Tree removals to take place along McPherson Road May 22-24

Four decaying Willow Oak trees that have reached the end of their urban lifespan will be removed from Reynolda campus from May 22-24. The usable wood will be preserved for lumber.

The four trees have begun to show advanced signs of decline and poor health, creating a safety risk to the community due to their large branches. Many have wood decay fungus encircling their base. Others show decay cavities on the root flare and trunk, which indicate a column of decay in the trunk.

The trees slated for removal are:

  • Two Willow Oaks along the side of Lot G and McPherson Road 
  • One Willow Oak behind Kitchin Residence Hall, at the corner of Lot M near the Reynolda Hall loading dock
  • One Willow Oak across from the Sutton Center main entrance, at the corner of Lot M along McPherson Road 

Work is scheduled to begin at Lot M at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22. All parking spots in Lot M and half of the parking spots in Lot G will be blocked off that morning and will remain blocked until the work is complete. Sections of McPherson Road will be closed throughout the work; drivers and residents of Faculty Drive should plan to take alternate routes, and pedestrians should avoid the area. Only construction delivery or commencement-related trucks will be permitted to pass. All work is expected to be complete by 5 p.m. on May 24.

The Willow Oak behind Kitchin Hall at the corner of Lot M and the Reynolda Hall loading dock will be immediately replaced by a different Oak species. Replacements to the other three Willow Oaks will take place once McPherson Road project decisions are finalized. The project is slated for the summer of 2025.

The WFU Campus Tree Advisory Committee evaluates all proposed tree removals and provides recommendations for the care of our campus trees in adherence with the WFU Campus Tree Care Plan. The plan includes policies for working with construction and planning teams to avoid impacts to trees, repurposing wood from trees that need to be removed, a list of approved species for new plantings on campus, and more.

Notice of the removal of the four Willow Oaks was shared with the Capital Projects Advisory Committee as well as the Student Government Physical Planning Committee in April.

Wake Forest was recently re-certified as a Tree Campus Higher Education (formerly, Tree Campus USA) and has been awarded the designation each consecutive year since 2011. The University is proud to maintain a 1:1 tree replacement ratio when trees meet the end of their lifespan or need to be removed due to hazardous conditions.

For up-to-date news on all campus tree removals and replacements, interested individuals can view the list of all tree removals since 2015, with reasons for their removal.

Lot G/McPherson Road Willow Oaks, the two that are most critical will be removed.

The Sutton Center/Lot M Willow Oak. The central leader has been removed and it continues to die back. The roots have nowhere to go due to the manhole covering and road beside it.

The Kitchin/Loading Dock Willow Oak at Lot M. Live and dead Inonotus conks on the root flare are signs of decay. The canopy also has signs of decline.


Categories: Inside WFU