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Removal planned for one Camperdown elm at State Capitol

July 15, 2019

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) plans to remove a Camperdown elm at the State Capitol State Park that did not survive a 2017 transplant operation.

Six trees—four Camperdown elms, one cherry, and one redbud—were transplanted in the spring of 2017 to make way for the Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance, and Safety (CAMS) project designed to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project also includes updating mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

The ADA improvements required moving trees from both the east and west sides of the Capitol. Five of the trees appear to have survived being transplanted, though one other Camperdown will be pruned due to dead branches.

The dead Camperdown elm was infested by insects, attracted moss build up, lost its bark, and lost all its foliage. It has not bloomed in the past year. Arborists were consulted when it showed signs of distress.

“Parks has done all it can to help the tree succeed, but it’s just not responding,” Jodie Jones, director of the CAMS project said. “The trees needed to be moved to make way for the entire scope of the project, and CAMS took great pains to ensure qualified arborists completed the work and fenced in the trees to prevent equipment and human damage. Five of the six trees are doing great, but despite every effort, one did not make it.”

The diseased elm will be removed on July 18 during normal landscaping activities. Four new, mature Camperdown elms will be planted this fall; two outside the east entrance, and two outside the west entrance over the new utility vaults. The roofs of the new utility vaults are designed to hold the weight of the new trees. The transplanted Camperdown elms date back to the late 19th or early 20th centuries and had been moved at least twice before. Older trees are less able to bear the stress of transplantation, according to OPRD stewardship staff.

OPRD will oversee the tree’s removal.