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Andersen civil engineers work to manage base tree population

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wilson
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
 Andersen housing residents and base workers may have noticed a significant amount of tree and shrub removal over the past week.

The project, which is part of constant, ongoing removal operations the base maintains with local contractors, aims to remove vegetation that can directly harm existing base homes or workplaces with underground roots, instances where maintaining them are not cost-effective, or in cases where damage has occurred due to termite or rhino beetle infestation, according to 36th Civil Engineer Squadron officials.  

"Folks will see trees starting to disappear in military family housing areas and then the industrial side, which is a rather large area, as well (other areas,)" said Gerald Smith, 36th CES performance assessment representative for base contracts. CES maintains contracts with off-base companies to perform the actual removal of the trees and vegetation. The squadron identifies the trees that need to come down and monitors the progress of the contracts continuously.

Smith noted the project is not tied to any specific issue but is considered part of basic landscape management.

"The civil engineers have been thinning or removing vegetation since I got here 14 years ago and they will continue on for the next 300 years, or as long as the base is here," he said.

1st Lt. Zachary Schumann, 36th CES Operations Engineering office in charge, says that the current large-scale removal of trees also benefit the base during the current uncertainty surrounding the military budget.

"In the shrinking budget and fiscal environment we find ourselves in right now, removing shrubbery around base that have a high cost associated with maintenance while still making the landscaping look good Is a priority when the funds are disappearing," he said.

Schumann added that the trees selected for removal where chosen deliberately.

"The criteria for removing the trees are whether or not their unmaintained growth poses a risk to a facility's structural integrity, whether it is roots growing under the sidewalk into the curb and into the foundation or the fact that it's getting so close up against the side of a building that it's causing rust and mold. We are removing only the trees that pose a threat to Andersen air force base property"
The base continues to stay committed to providing a natural, beautiful island landscape on Andersen to fullest extent possible, officials said.

For more information, contact the Civil Engineer Squadron customer service number at 366-2925

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