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Facilities Grounds crews are continuing a project begun over the summer to "harvest" diseased eucalyptus trees in the Arboretum area, according to officials from the Planning Office.
As reported in the Aug. 28 Campus Report, the summer's effort involved crews from the California Conservation Corps under the direction of Facilities Grounds staff. They were cutting down diseased, dying and dead eucalyptus trees; however, the number of trees far exceeded the capacity of the CCC crews to complete the work, which is why Facilities Grounds crews are continuing the work at the present time.
To date, efforts have focused on the areas nearest the stadium; after the Big Game the remainder of the Arboretum will be dealt with. Grounds officials anticipate completing the tree- cutting effort by the end of the year.
The trees being harvested are all eucalyptus trees, primarily Tasmanian blue gums, which have been infested with a pest from Australia, the Eucalyptus long-horned borer. The trees are succumbing to the pest because they were weakened by the combined effects of age, prolonged drought and last winter's freeze.
The present effort is intended to reduce standing deadwood and preclude safety hazards. Because of the presence of the insect pest, the wood is quarantined and cannot be taken as firewood.
Facilities Grounds and the Planning Office continue to work with the California Department of Forestry to address the insect pest problem. The agencies developed the "harvest and disposal" plan and, working in consultation with several relevant campus groups, are currently developing a long-range management and revegetation plan. Members of the community with questions or comments should submit them in writing to the Planning Office (at cs.dmo@forsythe, mail code 6115) or to Facilities Grounds (at ar.tps@forsythe, mail code 7270).
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