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University of Missouri

Campus Trees Lost to Drought

MU to plant 150 new trees by 2014.

dead tree

About 100 campus trees died during the 2012 drought, and workers will be replanting for two years. Several of the new trees will be Chinese pistache and crape myrtle, which survive drought better than some other species. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

Missouri’s long drought in 2012 hit campus hard, and Landscape Services workers spent 90 percent of their time watering, 50 percent more than in normal years. Still, the lack of rain and a string of 100-degree days caused the death of some 100 trees on MU’s 705 developed acres. In response, Landscape Services plans to plant about 150 new trees on campus by the end of 2014. Lawns lacking automatic irrigation were scorched, including those at Peace Park, Dairy Lawn and the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. With plenty of replanting in the offing, some alumni are looking into making the gift of a Tribute Tree. The trees cost between $2,500 and $3,500, depending on location. A 5-by-8-inch bronze plaque next to the tree acknowledges the gift.