City, University Announce Plans for East Wooster Trees

This fall, 60 trees will be planted along East Wooster Street, from Mercer Road to Thurstin Avenue, as part of a continuing effort by the city of Bowling Green and BGSU to beautify the East Wooster entrance to the city.

The trees will include three varieties of oaks, five varieties of maples, Chinese lacebark elm and other trees known to thrive in this region. The tree selections were based on the soil in, and the size of, the planting area, and how the combination of trees will enhance the appearance of the city and the University.

Bowling Green’s Rotary Club donated $8,400 towards the purchase of trees along East Wooster, where many improvements have been made in the last few years.

During major construction in 2004, road improvements included widening and the addition of turn lanes at several intersections; new and wider sidewalks; underground infrastructure improvements, and the underground burial of all electric, telephone and cable lines. That project was undertaken with federal funding as well as funding from the state and the city.

“A significant investment has been made in the East Wooster corridor,” said Municipal Administrator John Fawcett. “This area of the city is very important as an east-west transportation route and as the first area of the city seen by many visitors. The improvements we’ve made—and now with these additional trees—demonstrate the prominence of this corridor and justifies the city’s investment in this area.”

BGSU, as part of its master planning process, hired a landscape architect to develop a long-term plan, which includes landscaping guidelines for the East Wooster area. These improvements are ongoing, and the recommendations were also used in deciding the types of trees to be planted this fall.

In preparation for last year’s street widening and improvements, several trees had to be removed. The construction plans called for retaining as many existing trees as possible. City and University tree experts have closely monitored the trees that remained but feared that some were impacted by the construction. It has been determined that some of the remaining trees on the north side of the road were damaged during the installation of a new storm water line and utility duct bank. Some of these trees have already died and have been removed, while others have begun to die and are showing other signs of significant stress.

As a result, about 19 trees will need to be removed, and that work is slated to begin at 8 a.m. Monday (Oct. 3).

Crews will need two days to remove 18 trees located between campus parking lots A and D. As a result, westbound traffic between those two lots will be diverted to the center lane Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 4).

The other damaged tree, a silver maple adjacent to South Hall and McFall Center, will be removed Tuesday. On that day, westbound traffic will be diverted to the center lane from the intersection of East Wooster and South College Drive to Founders Hall.

“The underground utility construction weakened the root structure of these trees,” Municipal Arborist David Bienemann explained. “While we don’t like to remove trees, in this case it is a safety issue. The weakened root structure could result in the tree falling on the sidewalk or road. The safety of those walking and driving in this area is paramount and necessitates these trees to be removed.

“Fortunately, we are able to plant many new trees, and we are thankful to the Rotary for their generous donation. We also appreciate the cooperative effort between the city and the University in beautifying this area.”

It is anticipated that the new trees will be planted in November. Work will continue throughout October to prepare for the plantings.

Once additional funds are available, it is hoped that more trees can be planted on East Wooster from Interstate 75 to Mercer Road.

September 26, 2005