Campus trees have been recognized as something special from the institution’s earliest days. In the early 1800s, “the Grove” was shorthand for the campus. Trees unite campus buildings of diverse styles into a unified whole. Trees have enormous practical value—they provide outdoor rooms where classes meet, colleagues talk, student groups jostle and debate, and individuals study. They provide shade for buildings and people, fix carbon, release oxygen, and evapotranspirate the rain that falls on them.
The UNC Grounds Department continually monitors tree health, replants as necessary, and cares for the enduring campus ecosystem. During unprecedented recent expansion, tree protection plans were created for each capital project and all campus trees were entered into a geographic information system (GIS) database. A study of historic and heritage trees and landscapes, conducted in 2005, inventoried current assets and provided species selection and landscape planting guidance for new capital projects. Out of this study emerged a policy to provide inch-for-inch replacement of trees removed from the landscape.
A tree protection program was launched at Carolina in 1999. The program requires that all of the construction documents for each capital project include a tree protection plan indicating which trees can go and which must stay. Protection strategies include fencing, geotextile and mulch soil covers, and logging mats.
For the development of Carolina North, a Tree Replacement Fund was launched in 2007. Trees identified for removal as part of a construction project as replaced, inch-for-inch, elsewhere on campus. A tree protection plan for each project maintains, and actively protects, as many trees as possible. Since 2008, contributions to the historic tree replacement fund have totaled $250,000, paying for almost 200 trees and shrubs in 2010-2011.
Task Force On Landscape Heritage & Plant Diversity (2005)
“The Dignity of Restraint: A Study to Preserve and Enhance the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Majestic Tree Landscape"
Grounds Department - http://www.fac.unc.edu/