The flowering crab trees that, until a few days ago, were located outside the Ford Center for the Fine Arts (CFA) were planted in the 1960’s and were as old as the building.
“We took them out because they were looking scraggly,” said Facilities Services Director Scott Maust.
Several bushes were also removed to make room for the new plants that will be put in starting next week. Many students felt the removals decreased the aesthetic appeal of certain areas on campus, particularly CFA, but Maust said new landscaping will soon refill the currently barren space.
Grounds Director John Steller received the new landscape drawings as of last week, at which point he and Maust presented them to the Campus Environmental Committee (CEC), who reviewed and liked them.
The landscaper Steller worked with used a program to super-impose various trees and plants onto a digital image. With the use of this technology, they were able to view various options, and make substitutions until they came up with the arrangement they found most appealing.
“It was nice to have something to show when we were having meetings with CEC,” Steller said.
The trees will be replaced with two new flowering crabs (one red and one white), a Service Berry, a Red Bud, and a Blue Spruce.
“We were originally thinking about putting in all flowering crabs, but through the recommendation of CEC, decided to get a variety, so we won’t lose all of them if there’s a disease or something,” said Maust.
The rest of the east entrance will be filled with a variety of shrubs and grasses.
The landscaping should be complete by commencement.
“This round will focus on the west side of CFA. Later, we will do the east side. This is just phase one of a larger project. We hope to expand as more funding becomes available,” said Maust.
Three large black locus trees were lost in the August storm. These and trees in other areas could be replaced with additional funding.
The new greenery was bought from four different nurseries. Landscapers may begin putting everything in this weekend, but it is more probable they will start next Tuesday, since this is Memorial Day weekend, Steller said.
“Things should look totally different by the end of next week,” said Maust.