Abbot Road Rejuvination Project starts May 25

Posted at 12:48 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 13:22:13-04

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 marks the beginning of the Abbot Road Landscape Rejuvenation Project where old landscaping will be uprooted at the Abbot Road entrance to MSU.

May 25 – June 10, 2016 from 8:00a.m.–6:00p.m., southbound Abbot Road will be closed and reopened on the evenings and weekends. Parking along southbound Abbot Road will be closed throughout the project and there will be pedestrian detours available. 

The main aspect of the project will be uprooting the current Norway maples and replacing them with swamp white oaks.

Several decades ago, the Norway maples were planted to create an allée of trees coming into campus and creating a nice canopy, according to Frank Telewski, Professor of Plant Biology and Curator of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum.

Today those trees are old and decaying, causing danger to pedestrians and losing it's aesthetically pleasing look. 

In a decade and a half, the swamp white oaks will reach a mature size -completing the ideal look. Swamp white oaks can live for over 200 years. According to Telewski, the swamp white oaks planted near MSU's Mary Mayo Hall "predate the campus by a good century." 

There are five main parts of the process, including replacing 21 Norway maples and one Norway spruce with 16 swamp white oaks, removing eight evergreen groupings, adding five Sugar Tyme crabapple trees, adding five trees near the MSU Union and Campbell Hall, and alleviating soil compaction and amending the nutrients in the soil, according to MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. 

"The Abbot road entrance is one of our signature entrances to campus right off East Lansing, so to really have it rejuvenated and have the vegetation reconfigured really adds to the beauty of the campus that we are well known for," Telewski said.