A Guide to Managing Trees on College
  and Corporate Campuses
                   E. Thomas Smiley, Ph. D., Plant Pathologi...

Examples of written goals may be the                     C. Pest populations will be
following:                        ...

For an inventory to be worth the time and            pedestrians or vehicles, trunk decay that has
expense of collectin...

Implementing the Plan: What is the best                   · Pre-qualify contractors. Choose only
way for campuses to...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

A Guide to Managing Trees on College and Corporate Campuses


Published on

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A Guide to Managing Trees on College and Corporate Campuses

  1. 1. A Guide to Managing Trees on College and Corporate Campuses E. Thomas Smiley, Ph. D., Plant Pathologist Bruce R. Fraedrich, Ph. D., Plant Pathologist There are two ways to run a campus tree · Inventory resources management program. The simplest way, in · Develop a management plan which most programs are run, is by crisis or · Implement the plan reactive management. Deadwood is · Follow up with accurate records removed when someone complains, trees are Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives planted when donations are received, and must be designed in clear, precise and fallen trees are cleaned up after a storm. measurable terms. Goals vary among tree managers, with most expressing the desire to Crisis management works, it has for years, but have an aesthetically pleasing campus is a cost effective way to manage? The landscape that poses no imminent safety alternative is proactive management. This hazards to passer-bys. entails defining program goals, determining resources, developing a management plan and implementing the plan. Research has found that crisis management accomplishes work on only one third the number of trees serviced on a proactive management program. Crisis management is a simple process, whose outcome is determined by external factors. The remainder of this article will describe proactive management for campus trees, designed so you can obtain positive results. There are five steps to developing a proactive management strategy: · Define program goals and objectives
  2. 2. 2 Examples of written goals may be the C. Pest populations will be following: monitored and treated as needed. Goal 1: For public safety, trees with potentially hazardous Specific objectives should be defined for all of conditions will receive remedial the generalized goals. immediate treatments or be removed. Resource Inventory: This is a listing of resources available, such as people and Goal 2: To ensure an equipment, as well as an inventory of your aesthetically pleasing campus trees. There are several ways to accomplish landscape, losses will be a tree inventory. It may be performed with in- minimized with a plant health house staff, temporary summer employees, by care program and suitable plant contractors or by a combination of the three. replacements selected. Data accuracy, administrative problems and costs vary among options. Goals are defined in objectives. The objectives of Goal 1 become: A. All trees will be inspected for defects and after major storms annually. B. Dead or potentially hazardous trees will be removed within one week of their discovery. C. Hanging or broken limbs greater than two inches in diameter will be removed within two weeks of their discovery. D. Trees will be pruned “preventively” on a four-year The type of data collected for each tree rotation to minimize deadwood depends on your program goals. Typical and structural problems. options include: E. Young trees will be pruned · Location on two-year rotations for the first ten years after planting to · Tree/Site Parameters – Species, promote sound structure. size, condition and interfering utilities The objectives of Goal 2 become: · Management Needs - Planting A. Tree mortality will be less site classification, pruning than 1% of the population. requirements, insects and diseases, sidewalk damage and B. High value trees will be nutritional requirements. fertilized on a two-year cycle. BTRL TR-13
  3. 3. 3 For an inventory to be worth the time and pedestrians or vehicles, trunk decay that has expense of collecting the information, it must structurally weakened the tree, root rots that be updated and used as a management tool. have decayed major support roots, V-crotches The only way this can be practically conducted or split crotches, trees rubbing against for populations of over 1,000 trees is through buildings and windows and large trees in open the use of computers. Tree management areas that may attract lightning. computer software is available for purchase or lease through a number of firms and Hazardous tree work priorities also depend on universities. You may be able to develop a the location of the tree. Maintenance can be program in-house with the assistance of the delayed on trees in low traffic areas, away college s computer department. It is best to from sidewalks or buildings. Trees next to have software developed prior to the inventory buildings and walkways must receive top to avoid collection of excess information. priority for maintenance. The second major consideration is Management Plan: A management plan can preservation or tree health. This includes be developed from the information collected in routine pruning to maintain health and the inventory and based on the stated goals structure, irrigating feature trees during and objectives as listed in step one. It should droughts, fertilizing on a two to four year be a plan of action, describing how your goals schedule, and maintaining insect and disease will be achieved using resources that are pests below damaging levels. Integrated pest available. It may also show that the stated management programs are recommended to goals cannot be achieved with the resources prevent losses from pests while minimizing on hand, which case alternative goals can be pesticide usage. developed and a revised budget prepared. The third consideration is aesthetics. A proactive plan should project work for three Maintaining a desirable natural form of a plant, to five years. Since many factors will change, pruning rather that shearing foundation the plan will need to be periodically updated plantings and maintaining open vistas are and projected to the future. Updating is some consideration for aesthetics. An relatively easy if your department is aggressive pest management program, which computerized. Computer summary reports goes beyond plant health management and can be prepared showing how much tree work addresses cosmetic injury, is another remains to be completed, how much work has consideration. Where budgets allow, planting been completed, how much work each crew unusual and rare species creates a campus typically performs and how many requests arboretum. have been received. The management plan should clearly define work priorities as it is by following the priority system that work can most efficiently be accomplished. In general, there are three broad classifications of tree work priorities, Safety, Preservation and Aesthetics. With a limited budget, money should be spent first on trees with potentially hazardous conditions. Obvious defects include dead trees, broken and hanging limbs and deadwood. More subtle hazards include lower limbs blocking signs or interfering with BTRL TR-13
  4. 4. 4 Implementing the Plan: What is the best · Pre-qualify contractors. Choose only way for campuses to get tree work done? It established companies with a solid usually involves a mixture of work done by in- reputation. Make sure the arborist is house crews and contract crews. certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. In-house crews can address small tree pruning, less intricate removals, and possibly · Ensure that the contractor carries pest monitoring. If you are unsure of crew skill sufficient liability insurance by level, large tree service companies, other requesting an insurance certificate. private firms or university extension agents can provide training. Quality tree service ·Ask for and check references, companies can also do work on small trees especially of similar sized college or and shrubs. commercial projects. Planting can be done in-house during slow Record Keeping - Document all maintenance times such as in the late fall, winter or early performed, including dates and spring. This not only keeps crews busy but persons/company performing the also gets planting done at the best time of the maintenance. Document all tree surveys and year for the tree. inspections, even those in which no problems/defects were encountered. Update In most instances, contracting out tree inventories annually to reflect changes in maintenance on large trees to tree service the tree population and maintenance companies is most economical. Tree service performed. This will form the basis for next companies have the necessary equipment year s management program. and trained personnel to perform this work efficiently. In order to ensure quality work at By assuming a proactive approach to tree the best possible price, consider the following: care on campuses, work can be accomplished more effectively to provide healthier, safer · Write very “tight” (specific) bid trees at reasonable cost. specifications, which detail the quality of work desired. The National Arborist Association (NAA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publish standard specifications for all phases of tree maintenance that is essential for developing bid specs. BTRL TR-13