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Fond farewell for old neighborhood tree



Published: Fri, May 25, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

Neighbors recalled memories of the 200-year-old oak tree as it was cut down.

By MAYSOON ABDELRASUL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

STRUTHERS — Struthers residents gathered to say their last goodbyes Thursday when a 200-year-old tree’s life ended.

Georgianna Ross said the white oak tree in her backyard had provided shade for her and neighbors. But in the past three years the limbs looked so dry and brittle that she knew something was wrong.

After tree experts confirmed that the tree was dead, she had no other choice but to chop it down. “It breaks my heart to do it,” she said.

‘Georgie’ as her friends call her, has been living at her 1929 Wakefield Ave. residence since 1992. For the past 15 years she has taken care of the 80-foot-tall tree.

She loved it in the summer because it provided shade — but in the fall she had to rake it at least three times because there were so many leaves.

As the tree was being chopped down by Bazetta Tree, the neighbors heard a loud thump and headed over to see.

Dorothy Snovak has been in the area 40 years and remembers all the people who lived in that house. She said her son used the tree as part of a school assignment.

“I never thought I would see a tree that old,” Snovak said.

A neighborhood affair

Ross said she felt comforted when her neighbors came and stood with her as the tree was being brought down. “If I didn’t have my neighbors around me, it would be so hard,” Ross said.

As the tree was being cut and hauled away, Ross said she expected to see it all rotten from the inside, but luckily it was still smooth. The stump is still taller than Ross and she said she wants to make a floral arrangement out of it so the memory of the tree remains.

“I am going to miss the tree,” she said.

Another neighbor, Liz Samuel, said “the tree was just majestic.”

The tree was not just tall, she said, but wide. Three men held their arms out and tried to form a circle around the tree but couldn’t because it was so big around. Ross said her 16-foot measuring tape was not enough to go around the tree — it needed another 4 inches.

The white oak tree is not an endangered tree, and there is an abundance of them in the eastern United States. Their life span can be 500 to 600 years if left undisturbed, according to the Web site Blue Planet Biomes.

But for Ross and neighbors, because it had been around for so many centuries, the tree will always have a special place in their hearts.


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