Diseased poplars to be removed near campus entrance

Drought and disease have taken a heavy toll on five non-native Lombardy poplar trees near the main entrance to UC Santa Cruz.

The campus will start removing the decaying trees on Monday (Aug. 28), given the public safety risk they’re creating. Two of the four remaining poplars will be pruned to improve their health.

“Trees are one of the defining characteristics of UC Santa Cruz and the campus entrance is an iconic part of campus,” said Mike Hanson, interim director of Physical Plant. “We are looking to replace these trees in the future with native trees that will thrive in our unique landscape.”

Lombardy poplars typically grow adjacent to creeks or streams, which provide the trees with a constant supply of water.

Crews will spend about two days removing the trees, which will require temporary and intermittent closures of the southbound lanes of Coolidge Drive south of the Cooperage. Crews will spend an additional two days grinding the stumps.