City to Remove 150-Year-Old Tree From Kirkwood Park
Residents have enjoyed the "Iconic Greentree Tree" for generations but drought conditions have taken a toll on the Missouri State Champion.
The following article was submitted by the City of Kirkwood.
This Sugarberry tree (Celtis laevigata) located in Kirkwood Park was designated a Missouri State Champion tree on May 18, 2011. It was the largest known Sugarberry in the state of Missouri, and it was estimated to be over 150 years old.
The Tree’s Statistics:
- Circumference: 145 inches
- Height: 71 feet
- Spread: 82 feet
Over the years, the tree has sustained heavy damage due to a lightning strike and to rotor wash from a Marine helicopter. In 2011, the Kirkwood Parks department installed a split rail fence around the tree and mulched the entire area in an effort to preserve the tree for as long as possible, continuing a process to preserve the tree that stretches back 30 years. On July 6, a major portion of the tree failed and broke away due to the extreme drought conditions and rot within the tree, leaving an extremely hazardous situation that resulted in the tree being removed.
Generations of Kirkwood citizens have enjoyed the “Iconic Greentree Tree,” and it will always have a special place in our memories.
Kirkwood parks’ superintendent Curt Carron and horticulturist Pete Laufersweiler are investigating the possibility of keeping the tree alive long enough to collect mature seed in the fall. They hope to work with somebody at St. Louis Community College at Meramec or at St. Louis County’s greenhouse to propagate the tree’s gene pool.
Any questions about the tree’s removal should be directed to Murray Pounds, Kirkwood Parks & Recreation Director, at 314-822-5855.