As construction went underway for Merrick Hall and the Simpson-Querrey Fitness Center, Buildings and Grounds removed several trees and shrubs from the surrounding areas to create more space for expansion and work.
Delaware city ordinance requires that trees with a diameter of 6 caliper inches or more at chest height must be replaced. This excludes trees cut down because of disease or trees that came down on their own. .
Due to the number of trees removed, B&G needs to replace a total of 180 caliper inches, according to Peter Schantz, the director of physical plant for B&G. They plan to replant 90, 2-inch diameter trees to meet that goal.
“We are developing a plan over the next three years to monopolize on the tree planting seasons, one of which is in the fall and one in the spring, to plant 15 trees each opportunity,” Schantz said.
The lilac bushes along the path outside Merrick are not part of the replanting project. The bushes and other shrubs are not wide enough to fit the six inch rule.
“In a couple of cases there were things that were the only one on campus, such as one [shrub] by the fitness center,” David Johnson, professor of botany-microbiology, said. “We will probably look for some other way to have that return to campus outside of this project.”
A horticulturist, Mike Ecker, from Dawes Arboretum visited campus Oct. 9 to help determine locations for the replanting, according to Johnson.
“We had decided back in the summer to have a consultant come and look at the situation and what we needed to do,” Johnson said.
“We’d like to add to the diversity of tree plantings on campus through this project,” Johnson said. “Anytime you plant too many of one thing it’s a scenario for having any kind of disease or pest problem wipe them out.”
In the past, all 65 ash trees on campus became infested with Emerald Ash borer and died.
The Ohio Wesleyan campus itself is a small arboretum. It contains a collection of species of plants and trees that are labeled. The botany-microbiology department produced guides through student research for visitors to use as they explore the Jane Decker Arboretum on campus.