Osage-orange

Everyday Gardeners

A Tree (Still) Grows in Kewanee

Congratulations to the Kewanee (IL) City Council for doing the right thing.

Rather than cutting down a 180-year-old Osage-orange tree along a city street, the council voted to spare the tree until arborists could devise a plan to save the tree while safeguarding the public right-away.

Here is the Osage-orange tree during pruning.

Here is the Osage-orange tree during pruning.

The historical tree, a last vestige of a farm hedgerow planted before the Civil War, was slated to come down Nov. 24. Instead, it was pruned of several overhanging branches. Here are photos of the tree after last week’s pruning, courtesy of Jason Knowles, consulting forester with Knowles Municipal Forestry, LLC.

Overhanging branches have been removed. Osage-orange is a strong tree with interweaving fibers, so a longtime lean such as this is not always a problem. Volunteer arborists will soon examine the tree for structural integrity.

Overhanging branches have been removed. Osage-orange is a strong tree with interweaving fibers, so a longtime lean such as this is not always a problem. Volunteer arborists will soon examine the tree for structural integrity.

Volunteer arborists will study the tree for structural integrity (Osage-orange is renowned for strength and this example has been leaning for years without noticeable deterioration). If the tree can be saved, there may be a fundraising drive so the city of Kewanee does not pay a monetary penalty for its decision to save the tree. I’ll keep you posted!

The size of the tree is impressive.

The size of the tree is impressive.

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