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Bascom Hill Loses Two of Its Elms

July 16, 1997

Dutch elms being cutdown on Bascom Hill Two of Bascom Hill’s aged elm trees are being taken down this week, not because of the Dutch elm disease that has killed many of their kind, but because of safety concerns.

Gene Turk, supervisor of the university’s Environmental Services Department, said that in recent weeks a large limb on one of them had broken off, striking a light pole and landing on the sidewalk below. The trees, located on the south side of the hill near the Law School and South Hall, were found to be rotten inside and unstable.

“They were very old and in poor condition,” said Turk. “We had to get them down before someone got hurt.” Turk said the elms will be replaced with red oaks.

A third elm in front of the Law School will be pruned and supported with cables, and probably will not need to be removed for some time, Turk said.

Most of the stately elm trees on Bascom Hill are nearly as old as the university itself, having been planted in the 1850s. The university was founded in 1848.