Symbolic Tree Succumbs on Susquehanna University Campus

Originally posted: August 29, 2011

A sugar maple tree that has graced the Susquehanna University campus for more than 150 years, officials believe, is beyond saving and will be honored with a ceremony before being removed and repurposed. The public is invited to the Sept. 5, 4:15 p.m. service at the site of the tree, between the university’s Selinsgrove Hall and Blough-Weis Library.

Susquehanna Director of Facilities Christopher Bailey said there was concern about the tree in the spring, when it didn’t flower as expected. The university called in Eric Vorodi, owner of, and certified arborist with, About Trees Consulting, of Boiling Springs, who confirmed the tree was dead.

Both information from Vorodi and a turn-of-the-century university photograph indicate that the tree likely predates the institution.

The ceremony will include remarks from University President L. Jay Lemons; The Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke, university chaplain; and Associate Professor of Communications Kate Hastings, who will provide historical perspective. Stephanie James, senior administrative assistant to the vice president for finance, will read a poem, and Bailey will preside over a new tree planting, followed by refreshments.

“This will be a sad experience for many of us, but marking it with colleagues and community members who love our history—and care—just seems right,” said Lemons.

Tree removal will take place later in the week.

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