July 14, 2020
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Forty-seven trees were removed along Middle Path between Brooklyn Street and Bexley Hall. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about their removal and the trees that will replace them.
The removal of trees was recommended by Davey Tree arborists. The trees were removed by Blue Denim Tree Service of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The Kenyon College Board of Trustees approved the Middle Path restoration project that was proposed by the College Operating Division. The restoration is intended to improve universal access and reduce overall maintenance costs while preserving the look, feel, and sound of the path. The Middle Path restoration was recommended in the landscape master plan prepared by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Landscape Architects of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm was hired by the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the board of trustees, and the consultants worked with a Kenyon steering committee that includes thirteen people representing the administration, alumni, faculty, staff, and the village of Gambier. The Gambier Village Council approved the project.
Each of the trees showed signs of frost crack, vertical openings extending deep into the wood of the trees caused by extreme low temperatures. They were dying.
Salt essentially burns the nutrients from the soil. Some varieties of trees handle that stress better than others. The trees along that stretch of Middle Path on north campus did not fare well.
Death was imminent for these trees. Some were hollow in the middle.
Yes. The trees were, in some cases, rotting from the inside out. They were not stable.
The wood was removed to a maintenance pile where tree limbs are collected. Once a year, the pile is turned into mulch that is then used on campus.
Environmental Management, Inc., commercial landscape professionals based in nearby Dublin, Ohio, won the bid to install the stabilized gravel. The firm is also responsible for purchasing and planting the new trees. They will select, tag, and purchase trees at a nursery of their choosing. The cost for purchase and installation of the new trees, which includes labor, the appropriate soil mix, and staking, is about $28,000.
Spring is the best time to plant the new trees. The success rate of planting these types of trees in the fall is lower.
Swamp white oak, northern pin oak, red oak, bur oak, shingle oak, sugar maple – all of which are native to this area. The Norway maples previously planted along that part of the path are not native to Ohio.
The new trees will be about 12-to-15 feet tall with trunks of about 3 inches in diameter when planted and are expected to reach as high as 50 feet over the years.
No. They are in better condition. Some trees in other areas of the path may be removed depending on their health.
The restoration project has followed a construction timeline developed by Steve Arnett, director of campus planning and construction. The start of construction, originally timed for June, was delayed into July as the College pursued a construction permit from the Village of Gambier and worked with the village to be certain that a new storm-water drainage system was compatible with the village storm-water infrastructure. "We went through the normal cycle," Arnett said. "Bids were due on July 4, and we picked all of the contractors on July 9."
The heavy equipment deployed for earth work between Brooklyn Street and Bexley Hall is unique to that part of the path, according to Steve Arnett, director of campus planning and construction. Catch basins and drain pipes are being installed as part of storm-water drainage improvements.
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(Last updated July 24, 2014)