mainly been the drought and safety issues,” said Cate Breneman, Pittsburg State landscape architect. “Some were rotting from the inside out. We’ve lost more than I’d like to admit in the last year and a half.”
    In fact, Breneman did admit that more than 45 trees have died or been removed from PSU since she came aboard a year or so ago. Friday, Breneman and PSU crews planted another roughly 20 trees to make some headway on filling the void.
    With this planting, crews have put back about 35 trees total under Breneman. Friday’s efforts included at least two trees near the University Lake (and five total at Gorilla Village), two on the south lawn of the Crossland House, two at Timmons Chapel, two at Lindburg Plaza, three at the Kansas Technology Center, and one each at Grubbs Hall, Kelce Hall, and south of the Carnie Smith Stadium.
    Furthermore, not all of these trees are the same. By University Lake, there are black gum trees. Near the Kansas Technology Center, there are service berries. Timmons Chapel has a paper bark maple. Other trees include redbuds, a flowering cherry tree, a few sugar maple trees and a lacebark elm.
    The trees were chosen for different reasons, including ability to tolerate water, aesthetics and more. Further, some will see instant results (in tree-growing terms) while others may be a while before any major shade is provided.
    “The black gums are slow-growing, but stable trees. It’ll probably be five years before you’ll see any real growth,” Breneman said. “The redbuds and the cherry are faster-growing, as well as the maples. We should see good color and good growth soon. We should start seeing flowers on those trees next spring.”
    Breneman said that these trees were chosen for a reason, and it fits her general approach of trying to provide more diversity to the tree population on campus.
    “We look for what we have on campus, and we’re trying to increase the diversity of the trees so we don’t have all the same type of tree. If we had a disease or a pest that comes through, it could devastate the whole population,” Breneman said. “Overall, we look to make sure we have enough young trees ready that as things age and die, we always have a nice stand.”
     

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