Elm to be removed along College Avenue on Saturday, June 23

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tree crews from Penn State's Office of Physical Plant (OPP) will be removing a large Elm tree during the morning hours on Saturday, June 23, near College Avenue along Old Main lawn in State College, Pa. Traffic in the area will be affected -- a traffic control work zone will be in place at 6 a.m. and a 120-foot crane will be on location. The operation will begin at about 7 a.m. and the process is expected to last about eight hours. Travelers are encouraged to enter the University Park campus from the north along Park Avenue until later in the afternoon. The Allen Street CATA bus stop will be operational, but will be relocated slightly to the east to make room for the operation.

This elm is one of three removed this week due to Dutch elm disease. University Park elms have been decimated by elm yellows and Dutch elm disease. Despite extensive efforts by Penn State plant pathologists, entomologists and OPP tree crews, 34 elms were lost last year and five this year, including the three this week.  The Dutch elm disease epidemic has threatened trees in Pennsylvania for decades and Penn State’s Integrated Pest Management plan of aerial and ground spraying has been very effective at preventing much greater losses.  Without this aggressive program all the elms would have been lost years ago. Diseased specimens are quickly removed by OPP to prevent the spread of disease to nearby healthy trees. The two trees removed earlier this week were located on Burrowes Road and on east College Avenue near the steam plant.

“Loss numbers may appear lower this year than last, but the infestation season has just begun and we expect further losses throughout the summer,” said Jeff Dice, OPP's supervisor of grounds and maintenance. Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease spread by the elm bark beetle. OPP monitors beetle movement on campus using trapping and mapping techniques. Dice said visitors should make the most of the majestic elms while they are still here.

“Enjoy them now because their years are numbered,” he said. More than 100 trees (of an original total of nearly 300) on the University Park campus have been lost to Dutch elm disease or elm yellows since 2007.

The fallen elm trees are salvaged and converted into an exclusive line of hand-crafted furniture called the Penn State Elms Collection. A portion of the proceeds from The Elms Collection is used to plant replacement trees in the historic core of the University Park campus. The Penn State Elms Collection is a partnership between the Penn State Alumni Association and Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant. To view the Penn State Elms Collection, visit www.pennstateelmscollection.com.

For more information about the Elms Collection, call 877-778-7467 or email pselmscollection@psu.edu.

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Last Updated June 22, 2012