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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2011

IU Bloomington reports major tree damage

May 27, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As a result of Wednesday's (May 25) severe weather in Monroe County, Indiana University Bloomington sustained significant tree damage, which the university's veteran landscape crew members are calling the worst tree damage on campus in the last 30 years.

At most recent count, IU Bloomington has lost nearly 300 trees, according to university officials who surveyed the campus in the wake of the storm, and this does not include damage north of the intersection of East Tenth Street and the Bypass and the IU Golf Course.

Dunn's Woods Path

Photo by Peter Stevenson

A fallen tree across a path in Dunn's Woods

Print-Quality Photo

Particularly affected is Dunn's Woods, the densely wooded area located in the middle of the historic Old Crescent district of campus and bounded by a number of academic buildings, including the IU Maurer School of Law. Several large mature trees are down and most paths are blocked by tree limbs. Access to the woods has been blocked due to the threat of falling limbs. Also in the Old Crescent district, a large tree fell in front of the Student Building and damaged the sun dial to the building's east.

Wednesday's storm traveled from west of Bloomington through the IU Bloomington campus, cutting a path from Third Street to Seventh Street, through Dunn's Woods, Dunn Meadow, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building, the Arboretum, across North Jordan Avenue and finally exiting the campus through the IU Golf Course.

There are a number of fallen large maple trees outside the HPER Building, which is now fully exposed in some areas from the west, and fallen trees took out the fencing on the adjacent tennis courts.

Additionally, the Arboretum, located adjacent to the Herman B Wells Library, sustained heavy damage, particularly to old-growth trees. Trees also were reported lost inside the Wells Quadrangle buildings, in front of the IU Health Center, south of the Wells Library, north of Bryan House, at the entrance to Hilltop Gardens, along Third Street, south of the IU Auditorium, and west of the IU Foundation headquarters at Showalter House. A large tree on Seventh Street fell against the Student Legal Services building. Crews have removed the tree, and the university will begin assessing structural damage to the house.

IU Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities Tom Morrison said that it will take months to clean up the damage, trim broken limbs and make walking paths safe, and that it may take years to replace the old growth. "After three big storms in the past 11 months, and a summer of drought last year, we have lost far more trees than we have planted. We will certainly need to reverse this trend," Morrison said.

IU officials continue to assess the damage caused by this week's storms and recommend visiting the university's new public safety website, available at, in the event of future severe weather.