If Dickinson College were to decide, hypothetically, to remove a handful of trees from its campus, there would be no winners; no matter which trees were cut down, the campus would suffer a loss. That being said, there are certain trees on campus that should definitely be protected from the sudden removal of trees, and the sugar maple outside of Althouse unequivocally falls into this category.
Compared to many of the other trees on campus, this sugar maple is still in its infancy. This sugar maple was planted about ten years ago, and has witnessed many momentous occasions on this campus. Even so, this sugar maple still has essentially its whole life ahead of it. Dickinson aims to take young people, and cultivate them into the best versions of self that they can be; denying this young sugar maple the same opportunity—to be guided and allowed to flower into the best version of itself—goes against everything Dickinson stands for. Cutting the sugar maple down at this stage in its life would be like extinguishing a flame that has just been lit.
In the ten years that my sugar maple has lived on Dickinson’s campus, it has seen multiple classes of Dickinsonians matriculate, thrive, and graduate; it has seen the departure of President Durden and the arrival of President Roseman; it has seen the daily comings and goings of students rushing to and from classes. It would be a shame if this future historian was not allowed to continue its work.
Generations of future Dickinsonians to come deserve to be able to see the sugar maple’s autumnal beauty for themselves. Sugar maples, known for the richness of their leaves’ color—in all seasons but especially in the fall—are breath-taking to behold. My sugar maple in particular is in a perfect location, standing at the crossroads of multiple pathways; its beauty can be appreciated from all angles, and it has a 360 degree view of its surroundings. If this sugar maple were to be cut down, the academic quad would be left with an open space that would seem out of place amongst the scattering of trees that dot it.
If trees were to be removed from Dickinson’s campus, my sugar maple should not be one of them. Removing this tree would be a crime against the environment, and one that violates Dickinson’s morals.