June is not the optimal month to transplant mature trees. It’s hot and dry. But the four Japanese maples moved to make way for the new residence hall are doing well.
The largest and most impressive one now adorns the Walker/Aycock entranceway to campus.
The Grounds workers trenched down four feet deep and used a forklift to get it out of the ground.
Before that they’d, over the course of two weeks, made preparations for the transplanting job, with proper irrigation, preparing the new sites, etc.
The one at the Walker entranceway looks like it’s always been there. “An instant tree,” says Hal Shelton (Grounds). He was one of more than a dozen grounds workers who participated in the moves. Grounds manager Chris Fay headed the project.
Two large oak trees at the construction site were cut down. One was diseased and hollow, Shelton says.
New trees and plants will be part of the new residence hall’s landscaping, once construction is nearing an end at the site
A quick check on a transplanted tree beside the south edge of Jackson Library tower shows it’s doing well. No signs of stress.
One in Foust Park near McIver looks a little stressed in one branch, Shelton notes, but he says it looked a little stressed there before they moved it.
Another tree is now on the west side of the Armfield-Preyer Admissions and Visitor Center.
Grounds is using drip irrigation to water the trees.
Each of the maples is a Bloodgood variety, says Shelton. The thin, finely branching leaves are very red.
The trees are 17-18 years old, he said.
The same age as most of the incoming freshmen.
Visual: Grounds staff install the largest of the transplanted Japanese maples at the corner of Walker and Aycock.