To eliminate hazardous eucalyptus trees and reintroduce more native species on campus, the college planted 56 new trees last summer. Due to a lack of funding, removal of hazardous trees has been delayed.
Currently, eucalyptus trees comprise around 80 per cent of the trees at Mills, according to the school’s 1996 vegetation management plan. As the eucalyptus age, they become prone to toppling and dropping limbs.
According to the vegetation management plan tree and limb failures have increased recently and are a serious threat to life and property.
Associate Director of Campus Facilities, Paul Richards, also recognizes the danger of the aging eucalyptus.
“Trees die. As soon as they die, they’re in danger of falling,” said Richards.
Removal of the hazardous eucalyptus trees lining Kapiolani Road and other sites on campus has been delayed due to lack of funding. According to Richards, the hazardous tree fund was eliminated from this year’s renewal and replacement budget. The result is frustrating for campus facilities.
“We’re ready to move on those trees any time the school decides to do it,” said Richards.
Meanwhile, the incorporation of more native species is part of the effort to phase out the eucalyptus trees. Species like the redwood and California oak are steadily being reintroduced onto the college campus by as part of an overall plan to restore the original vegetation of the area. Twenty-five redwoods were included among the group of 56 trees planted over the summer.
“We’re trying to improve the native habitat every chance we get,” said Richards, “To make natural habitats healthy and come back is really a challenging project.”