UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Stately UNCG oak topples during storm

Photo of fallen oak treeUNCG has hundreds of trees and the great majority withstood the early March ice storm just fine.

“We were very lucky that there was no more damage done considering the amount of ice that had accumulated on the trees,” said Hal Shelton, interim director of Grounds. Trees and large limbs were down throughout Guilford County.

Damage at UNCG was mostly limited to crepe myrtles, magnolias, pines and a few hardwood trees, he noted.

Part of the the university’s sustainability and conservation efforts involve not just planting new trees – but taking good care of the ones we have. Some are as much as a century old – perhaps older. “Without the pruning of the deadwood, opening the canopy up so the wind can get through and cabling the large trees, I think we would have seen a lot more damage,” he said.

It’s part of being a Tree Campus USA university. UNCG was the first in the UNC system to receive that designation.

Some notable trees received damage. The one at the back entrance of MHRA Building split. Several between the Aycock Deck and the Music Building suffered damage.

An old, large willow oak between Aycock Ave. and the Softball Stadium fell. A tree contractor guessed the age was around 80-100 years old. UNCG Sports Turf repaired the Belk jogging track which its roots ripped open.

Grounds had recently worked on that stately tree to help preserve it, removing deadwood and trying to lighten it. It had multiple trunks and it was in decline, Shelton explains. The volume of ice was too much for it.

A few people on campus asked Shelton if they could have a piece of the old campus tree, as it was removed last week. One turns wooden bowls, Shelton says. Another just wanted a piece for nostalgia. Another makes writing pens out of wood.

If your class or a student or a member of the campus community – perhaps for an art project or some other project – is interested in using wood from old campus trees in the future, express your interest by emailing Hal Shelton at hwshelto@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris