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The poor condition of the elm trees in and about the Yard has made radical changes necessary. The trees have been attacked by the leopard moth, which bores into the wood, making any attempt at their extermination practically impossible. Moreover, work on the subway and the sewerage system in Harvard square has been injurious to the trees, as much moisture is drained off, thus making them more susceptible to the attack of the moths.
During the past academic year, eight trees have been cut down, as it was found impossible to save them. Of these, two were in front of Holworthy, two in the centre of the Yard, two between Massachusetts and Harvard Halls, and two on the Delta by Memorial Hall.
To replace these and in preparation to the replanting of the Yard, twelve red oaks have already been set out. These trees have not been found to be susceptible to the attack of moths, and when full grown the foliage is very luxuriant, so that the appearance of the Yard will ultimately unimpaired. The best loam procurable has been placed about the roots of each, within a radius of about eight feet and to a depth of four feet.
It is probable that during the summer more elms will have to be cut down, and it is feared that ultimately very few of the trees can be saved. It was deemed advisable, however, to delay further operations until after Class Day, so that the appearance of the Yard may be as good as possible.
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