Chainsaws and wood chippers buzzed and roared on the lower downtown campus Tuesday as three dying trees, which could be in danger of falling down, were cut. All three will be replaced.
A catalpa tree in the fenced in park near the Y intersection was actually hollow, said McGill Horticulturalist Eric Champagne. “It’s still living, and I wanted to keep the tree,” he said, “but as much as we wanted to keep it, the risk was too high.”
The catalpa, a west coast species known for its long seed pods, will be replaced with another catalpa, after Quebec’s heritage ministry overruled Champagne’s plan to replace it with a native red oak.
A sugar maple at the southeast corner of the Otto Maass Chemistry building is dying and beyond saving, Champagne said. It will be replaced with a different species of maple – a red maple that grows at the Morgan Arboretum – because sugar maples do not tolerate urban environments well.
Finally, a Japanese lilac near the School of Architecture’s Macdonald-Harrington Building, will come down because it has been shedding big branches for some time. It will be replaced by a tree of the same species, Champagne said.