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Seattle Pacific University
Autumn 2007 | Volume 30, Number 2 | Campus

Saying Goodbye to Three Trees

A century-old blessing


Three dying trees had to be removed from Tiffany Loop.
The tree pictured to the right was one of three removed.
With so many beautiful trees circling Tiffany Loop, it may not be obvious at first. But careful observers will notice several gaps in one of the most popular places on the Seattle Pacific University campus.

In July 2007, three dying big-leaf maple trees were removed from the Loop. A certified arborist identified root disease and trunk and stem decay in the trees, estimated to be in the last 5 percent of their normal life expectancy.
In the forest, the trees would have fallen over naturally in the next few years. On a crowded college campus, allowing nature to take its course was determined to be too dangerous.

Seattle Pacific President Philip Eaton accompanied arborist John Hushagen and University staff members when the trees were inspected in early June. In a memo to the SPU community, Eaton wrote, “As I toured the Loop, I told them that we regarded this space, these trees, as something quite sacred in our community. This was our center greens, our historic grounds, and I wanted to make sure this action was absolutely necessary.”

Some of the trees were more than 100 years old, planted by the founders of Seattle Pacific in the late 19th century. Like the Loops other historic trees, they were lovingly cared for, with pruning, cabling, and injections to prevent disease done on a regular basis. “SPU makes a major commitment to their landscape, and it shows,” says Hushagen, who has been monitoring the trees on campus for more than 17 years. He’ll recommend four new trees to be planted in the Loop in winter or early spring.

Jeff Daley, SPU’s head gardener for 16 years, says watching the trees come down was emotional: “It broke my heart. But it’s a natural process, and we need to be good stewards of our resources. We’ve been blessed to have these trees as long as we have.”

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Department Highlights

Accreditation for Psychology
SPU's doctoral program in psychology is now in an elite group nationwide.

A Record Freshmen Class
The largest and most ethnically diverse freshman class arrived on campus this fall.

Homecoming ’08
The action-packed Homecoming and Family Weekend is January 24-26.

Retirees Made a Difference
Four SPU faculty members retired with a combined 129 years of service.

Goodbye to Three Trees
Dying big-leaf maple trees removed from Tiffany Loop.

Planning for Casey’s Future
SPU moves ahead with a master plan for developing 82 acres.

Weter’s Legacy Lives On
The late Dr. Winifred Weter left SPU a gift of $4.83 million.