An icon that's stood for decades in southwest Omaha, met its end today. This despite a local businessman's attempted "eleventh-hour reprieve".
A two century year old tree trunk gets a one hour stay of removal when Nick Bartholomew asked the mayor's office to reconsider cutting it down. Bartholomew says, " I’m very sad to see it, they've already taken down a beautiful tree one of the oldest trees in this community and at the point it is now just leave it alone."
But the reprieve from city hall is lifted and parks crews saw through the trunk. What's left of a tree that stood since horse and buggy days lost out to horsepower. Nick tells the parks maintenance manager, "We were hoping to save it today at least a piece of it." Josh Frey city parks maintenance manager responds, "Where it sits right now it's a liability as close as it is to the street."
The widening of 168th and q took most of the cottonwood a few years ago but the trunk stood tough to the end. A scale on the crane weighed the top section at nine thousand pounds. City tree experts counted rings to estimate the trunk was two hundred and four years old
The trunk is now being taken to a location near Lake Zorinsky. Anyone who wants a commemorative piece can call the city for a chip off the ole block.
A natural landmark became a hazard. So for safety sake the city cut it down despite a late plea to let it stand. Nick says, "I wasn't going to chain myself to it today. I didn't have a coat and it’s too cold."
The entire trunk weighed nearly **twenty thousand pounds**.
Anyone who might want a piece of it can call Omaha parks at 444-5920. No decision on if or when it will be turned into sawdust.