Y gardners using unorthodox methods for watering trees

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    By Autumn Salvesen

    As a student walks quietly along their way around campus, they can cool down as a slight mist of water can often times be felt as it falls from a big oak tree, but why is it there?

    Roy Petermen, grounds director, said that before the library went under construction, there were six English Oak trees.

    “Before they were taken out, the singular planting of them was unlike anywhere in the US,” he said.

    When the library was being built the trees had to be taken and stored for two and a half years and last year they were put into place, Petermen said.

    The six trees that were removed were planted in different places.

    Petermen said that one of the trees was moved by the Wilkinson Center, two by the Bell Tower, two by the tunnel by the Marriott Center, and one by the Smith Field House.

    It took about a 100 man hours for each of the people working to remove, store and replant the trees, Petermen said.

    He also said that since the oak trees are so big, they have a huge root system and that when they dug the trees up, they could only take six feet of the roots.

    “The mist is put on the trees to help them survive the transplant,” Petermen said.

    There is also a worry, Petermen said, that if the weather continues to be this hot that there is a potential for the trees to die.

    It will take around five to six years for the oak tree’s roots grow back fully, Petermen said.

    In an article found at Britannica.com, it said that oak trees decorate the landscape of the Midwest, but that the English oak actually is native to Eurasia and Northern Africa.

    Trees are important to the environment; an article found at the Web page, stated that trees provide shelter from the elements, food, homes for a vast variety of wildlife and also wood.

    The article also said that when trees decompose they enrich the soil, and the rotting leaves provide food for fungi and earthworms.

    The mature English Oak tree supports a larger number of different life forms than any other English tree.

    Petermen said that he and the grounds crew move hundreds of trees every year, due to various construction projects.

    He also said that students could help the trees survive better simply by not walking on the grass by the roots, and to not walk on the grass in general.

    “When students walk on the grass, it smashes the roots, is irresponsible and makes the ground look ugly,” Petermen said.

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