Tree farm leaves campus in the green

June 20, 2014 Latest Print Print
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OCCC does many things to make the campus as self-sufficient as possible. One way that’s accomplished is having a tree farm, said John Boyd, Business and Finance vice president.

The farm is located on the southwest corner of the campus.

“It’s not too far from the Facilities Management warehouse,” Boyd said. “ … You can see it as you go around Faculty Circle.

The tree farm was started in 1996, Boyd said, after OCCC administrators saw the need to save money when trees on campus died and needed replaced.

The tree farm allows OCCC to have an inventory of different types of trees to use when needed, he said.

“Rather than going out and buying a fully mature tree, we can simply move a tree from the tree farm into the place where that tree was.”

Boyd said OCCC gets saplings for the tree farm from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The college also has received trees from a grant, he said.

“I am not aware that we’ve ever gone out and purchased any trees that go on the tree farm.”

The maintenance and upkeep of the tree farm is just like any other area of campus, Boyd said.

He said OCCC does whatever is needed to keep the trees healthy and ready for use.

“The tree farm is irrigated to keep the trees alive,” he said.

“The trees require pruning and tending and … they are inspected for any kind of disease.”

Boyd said the tree farm is home to 219 trees and 14 different species.

Those range from bald cypress to maple trees, he said.

Not all trees on campus are from the tree farm.

Boyd said the trees outlining the campus and on both sides of Faculty Circle are different types than those grown at the tree farm — for a reason.

“Those were all planted as part of our Master Campus Plan,” Boyd said.

“None of those trees are from the tree farm. They’re a more uniform planting.”

Because of the difference in tree species, Boyd said, the trees lost when the campus took storm damage in May of 2013 could not be replaced by those grown at the farm.

“We simply wouldn’t do it,” he said. “It’d be like wearing two different color of socks.”

Boyd said a few trees lost in the storms were covered under warranty while the others were paid for out of pocket since the college’s insurance did not cover tree replacement costs.

Boyd said he hopes OCCC students notice and appreciate the effort OCCC officials have made to make the campus beautiful. He said the tree farm plays a large part in what OCCC students see daily on campus.

“We want the students to come to this campus because it’s where they want to be, not because it’s where they have to be,” he said.

“We want the campus to be safe — that’s our number one priority … .

“And number two, when [students] tell people they attend Oklahoma City Community College, that they say it with a degree of pride.

“I hope the campus is appealing to students as they come in.”

For more information about the tree farm, contact Boyd at jboyd@occc.edu or call 405-682-7501.

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