Trees contribute to the St. Mary’s College of Maryland community by providing environmental, social, economic, and aesthetic benefits. Managing these trees is a responsibility that is taken very seriously.
After careful and thorough assessments that included engaging with a third-party tree arborist, the willow oak located in the Garden of Remembrance will be removed beginning on Monday, July 3, due to safety risks it poses to the Campus community. The tree specialist reports that the tree has suffered significant damage due to severe weather over many decades, such as lightning strikes and high winds. There is also evidence of wood decay fungi at the root crown area, along the main trunk and in the upper crown.
A second mature willow oak located on Trinity Church Road across from the Lucille Clifton House will be removed shortly after by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative to make way for the construction of a sidewalk that is instrumental to student safety. According to the arborist, the excavation required for the sidewalk would cause serious damage to structural roots of the tree, rendering it vulnerable to root decay and failure.
“Trees are integral to the natural beauty of St. Mary’s College’s campus and I understand the emotional connection that students, alumni and the community have with these mature trees,” said Annie Angueira, associate vice president of planning and facilities. “The safety of the members of our campus community and the community at large are paramount. Removing these trees due to structural failures and safety concerns is a difficult decision that is not made lightly. Replacement and reclaiming strategies are being put into place so that the beauty of St. Mary’s College is preserved for generations to come.”
Ways to commemorate the willow oak tree in the Garden of Remembrance will be forthcoming.
The grounds department of St. Mary’s College provides quality services dedicated to maintaining a safe and beautiful Campus environment while providing quality services to the support of the landscape construction and maintenance needs of the Campus. The department works to support and nurture existing landscapes as well as creating and maintaining developed landscapes.