Trinity has begun its search for new Library Square trees to replace the Oregon maples previously in Library Square, according to Estates and Facilities. College hopes that any new tree will last for 100 to 150 years, and “look good too in that space over that time”.
The search for new trees comes in the wake of Library Square’s Oregon maple tree unexpectedly falling down earlier this summer. A second Oregon maple was removed shortly afterwards due to fears of it also falling.
Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for Estates and Facilities explained that Trinity is “at the start of trying to look for replacements for the fallen trees”. It is currently unclear how long this process will take.
The first step in replacing the trees is to survey the underground area at the site of the fallen trees. According to Estates and Facilities, this investigation is taking place through the use of “ground penetrating radar”.
Estates and Facilities are considering the potential impact of climate change on any new trees, noting that they “needed to consider whether replanting with the same species as fell down (Oregon Maples) is the best choice or not as Dublin may become unsuitable as a habitat for that species”.
Should College decide to plant new Oregon maples, Estates and Facilities told Trinity News that they currently have a few small seedlings of the maples growing which may be suitable for use.
Following the collapse of College’s famous Oregon maple earlier this summer, College made the decision to cut down the second tree over fears of another collapse. Speaking to Trinity News, Trinity’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Taylor explained that internal scanning of the trees a few weeks prior to the initial fall had revealed one of the trees “was getting hollow quite quickly.”
“The science of this is that basically a tree will fall if the stress in the wood gets too high, so the wood breaks,” Taylor explained. “That can happen to a normal tree if there’s a very bad storm, but if the wood in the tree is gradually getting weaker then you can reach a point where even a mild storm, or even just the weight of the tree itself, can be enough to cause the wood to fail and bring the whole thing down.”