Campus Life

New Trees On Texas A&M Campus To Improve Appearance

The Tree Restoration Project has started to beautify grounds by removing trees in declining health and planting new ones in their place.
By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications April 2, 2019

When it comes to trees on the Texas A&M University campus, fact No. 1 is this: there’s a lot of them.

There are about 11,000 trees on campus, and a project is underway to fully record each tree’s precise GPS location, type, size, age, height, etc.

You can do the math – in this case, some required tree-geometry may be needed to document every tree in Aggieland.

It’s a lot of data to log, so to speak, but it’s a project that has been years in the making and is much-needed, according to members of the SSC Grounds and Texas A&M Facilities and Dining Administration who oversee landscaping on campus. Many of the trees – some of them 100 years old – are in decline.

“For quite a while, there’s been extensive thought and discussion about the best approach regarding the declining trees on campus,” said Sarah Boreen, customer relations manager for SSC Services for Education.

“Many trees were in sharp decline with no chance of recovery, and something needed to be done.  The ultimate objective of the project is preservation and restoration to assess and address the trees’ health.”

Members of the SSC grounds crew consulted with Texas A&M horticulture faculty and certified arborists on the project. “This is the first time in at least 15 years that we have embarked on a project such as this,” Bill Cox, assistant director of Texas A&M Facilities and Dining Administration, said.

“Our hope to be able to do more of these types of projects to improve the overall health and quality of the trees as funding becomes available.”

Work began on the first phase of the project in mid-February near the Academic Plaza where tree planting and removal efforts have started.  Six new trees have been planted, each about 25 feet tall. Additionally, live oaks, crepe myrtles and other species are currently being planted in other high-visibility areas.

Phillip Zellner, regional director of operations and grounds manager, said of the project, “We are taking a holistic approach to improving the overall health and diversity of our campus trees. We are doing some things to relieve some of the stress on existing trees.  We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure the future of these new trees.”

Officials note that Texas A&M is a Tree Campus USA university, a program that helps colleges around the country establish proper tree health and goals.

“The overall health of the trees really sets the character for the entire campus experience for visitors, and we have the opportunity to improve that first impression,” said Zellner.

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