A tree is a terrible thing to waste. Jeff Hughes, grounds and sustainability manager at Seattle Children’s, is constantly saving or recycling trees displaced by construction around our campus. The latest example: six trees that must be removed from the median on Sand Pont Way NE near 40th Avenue NE where we’re installing a new traffic light and bike/pedestrian crossing.
Hughes will dig up three cedar trees and replant them in a nearby site on our campus. Three pin oaks, which wouldn’t survive being transplanted, will be cut down but their wood will be saved to create benches.
Hughes doesn’t just save trees around our campus. During a visit to a local nursery, he spotted 11 large river birches that were slated to be cut down because they were growing near power lines. He purchased the trees for pennies on the dollar and led a crew that dug them up. Two are planted in front of the Hartman Building and the others are destined for a bioswale on the Building Hope site, where their tolerance for moisture makes them a perfect fit.
The river birches in front of the Hartmann Building are part of frontage improvements we completed this fall. The landscaping also includes three mature boxwoods we salvaged from the Building Hope site and a form of ground cover called pig squeak that Hughes introduced on campus years ago – in part because he knew he could transplant clumps of it later as it grew and spread.
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