BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Supporters of Stadium Woods on Virginia Tech's campus are criticizing the university for cutting one of the forested area's old white oaks.

About 15 students and community members held a vigil Thursday night near the site where the tree was felled earlier in the day.

The Roanoke Times ( ) says Environmental Coalition President Erica Largen told the gathering that the loss of the oak is a reason to fight back and protect the remaining trees.

Some of the white oaks are estimated to be more than 300 years old.

Tech officials say two arborists hired to evaluate the 85-foot-tall oak determined that it was at risk of falling. The 4-foot-diameter tree stood near a walking and biking trail.

Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski says the tree was a safety threat.


Information from: The Roanoke Times,