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The Elm tree

The massive tree as it stands today with most of the top dead and limb pieces falling. Photo by PJ Martin

By PJ Martin

The Herald-News


It is unknown the exact age of the Elm tree standing in the north corner of the courthouse yard, but this once majestic tree has weathered many storms and stood firm.

Wouldn’t you like to know the things it has seen over those many years? How many generations of people have walked below its branches? How many children have played baseball in the courthouse yard around it? It’s a fixture many of us take for granted as always being there.

This once grand tree is getting on in years and has now become unstable. Recently, a limb fell at the feet of someone walking down the sidewalk. Many of the uppermost branches have no leaves and are now dead and decaying.

At the moment the accompanying photo was taken, a limb was hanging precariously waiting for a stiff wind to come and blow it down.

In concern for the safety of the people walking near it and driving by it on the square, the time has come to discuss taking the elderly Elm tree down.

Judge/Executive Harold Stilts and the magistrates have briefly discussed options to safely remove the very tall tree.

The permanent option would be to hire a professional tree service with a tall bucket truck to take the entire tree down. A second option is to remove the top and leave the trunk, but that would also leave the parasitic vine growing on it. Plus, this would leave the trunk to be dealt with in the future.

The mere mention of removing the tree in the past has been met with disagreement, but it has come down to a matter of safety.

Safety outweighs the sentimental value in this situation.

A massive parasitic vine has taken over the tree trunk and worked its way upward. Photo by PJ Martin



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