Botanic Garden to Remove Invasive Trees from Campus

December 20, 2018:

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of invasive species and maintain a healthy arboretum, a row of young trees near Comstock House will be removed this winter.

In recent decades, ecologists have gained a better understanding of how destructive certain introduced species can be to native plant and animal communities. Following best practices resulting from this research, we will be taking steps to remove more than a dozen invasive trees from the campus arboretum this winter, including Norway maples and amur cork trees. These will be replaced by species that will better serve our local ecosystem.

This effort will be most noticeable in the lawn southeast of Comstock House where a row of young Norwegian Sunset maples will be removed and replaced with native species this spring. A few invasive trees near Unity House, Capen House, and Parsons House will also be replaced by more ecologically friendly species. Landscape Curator John Berryhill said of the removals, “We take our role as environmental stewards very seriously. It is always painful to have to cut any tree down and it can seem odd to be doing so for ecological reasons. We know these decisions are building the right landscape for the future though.”

Arborists will be removing a small number of non-invasive trees as well. These have succumbed to disease or structural damage and will be removed before they pose an unacceptable risk to our community. For additional information, please contact the Botanic Garden at garden@smith.edu.