FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Many may not realize but Fresno State's campus is also an arboretum. After years of drought though this winter's El Nino weather pattern has prompted officials to look at removing more than 100 dead trees.
Fresno state has long been proud of its Maple Mall next to the Ag Sciences building. Now, though, mostly all the area's tall Modesto Ash trees have been removed.
Fresno State grounds manager Mike Mosinski said they've already taken out 90 trees from the campus this year that were dying. The trees' life spans were drastically cut short after years of drought conditions and then being pummeled with heavy rain and wind this winter. "Once the trees start to leaf out, and you get rain, and that added weight to the limbs will just break off," said Mosinski.
Officials said a Coastal Redwood tree on campus has already died. Fresno State expects to take out another 50-60 dead or dying trees by this summer.
Fresno State is trying to be proactive in protecting the trees and the campus from damage. "It will try to self-heal and wall off that damage, but then you can see there's places here where the pests have been able to get up inside here," explained Mosinski.
This Modesto Ash tree is next on their list to cut down before it falls down on its own.
The campus is an arboretum, acting as a living laboratory of sorts with roughly 4,000 trees that are dozens of different kinds of species. They're now trying to replace the trees with some that are native to the Central Valley while also keeping up with the trees important to Fresno State's arboretum collection and tree walk guide. "They love the trees, they love the looks of the campus landscape when we get in the summer quite hot so it's nice to have that shade," said Mosinski.
Fresno State is in the process of doubling the number of trees it's losing, hoping to have roughly 300 planted within the next year.