Penn State heritage tree gains international support

December 05, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Invited Japanese master gardeners Kurato Fujimoto and Dr. Kibo Hagino worked with the Penn State Department of Landscape Architecture and Office of Physical Plant staff, teaching traditional tree preservation techniques and then installing traditional support braces on a threatened maple tree on the University Park campus. The crutches and braces were installed this week.

The Japanese maple, estimated at more than 100 years old, is situated on the south side of Penn State’s Deike Building. This year, a significant branch of the tree was damaged and had to be removed. The other branches of this heritage tree were deemed to be threatened by winds and snow loads.

In a joint conservation project sponsored by the Stuckeman School's Department of Landscape Architecture and the Office of Physical Plant, gardeners Fujimoto and Hagino traveled from Japan to perform workshops and demonstrations of traditional Japanese tree support structures such as braces, crutches and rope tenting (yukitsuri). As part of this cultural and technological exchange, University staff worked alongside the visiting gardeners to fit the branch-supporting braces to the tree.

  • Image of a series of tree crutches supporting limbs of a Japanese Maple tree

    A series of tree crutches supporting the limbs of a Japanese Maple tree on University Park campus.

    IMAGE: Scott Tucker
  • Three men inspecting a traditional japanese tree crutch

    Master gardeners Kurato Fujimoto and Kibo Hagino working with Office of Physical Plant staff to inspect a tree crutch that will be used to support a threatened Japanese maple tree on Penn State's University Park campus.

    IMAGE: Stephanie Swindle
  • Workers installing t-shaped tree brace under large limb

    Traditional Japanese tree crutches being installed on Penn State heritage tree outside Deike Building

    IMAGE: Penn State
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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 06, 2013