EDWARDSVILLE - A towering historic maple tree in Edwardsville City Park had to be removed on Thursday morning because of safety concerns. Mark’s Tree Service was hired by the city to bring the tree down and by lunchtime, all that remained was a stump.

The tree has been in the eyes of the City’s Beautification and Tree Commission and Parks and Recreation staff for about five years and Sarah Cundiff, the chair of the commission, said they knew the tree was declining, but tried to keep it in the park for as long as possible. She said now because of all the people that visit City Park, it was “a safety concern" and had to be removed.

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“Given the size and length of the tree’s limbs and the number of people who pass through City Park, the city officials thought we would see limbs fall or the whole tree could tumble, so they decided this was the time to give the tree a graceful farewell,” City of Edwardsville spokesperson Cathy A. Hensley said.

When Hensley departed the park this morning, the stump was all that remained. She said experts projected the tree was approximately 125 years of age.

The historic tree had been a part of Edwardsville’s history for many years, Hensley said, and will be missed.

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