Home » NEWS » Education » USM fixing 'front porch' after tornado; plants huge oak trees

USM fixing 'front porch' after tornado; plants huge oak trees

HATTIESBURG — Three months after an F-4 tornado tore through the front part of campus, the University of Southern Mississippi has taken a huge step in restoring the damaged landscape.

Yesterday, five mature oak trees were planted to kickoff the first phase of a Campus Beautification Plan. The live oaks, measuring 40-feet high by 40-feet wide, were supplied by Florida-based grower, The Magnolia Company. These trees are root-pruned and grown specifically for transplantation. Each one is between 25-30 years old.

The tornado that struck the Hattiesburg area on Feb. 10 destroyed approximately 75 trees on the Southern Miss campus. Among the trees destroyed were four legacy oaks estimated to be at least 90 years old.

“After we realized how much damage had been done to the landscape, we immediately began formulating a plan to restore the beauty that everybody associated with this campus,” said Loren Erickson, superintendent of landscape at Southern Miss. “Replacing the giant oaks that were lost with these new trees is a great start to what we believe will be an even better ‘front porch’ for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

Last month the University launched a $3 million Campus Beautification Plan aimed at restoring the campus’ “front porch.” Thus far the campaign has raised $170,000, which includes a $100,000 contribution from the Southern Miss Alumni Association.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About MBJ Staff

Leave a Reply