According to Assistant Director of Physical Plant/Grounds Bud Winsor, five trees were removed from Oya Hill during Spring Break.

This decision was made after a large top of a blue spruce came down in the middle of Appian way the week before because of wind, according to Winsor.

In an email addressed to faculty and staff, Winsor stated, “The whole group of these Oya Hill trees has been in steady decline for the past five years, and it is fair to say that at least two would be classified as hazardous.”

Campus arborist Noah Washburn topped a number of these trees last summer because they were showing signs of “severe die back,” according to the email. Washburn suggested monitoring the health of these trees, and “without exception, their condition was deteriorating rapidly with some being close to the point of complete structural failure,” Winsor said.

According to Keene State Today, the trees were planted as a memorial of Henry Oya, the gardener at Keene State for many years. Winsor said, “the immediate visual impact will be drastic, but the liability of trying to maintain them longer than necessary could cause a hazardous situation as student activity increases in that area when the warmer weather approaches.”

In the email, Winsor said that the original plan was to take the trees down over the Summer, but the state of the trees had become too big of a concern. He said that five trees would be planted to replace them in early Spring. The replacements are similar, but improved trees called Hoops Blue Spruce.

Devon Roberts can be contacted at

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