Tree in East Halls transplanted through teamwork

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A collaborative effort by multiple Penn State departments and external contractors resulted in the successful move of a commemorative tree in the East Halls residential complex. The entire process to move the tree from its former site to its new one took two days.

“This was a team effort involving the Office of Physical Plant’s (OPP) Labor, Tree and Landscape Construction crews; individuals from Design and Construction; Penn State Police and Public Safety; and team members from Clayco Inc. and Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.,” said Jeff Dice, OPP’s supervisor for grounds maintenance and ornamental horticulture/arboriculture. “From a safety perspective and with the amount of work involved, it was all handled very well and I was pleased with the work process that went into making it happen.”

The tree, a London planetree, was planted in 2008 in green space in the East Halls complex along Curtin Road. The move was necessitated by the planned addition of a new residence hall, which is part of a five-year renovation and expansion of East Halls. The tree’s original location was problematic and it would not have fared well had it been left in place. The tree is now located on the north side of the residence area in green space along Park Avenue.

While moving a tree has its challenges, the techniques used by crew members helped minimize damage to the tree. Air excavation, using what’s called an AirSpade, involves blowing the soil away from the tree roots, which is less damaging to the root system than other techniques. While this wasn’t the first time Penn State crews have moved a campus tree, it did set a new record for the tallest tree that has been moved.

Last Updated January 02, 2018