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Old growth forest tree risk assessment underway

Starting in late 2020, University Arborist Jamie King began performing proactive tree risk assessments for targeted trees along the most highly utilized paths through the area adjacent to Lane Stadium known as the old growth forest. In 2021, King published an executive summary highlighting maintenance opportunities stemming from the analysis that will help mitigate potential safety risks to the university community.

Many of the pruning practices recommended for risk reduction support tree preservation by limiting deadwood and tree and branch failures that may create wounds and expose trees to decay organisms.

Maintenance activities began on Aug. 25, 2021.

April 2022 - updates:

To continue the preservation of campus trees and help ensure the safety of the campus community, a risk assessment of the old growth forest adjacent to Lane Stadium is underway.

The proactive assessment focuses on trees adjacent to pathways and campus thoroughfares. Currently, King is defining the scope of this year’s assessments and will execute assessments throughout the spring.

Ongoing inspections, tree risk assessments, and maintenance activities are critical tools in advancing Virginia Tech’s tree preservation commitment and natural resource management. This long-term pledge is underscored throughout the stewardship plan for the area adjacent to Lane Stadium known as the old growth forest, the developing Campus Urban Forest Master Plan, and Campus Master Plan.

Both frameworks call for preservation and management of the old growth forest, citing the positive environmental and cultural benefits, and hands-on learning opportunities it offers the campus community.

The assessment is conducted in close alignment with the University Arboretum Committee. Assessment outcomes and associated next steps will be shared via VTx over the coming months.

Learn more about campus trees and the university’s interactive tree inventory map, which includes identifying information for nearly 10,600 trees across the Virginia Tech campus, including tree type, species and origin details, height, and more.

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