STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Estimated 200-year-old white oak tree cut down in Tippecanoe County

A quiet road in western Tippecanoe County is named for a centuries-old tree marking its entrance. This week, that tree on Old Oak Drive was cut down by the county.

Posted: Jul 31, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Aug 1, 2019 7:00 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A quiet road in western Tippecanoe County is named for a centuries-old tree marking its entrance. This week, the tree on Old Oak Drive was cut down by the county.

An arborist at Purdue estimates the white oak tree could have been living for as long as 200 years. Abraham Lincoln was ten years old in 1819.

When neighbors came home on Tuesday evening to find the tree down, they said they were devastated to see the landmark was gone.

The old oak has been sitting on the corner of David Ward's property since he moved in two years ago. After storms earlier this year, he started noticing tree limbs falling too close to his house.

"We knew it might be a liability, but there was quite a bit of it left. As time went by and we thought more and more about it, we became concerned," said Ward.

Ward said the county sent an arborist to check the tree out after he reported his concerns.

"That certified arborist confirmed that it's a hazard and it probably ought to come down," added Ward.

Highway Department Executive Director Stewart Kline said the tree's main stem was 80 percent hollow and had a 15-foot long crack in it.

"I felt bad about the tree coming down, but I recognize that it was a traffic hazard," said Ward.

Purdue University Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell said the county made the right call.

"Just based on the safety targets around here, the homeowners, the cars, bicycles, so, probably had to come down, we don't like to see old trees come down but sometimes they have to," stated Purcell.

Neighbor David Tate said he had no idea the tree would be coming down.

"So, yesterday I heard some tree work and our son came home and he said they're chopping the big oak tree down and for a lot of us around here that is kind of symbolic of this neighborhood and kind of sad to see," said Tate. "You know when you're coming down the road you turn in and you see that big majestic tree and you hate to see that it happened."

Neighbors are planning to plant another white oak tree in a similar spot, but far enough from the road so it won't become a hazard.

Ward and his family are planning on taking the wood from the tree to build a bench in memory of the tree that had been a staple in the area for years.

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 60°
Rensselaer
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 65°
Delphi
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 57°
Storm Chances Return Tuesday Night
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events