December Tree Removals

December 8, 2020:

Annual Tree Removals to Begin in December

Botanic Garden of Smith College will be removing invasive species and trees that pose an unacceptable risk

Every fall, the Botanic Garden assesses both the physical condition and the content of the arboretum collections. As part of this assessment, staff curators and arborists determine if any arboretum trees pose an unacceptable health and safety risk, or if species pose an ecological threat to native habitats. As part of this routine collection care, the Botanic Garden of Smith College, in conjunction with the Smith College Grounds Department, will begin the annual task of removing select trees from campus in December.    

This winter, our colleagues in the Grounds Dept. will be removing the following trees. As always, will we use these opportunities to build our collections with new plantings that will better serve our mission and our community.

Of prominent note will be the removal of two medium-sized Sugar Maples–one on Chapin Lawn and one near Ainsworth Gym–and a large yellow birch behind the President’s House. A number of invasive Norway Maples and Norway Maple hybrids will also be removed from several locations including trees near State Street, Ford Hall, and Wilder House. 

Landscape Curator, John Berryhill, acknowledges that these removals can be challenging to witness. “As trained arborists, we often see structural issues that go unnoticed by most people. And while these removals can feel sudden to the community, in most cases, we have been managing the decline of these trees through careful limb reductions and palliative root care for many years.” 

Berryhill also notes that the campus arboretum is going through a period of rapid rejuvenation and growth with a large number of new trees being introduced to campus as part of  the Neilson Library renovation.

For further questions, contact Botanic Garden Director, Tim Johnson at or Landscape Curator, John Berryhill at