New plantings replenish Salve Regina’s tree inventory
Arborists from Bartlett Tree Experts and facilities staff from Salve Regina will be planting 15 trees on campus during the next two weeks, a replenishment that is part of the University’s ongoing and comprehensive Historic Tree and Landscape Program.
Backed by a $100,000 grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the plantings are part of the University’s five-year, $575,000 inventory and maintenance plan launched in 2012. The project – in addition to the replenishment – includes a comprehensive documentation, monitoring and maintenance plan to preserve and protect the 1,200 trees of 98 different species featured throughout Salve Regina’s 80-acre campus. The project also includes development of a detailed digital catalog and walking tour to be accessible via the University’s website.
Under the direction of Christopher Fletcher, Bartlett’s ISA certified arborist, and Mike Chester, Salve Regina’s superintendent of grounds, the Bartlett Inventory Solutions team produced a 200-page report detailing the species and condition of every tree on campus, estimating value, evaluating conditions and risks, and recommending a course of action for each in an overall plan for the continuation, preservation and management of the campus’s tree heritage.
All trees have been numbered and tagged using GPS to create an electronic location and information map pinpointing each tree in a network of observation and care. All this information will be available publicly when launched online in the coming weeks.
For nearly two decades, Bartlett and Salve Regina have partnered to care for campus trees, but the Historic Tree and Landscape Program comes at a critical time. The Bartlett report shows a large percentage of campus trees to be very mature, exotic specimen trees planted during the “back to nature” movement of the late 19th century by the original Newport estate owners. Because many of these trees are more than 100 years old, significant decline in tree health was observed. While some aged trees cannot be saved, many others are expected to thrive for many more years with proper care.
Among the Bartlett recommendations in the report are for the pruning of 621 trees, the removal of 46, the cabling and bracing of 145 trees, lightning protection installation in 10, root collar evacuations for 376 and decay assessment for 76 trees.
The Historic Tree and Landscape Program has also received a $50,000 grant from the Hamilton Family Foundation, along with generous support from several individuals and the University’s Circle of Scholars program.