One of the striking features of the Oregon State University campus is the beautiful tree-lined streets and pathways and tree canopies across campus. The Oregon State University campus is home to about 5,000 trees, and each year another thirty-five new trees are planted. Supporting our valuable resource, OSU has a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, celebrates Arbor Day, and has various service learning projects aimed at engaging students. And, OSU has received the Tree Campus USA Award for five years in a row, which recognizes our efforts in effectively managing our campus trees, developing connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests, and engaging students in leaning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry events.
Building upon the OSU focus on stewardship in the care of our campus trees, Capital Planning and Development has stepped forward to integrate reclaimed wood into several of our new construction projects. It’s always difficult when a large tree dies or needs to be removed, but several trees will live on in their service to Beaver Nation, as tables, chairs and decorations.
In August 2012, a 100-foot, 50-year-old red oak on the MU Quad fell. The wood from this oak has been milled and will become furniture for the new Student Experience Center (SEC). As Larrie Easterly, Project Manager for the SEC construction explains, “Because this was a naturally-growing tree, the grain in the wood is very unique and has a lot of character, which will make spectacularly beautiful furniture.”
Repurposing and integrating our OSU trees into the built environment has expanded since 2012. At the site where Johnson Hall will be built, there are two large black walnut trees that are diseased and need to be removed. Once these trees are removed, the wood will be milled to be integrated into furniture and wood design elements of Johnson Hall. Similarly, elm trees that were removed for the construction of the SEC will be used in the meditation room at the SEC. Black walnut trees that were removed for the construction of the Centro Cultural César Chávez will become furniture for Centro Cultural César Chávez, MU, and the Student Experience Center.