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K-State Today

April 29, 2019

K-State named 2018 Tree Campus USA

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

For the sixth year, Kansas State University been recognized as a Tree Campus USA. The university first received the designation in 2013.

Tree Campus USA is a national program of the Arbor Day Foundation. The program honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in conservation.

To obtain the distinction, Kansas State University met the five core standards for an effective campus forest management: Establishing a tree advisory committee, showing evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, hosting an Arbor Day observance and sponsoring student service-learning projects.

"Since becoming a Tree Campus USA in 2013 we have installed permanent, educational signs near 18 spectacular campus trees, planted more than 30 new trees and provided various educational opportunities during the week of Arbor Day," said Cathie Lavis, professor and extension specialist in the horticulture and natural resources department and member of the university's tree advisory committee. "We must continue to expand this educational mission so that our treed campus is well maintained and this legacy is continued for future generations."

The university's tree care plan includes tree selection and planting, pruning, staking, trunk protection, preventative maintenance pruning, service requests, fallen limb removal, hazard and emergency tree removal and stump grinding, all of which offer learning projects for arboriculture students. 

The tree advisory committee also developed a five-year strategic Emerald Ash Borer Readiness and Response Plan to acknowledge, manage and minimize the ecological, economic, and aesthetic effects that the emerald ash borer will have on the K-State Manhattan campus. The plan aims to minimize the impact and potential for loss of ash trees at the lowest cost to the university; limit the exposure to liability imposed by an infestation of the emerald ash borer; protect students, faculty and staff, and visitors from hazardous trees and conditions; and maintain the beauty and efficacy of university properties.

Other tree advisory committee members included Kim Bomberger, associate community forester, Kansas Forest Service; Ray Cloyd, ornamental entomology and integrated pest management; Lavis; Scott McElwain, director of the Kansas State University Gardens; Judy O’Mara, instructor/diagnostician, plant pathology department; Lee Skabelund, landscape architecture and Regional and community planning department; Joe Myers, physical plant supervisor and facilities grounds manager; Ryan Swanson, university architect; Mark Taussig: campus landscape architect, associate director campus planning and facilities management; Randy James, arborist/owner, Growing Concerns; J. David Mattox, forestry supervisor, city of Manhattan.