A landmark that is believed to have pushed itself skyward for 116 years has been reduced to firewood and sawdust, leaving a gap in the landscape at 457 W. 400 South in Richfield.
The city's tallest tree couldn't stand in the way of progress and was removed to make way for a city improvement district project.Also, officials said a change in water distribution would likely dry up the underground supply that fed the old monarch.
But the tree was apparently well on its way to extinction long before it was cut down. "Experts told us that the tree could not stand another topping because the top was the only thing keeping it alive," said Corwin Ogden, who was reared in a nearby home.
The tree was either planted or grew from a seed, probably beginning its growth in about 1878. Richfield resident Woody Ogden said his late father estimated that date as the tree's beginning.
Even back in 1943, it had become one of the largest trees in the area. It was "topped" in 1953 and given a side cutting 13 years ago.
But the tree got some revenge, however. It cost $5,300 to have it cut down piece by piece. "This is the largest, most difficult tree we have ever removed," said Eldon A. Neves, one of the owners of Seven Trees Tree Experts, contracted to remove the landmark.