The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) values the diverse species of trees on our campus and the conservation role trees play in our green building efforts. This principle is reflected in the university’s sustained commitment to maintaining and restoring campus ecosystems in our green building process. UT Austin has been awarded Tree Campus USA by The Arbor Day Foundation for five years running. We have an excellent track record of moving our healthy, heritage trees when we construct new facilities or reusing trees within the structures if it becomes necessary to harvest them. During the past 15 years, UT Austin has transplanted 46 trees with a 93% survival rate.
Below are examples of green building projects where tree moves were part of or will be part of the construction scope:
* Pictures courtesy of UT Landscape Services and Environmental Design Inc.
Darrel K. Royal Stadium and AT&T Conference Center
This project was awarded landscape project of the year in 2007 by the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Norman Hackerman Building
This project was awarded the arboricultural project of the year in 2010 by the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Student Activity Center and College of Liberal Arts
Dell Medical School
All trees on the medical district site have been catalogued and evaluated for health by both the UT Austin Arborist and private consultants.
Most of the trees will be outside of the medical district’s primary construction zones; many are in the Waller Creek floodplain. Some of the trees will be impacted by district related construction (e.g., installation of bioswales and footpaths, upgrading of bridges). Unhealthy trees that pose a danger will be removed as is standard practice on campus. Non-native trees may also be removed in the interest of improving the eco-system services of the district.
In December, the university began pruning trees, removing dead or dying trees (many of these will be set aside for milling and reuse), and prepping Heritage and Protected Trees identified for transplant.
The university has dedicated funds to move trees in building footprints that are healthy enough and viable for transplanting within the medical district.