June 15, 2020
Kenyon has announced plans to resume in-person instruction for fall semester. Read more here.
Approximately 40 to 45 trees across campus will be removed in July in the interest of campus safety.
The majority of the trees have fallen victim to the emerald ash borer, an insect that has affected ash trees across Ohio since 2003. The pest bores tunnels under tree bark, disrupting the vital flow of water and nutrients throughout the tree and effectively starving the tree to death. Trees typically die within three to five years of infestation. Workers first spotted signs of distress in the ash trees during this spring’s survey of campus trees.
“Once you start noticing damage in the ash trees, it’s too late,” said Steven Vaden, grounds manager. “The ash borer has definitely caused some major problems.”
A handful of the trees targeted for removal are oak trees that are dead or dying.
The work is expected to start during the week of July 11. Trees located in close proximity to buildings and walking paths will be prioritized for removal to keep pedestrians safe. Among the trees targeted for removal are five to six ash trees located near Cromwell Cottage and a number of trees located near Norton and Watson Halls, between Caples Residence and Gaskin Avenue, and a few in the North Campus Apartments complex. The grounds crew is assessing the locations of replacement trees, which will include a variety of oaks and maples.
Blue Denim Tree Service of Mount Vernon will handle the tree removal. Once the trees are taken down, they will be recycled for use in Peirce Hall’s composting process and for mulch, to be used in landscaping efforts across campus.