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A new arrival Under the Oaks

Workers spent Tuesday morning planting a tree in a campus grove known as Under the Oaks after a winter ice storm last month led to the removal of a tree that predated Elon's founding.

Elon University landscape crews planted a new tree Tuesday morning in the very spot left empty by the removal of a towering oak tree significantly damaged during an early March ice storm.

The replacement tree, an overcup oak purchased from a South Carolina nursery that specializes in growing larger trees for replanting, will offer some of the shade lost when crews cut down the previous oak that predated Elon's founding in 1889.

The overcup oak is a type of white oak that will eventually grow as high as 80 feet with a life expectancy of well over a century.

Crews took their time planting the tree, as the soft soil would make it easy for the root bulb to sink to dangerously low levels.

One of the most common landscaping mistakes people make is planting trees too deep, said Tom Flood, director of landscaping and grounds for Elon University. Doing so runs the risk of “suffocating” the plant.

Within three hours of its April 15 arrival on a flatbed tractor trailer, the new oak – which currently stands about 30 feet tall – had found its permanent home in the middle of the grove that hosts Commencement and New Student Convocation programs.

“It’s great to know that as we plant this tree, we’re planting shade for the next century Under the Oaks,” Flood said.

The grove of oak trees that was the setting for the original campus gave the college its name – Elon, the Hebrew word for oak.

Wood from the massive, historic tree removed because of the storm is being preserved and will be used for a special project or purpose in the future.

 

Eric Townsend,
Staff
4/15/2014 12:05 PM