In early June, Physical Plant had three of the major beech trees in the Courtyard cut down. We were so sad to see them have to go, but understand why the decision was made. Most beeches in the vicinity suffer from beech bark disease, and the trees that were removed had already had multiple limbs cut off in attempts to stave off the sickness. Removing these trees also prevents the spread of the disease to other trees on campus.
Fortunately, we will be able to reuse some parts of the trees in the new designs. For example, the wood chips from smaller limbs will be used as the top layer of sheet-mulching, and a trunk has been saved to be incorporated back into the site as a natural bench. Finally, the majority of the lumber was taken by City Bench, a company that builds furniture from wood that would otherwise end up in landfills. We hope to buy back some of the furniture created from our beech trees for the site.
Above, Maxwell Hellmann ’13 explores the new landscape.