Tree outside Old Main to be removed for safety reasons

Bob Galuski, Editor-in-Chief

The huge bur oak tree outside of Old Main, which has been at Eastern for decades, will be removed during the next few days after limbs fell, making the tree and surrounding area unsafe.

A large portion of the tree, estimated to be nearly 300 years old, broke free and fell to the ground around 5 a.m. Friday after a storm passed through.

John Sigler, the associate director of support services at facilities, planning and management, said the largest severed limb fell onto the circle drive.

President Bill Perry said they had been monitoring the condition of the tree for some time, and he made the call to remove it because of safety concerns.

However, he added that efforts were being made to store the biggest pieces in a dry place to help preserve them.

Perry said the removal of the tree would take a couple of days to complete, and in the meantime, the circle drive area would be closed.

Sigler said the grounds crews were working on cleaning up the area Friday. He said cutting down the trunk of the tree would be the most difficult.

“The sheer size means we will most likely need the use of a crane,” he said.

Sigler said the only things that would be effected during the removal of the tree would be the circle drive and sidewalks.

Perry added that ideas had been flourishing on what to do with the remains. He said the pieces could be used for anything from benches to cutting a slice of the trunk for a display.

Bob Galuski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].