Since 2009, Davey has partnered with the midwest-based university to maintain the trees on campus.
Located in Carbondale, Illinois, Southern Illinois University (SIU) was founded in 1869 as the state’s second college for students who were seeking careers in the education field, with only a dozen academic departments. Now, SIU students can pick from a variety of programs, including agriculture, engineering, business, computing, and more. SIU’s accredited, top-rated agriculture programs use 2,000 acres of university farms featuring crop and animal production, an equine center, greenhouses, and the Shawnee National Forest.
Davey originally teamed up with SIU for recruiting purposes, attending career fairs to attract students into the green industry, participating in forestry club demonstrations, and working with students during their “summer camp” in the spring.
In May 2009, Davey and SIU strengthened their partnership after a straight-line, wide-spread, long-lived wind storm called a derecho hit caused severe damage to the campus. SIU called on its existing relationship with Davey to help with storm cleanup and perform a tree inventory to take note of the storm’s damage.
Since then, SIU has utilized Davey to supplement the capabilities of the university’s on-site maintenance crew. Davey helps the university’s maintenance crew remove large trees close to infrastructure, and prune hazardous limbs to help keep the university compliant with building regulations. As the landscape has changed over the years, Davey Resource Group (DRG) updated tree inventory data in 2017 to give SIU the latest information on their trees. In 2019, Davey helped SIU become an accredited arboretum using the Arb Net program at the Morton Arboretum after a year of preparation. Davey also helped the university plant 150 tree species to diversify their landscape and meet arboretum requirements, using the latest inventory data to guide their decision making. SIU currently uses TreeKeeper to keep tabs on their trees and maintenance schedules.
Davey and SIU’s partnership continues to grow, with Davey crews working alongside campus staff to make sure their trees can be studied by many students to come.