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Aug. 9, 2022

Downed MSU trees find new life on campus

MSU’s East Lansing campus is an urban arboretum, home to over 20,000 trees of various species including White Oak, Norway Spruce, Eastern White Pine and many more. But what happens when trees need to be removed because of damage, safety concerns or new construction?

The benches outside Erickson Hall, made from downed trees on MSU's campus, were built in collaboration with the College of Education.

Arborists at IPF, in continuous collaboration with the Department of Forestry, the Office of Sustainability and the Beal Botanical Garden, are committed not only to maintaining but also improving our arboretum by following a one-for-one replacement policy with various tree species that thrive in Michigan. Over 300 trees were planted in 2020 alone.

The trees that are removed are not discarded, but are used in a few different ways. Some are turned into mulch, which is then used in MSU’s landscaping beds. Others are used for more creative pursuits and are worked into beautiful furniture by local craftspeople as part of the MSU Shadows Collection.

IPF’s Landscape Services also uses downed trees to craft outdoor furniture that stays right here on campus. Last year, IPF worked with the College of Education to install seating areas outside of Erickson Hall, and recently worked with the College of Veterinary Medicine to create more modern-style pieces.

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By: Danielle Fowler

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