University Facilities

Campus Tree Removals and Replantings

Clemson University is committed to providing a safe, attractive, educational and sustainable campus urban forest through preservation of existing trees and new tree plantings. A tree may be considered for removal for any of the following reasons: it is determined to be dead or diseased beyond preservation; its location, condition, or deterioration constitutes a safety hazard; its location affects the preservation and maintenance of adjacent buildings; the tree is damaged from the elements or disease to the extent that its appearance is unduly affected; its location is determined to be an obstruction or hazard to utility lines; its location interferes with the construction of facilities and associated site development; or for other appropriate reasons. The determination of trees meeting the above conditions is the responsibility of the Director of Landscape Services.

Trees recently approved for removal are listed below. All removals are in accordance with the Main Campus Urban Forest and Landscape Management Policy and Main Campus Urban Forest & Landscape Management Plan.

Competing Trees Near Fort Hill

Tree 010600, an 18-inch Southern Magnolia adjacent to the historic Calhoun house, will be removed this summer. The University arborist determined that the magnolia tree is growing too close to the Second Century Oak and developing competition for growing space, light, water, and nutrients. If both trees remain, the competition will negatively impact the long-term health of both trees. Dr. Don Ham, Clemson Emeritus Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, and principal with the Laurus Group, an arboricultural and urban forestry consulting company, concurred with this assessment. Historically, the Second Century Oak memorializes the location of the first meeting of the college’s trustees. The southern magnolia was not a feature of that original landscape but was added later in the twentieth century. It is not a historical asset to the landscape and its removal will improve environmental conditions that help ensure better health of the Second Century Oak.

Housing and Parking Services

As part of our continuing Arboriculture Risk Management Program for the university, Landscape Services recently inventoried all of Housing and Parking Services' trees. Part of the inventory process is to visually inspect the trees for obvious defects. Only a very small % of the trees inventoried possesses an unreasonable risk and will have to be removed between 5/11/15 and 8/17/15.

High Risk Main Campus Removals

The following main campus trees possess an unreasonable risk and will be removed over the summer break. New tree plantings will be added in nearby locations where possible this fall.
  • Tree 070407 is a 36-inch water oak near the Chilled Water Plant. The lower trunk has a wound that is beginning to decay. The tree is suppressed by surrounding trees and has triple leaders in the top that are likely decayed. If any of the top leaders fail as a result of decay or poor attachment, they would hit the overhead electric lines that are within 12-15 feet of the trunk. This is a poor quality tree, is not an asset to the campus landscape, and should be removed.
  • Tree 5242, a 48-inch water oak near the Armory has been declining for years. Crown dieback is continuing as a result of soil compaction and internal decay. Tree structure, specifically large branch attachment, is the greatest concern. One branch extending over Pendleton Road is particularly an issue because of the poor attachment and the associated internal wood decay.
  • Tree 030298, is a 32-inch sugar maple near the Clemson House. This tree has extensive, advanced decay throughout the trunk and major leaders.

Douthit Hills Student Community Construction Project

In advance of construction of the $212 million on-campus residential village for upper class and freshmen in the Bridge to Clemson program tree removal will commence the week of May 11, 2015. The trees being removed make way for seven residential buildings along with a central hub building containing a dining facility, a bookstore, and other student amenities.

In the fall of 2012, an engineering survey was completed that located each of the approximately 700 trees greater than 4” in diameter on the project site. Dr. Don Ham, Clemson Emeritus Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, and principal with the Laurus Group, an arboricultural and urban forestry consulting company, was brought in to assess species, size, condition and potential risk of each tree. He determined that some of the trees need to be removed due to age or structural problems that increase the risk of falling branches or trees. Others have damaged root systems from poor drainage or compacted soil after decades of giving shade to residents' cars and tailgate parties. Design modifications have saved some trees. However, many trees slated for removal are within the footprint of development.

Much of the tree protection is already in place. As an added precaution during construction, Clemson has required the project contractor to hire a certified arborist to be on site. The consultant selected is a Clemson graduate with knowledge of the property and its importance to the university and community.

By late fall/early winter following the completion of construction in August 2018 the plan is to have planted more trees than removed and increase species diversity.

Lot C-09 Island Renovations

Trees 230066, 230070, 230072, and 230073 are Red Maples with advanced decay and must be removed as part of the island renovation project.

Littlejohn Coliseum Project

32 small trees of various sizes such as Hollies, Crape Myrtles, Dogwoods, Elms and Maples and larger Willow Oaks must be removed to accommodate the construction and renovation of the Littlejohn Coliseum. The excavation for the foundation of the building and associated utilities will necessitate these tree removals.

17 smaller Chinese Evergreen Oaks and 9 very small Indian Hawthorns will be removed as an opportunity is presented to replace this poor condition plant material. The Chinese Evergreen Oaks have been disfigured and damaged by squirrel gnawing. They will be replaced with a new selection of trees that is better suited for the site. Replacing this poor condition plant material at this time will enhance the improvements being made to the coliseum.

A new planting plan will be presented later in the project.

Electrical Infrastructure Removals

  • Tree 10697 - 8’’ is a Japanese Zelkova located directly across the street from Brackett Hall that needs to be removed because of improvements to the electrical infrastructure.