The following is an open letter to the Virginia Tech community regarding the removal of the Sycamore tree on the Henderson lawn. 

To the Campus Community,

After many years of heroic efforts at preservation, the large sycamore tree within the Henderson lawn has succumbed to old age and cannot be saved. We have had several evaluations over the last few years looking to eke out additional time in the life of this very old tree. We regret that it must be cut down. This is the only safe and appropriate course of action. Work will begin about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 27 and should be completed by about 5:30 p.m. the same day.

Fortunately, the university will be working with town government for possible redesign of the area around Henderson Lawn.  It is our intention to plant another tree somewhere in the vicinity of the old tree once the design work is completed.  We hope that future generations will enjoy the shade as much as we have.

University faculty have taken cuttings and will attempt to propagate future saplings. However, we can’t site another planting until we fully understand the future use and design for this important interface area between campus and downtown.  The wood from the old tree will be saved for the time being awaiting recommendations on possible re-use.  

Please send questions or comments to my office.

Sincerely,

Mark Helms
Director Facilities Operations