Students get down and dirty on Redstone’s pines

Students met on the Redstone Green to begin phase one of the Redstone Pines Restoration Project Nov. 15.

“All of the trees in Redstone Pines, for the most part, are invasive Norway Maples,” senior James Biddle said. “They are classified as invasive because they outcompete native vegetation and also have toxins in their roots that kill surrounding vegetation.”

Students used saws and specialized equipment to cut down and remove invasive trees such as the Norway maple, Biddle said.

Redstone Pines being restored PHOTO BY RYAN THORTON
Redstone Pines being restored PHOTO BY RYAN THORTON

Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection and UVM Trees organized the event in hopes to combat the invasive species that currently threaten the forest, according to the website.

Biddle is a forestry major, the UVM Tree Campus coordinator, VSTEP club signer and the leader of the event.

The restoration project came about after the decision was made to make UVM a “Tree Campus,” Biddle said.

A Tree Campus is officiated by the Arbor Day Foundation once the University meets all of the five standards “to establish and sustain healthy community forests,” according to their website.

The fifth standard is a “service learning project,” such as the Redstone Pines Restoration, according to the website.

Twenty-one people participated in the effort, including a UVM forestry professor, according to VSTEP.

“I feel like the project was a success in getting different types of people from the UVM community involved in a project, because not all those who participated were ‘tree huggers’ or necessarily members of the forestry club,” sophomore Katherine Kennedy said.

The second phase of the project will resume in the spring, during the growing season, when VSTEP and UVM Trees will repopulate the Redstone pines by planting native Vermont tree species, Biddle said.

“We are not in the interest of removing trees permanently, we are here to hit the reset button and grow trees that reflect better the surrounding area in which we live,” he said.