Tree removal plan nears completion

By Matt Michalek

All across campus the buzz of chainsaws and roar of mulchers can be heard as the NIU grounds department finishes up its tree removal program.

In late January, the grounds department released a map of dead and dying trees that were targeted for removal.

James Murphy, NIU landscape architect, said the grounds department has been working on the trees for the last few weeks, and are almost finished with the project.

With the warm weather, we want to finish the tree removal project as soon as possible,” Murphy said. “We have other projects that we will have to focus on soon.”

As the department cuts down a tree, workers use a chipping machine to shred the tree.

“We can chip any logs or branches up to twelve inches in diameter,” Murphy said. “We then stockpile the chips for use on campus later on in the year.”

“The trees have come down with no problems,” said Murphy.

In addition to cutting down trees, the department also has a tree planting program.

“We haven’t planted any trees this spring because it is still too early,” Murphy said. “We did plant quite a few trees last fall, and we have plans to plant trees around the dorms and the east lagoon later this year.”

The department expects to finish the tree removal project within the next few days.