The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    College had good reason to remove trees

    This fall, freshmen attending classes at De Anza College and getting their first taste of the rich campus grounds and breathtaking tall and majestic trees may puzzle over the absence of such trees in L Quad.

    Returning students, still wading through the lingering swelter of summer and accustomed to taking refuge beneath the shade of trees on campus might be alarmed to find that no such refuge exists in L Quad any longer.

    Well, the giant shade trees that used to grow in L Quad that provided such a wonderful canopy over the fountain area are gone. By the college’s decree, they were removed during the summer and replaced with the little trees that can be seen there now.

    This, coupled with the recent removal of several tall redwoods that stood in front of the parking lots, has not painted De Anza administrators in a pretty or environmentally-conscious light.

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    However, despite the now sorrowful state of L Quad, the college had numerous reasons to remove the trees, and they acted responsibly in doing so.

    As it happens, many of the trees were already dead or dying anyway, most just hanging on by their last limbs (so to speak).

    The redwoods, elms and several other varieties of trees that grow on campus and elsewhere in the valley are not native to the climate. They can grow here, but it takes a lot more work to keep them alive than trees that are native to the area.

    Also, as was the case with the redwoods, being outside their native climate can lead to the trees contracting diseases that will eventually kill them. The Japanese elms that grew in the L quad were not the ideal trees to plant in this environment, as they require a great deal of water to survive.

    Part of the school’s irrigation system in L Quad was replaced during the summer, which would have destroyed the trees’ roots during installation, further damaging the already sickly trees.

    Trees that are unhealthy or dying can be dangerous to those walking near them. Branches and limbs can splinter or fall and have the potential to cause serious injury or death.

    Using money the college had available through Measure C funds, removing the unhealthy trees now and replacing them with easier-to-take-care-of native trees was the right decision. All the work was done during the summer so as to affect the fewest number of people.

    While it may seem irritating that L Quad no longer has the tranquil quality that came with the bigger trees and the shade they provided, removing the trees was a necessary evil for the safety of the De Anza population. By planting the new native-growing trees and redoing the irrigation system, the school has worked to ensure that L Quad will return to its former pleasantness sooner rather than later.

    The new trees are small now, but will grow relatively quickly. Within a few years, they will be just as big and just as good at providing shade as those that came before them.

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