Cornerstone University’s nursery holds up to 100 uprooted trees to be put on campus
By Nicole Swistak
Trees are being taken out and put in all around campus this year.
The Ash Borer bug has infected many trees on the Cornerstone University campus and new trees are being put in.
Currently there are up to 100 uprooted trees behind Cook Hall’s parking lot.
They may seem out of place, but according to Chris Lowe, campus services director, that section of land is the campus nursery. The campus nursery houses all of the excess plants. The Ash Borer bug is native to Asia and was accidentally introduced to the United States in the 1990s.
The Ash Borer bug lays their larva in the trees and the larvae eat the tree’s tissue.
It may take up to a year to notice that the larvae are living in the tree. One telltale sign are D shaped holes in the tree’s bark.
According to Lowe, “a lot of our trees are affected by [the Ash Borer bug] and a lot are dying. The only way to get rid of the bug is to get rid of the affected trees.”
The trees located in the nursery come from Great Lakes Landscapes Supply in Cedar Springs.
The owner is friends with Jim Farrell, campus grounds supervisor. Farrell originally went to Great Lakes Landscapes Supply to buy new trees for the faculty building, but left with many more trees than he expected.
Great Lakes Landscaping Supply had around a hundred older and partially damaged trees they were looking to get rid of. Campus Services decided it would be good to invest in more trees to replace the ones affected by the Ash Borer bug and got them at a good price.
Some of them were marked down very low and others were free.
Farrell is very thankful for the trees because he said, “typically when you buy trees, you get a two to three inch diameter tree for $300 apiece.”
The average cost per damaged or old tree was $28.
“That is crazy low,” said Farrell.
The trees will not all be planted by the end of this school year.
According to Lowe, they came late in the year and will be processed in as they take out the trees affected by the Ash Borer bug.
They plan to plant six to ten more near the new faculty building and will be gradually planting the other new ones starting in the spring of 2012 and finishing in the summer.
The school had 1,800 perennials donated to them around commencement time from Walters Garden in Zeeland.
In total, the school has received about 4,000 plants donated and planted around campus this year.
All of the trees bought or given by Great Lakes Landscaping Supply do not have a direction yet, but “[they’re] working on it,” Lowe said.
The total amount of trees Great Lakes Landscape Supply was willing to sell at a low price to CU was 110 trees.