Bekins Tree Planting
The University of Redlands grounds crew planted a new Coast Live Oak tree in front of the Bekins complex of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. The new tree, planted on Nov. 22, replaces an ailing Quercus agrifolia specimen that had been transplanted two and a half years ago.
“Every time you rebox a tree to transplant it you have to cut its roots,” says Jeff McClintock, Grounds & Waste Management manager. The old tree was transplanted from its earlier location outside the new Ann Peppers Hall art building.
“We replaced the old tree because it didn’t have enough time to strengthen itself and it went into decline.” The new tree is a 72-inch-wide Coast Live Oak which was grown in a nursery of Valley Crest Tree Company in Sunol, CA. It was chosen for its high quality trunk, canopy and overall structure.
The location in front of Bekins has proven a challenge for the University grounds crew. Before planting the tree that the crew just recently removed, one more Oak specimen grew in its place but posed a hazard to University passersby. Master Arborist Susan Sims of Riverside consulted with the University and concluded the large tree was leaning too heavily to the east and could collapse. The tree’s removal was recommended due to safety concerns.
The University has since adopted an effective approach to protecting its trees. Presently the trees around the Quad are encircled by native mulch areas that are designed to defend the trees against damage and sponsor growth.
“We return the fallen leaves to the mulch area which then supplies the tree with nutrients,” says McClintock. He explains the leaves contain auxins, plant hormones that are essential for tree development and strength.
“People think Oaks live forever,” says McClintock. “But in this sort of climate you have to treat them delicately. And that’s we plan to do with this new specimen.”