Centuries-old tree taken down in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was said to be up to 250 years old, but after surviving hurricanes, blizzards, and vast growth in the city of Springfield, a large oak tree in the city’s Forest Park neighborhood has finally been brought down due to decay.

A look at the Keith Street tree before it was taken down.
A look at the Keith Street tree before it was taken down.

Richard Reid and his Keith Street neighbors looked on sadly as the iconic tree came down, branch by branch.

Reid said this was a landmark tree in the Forest Park neighborhood, where his family has lived for more than 128 years. He said that the oak, which was about six feet around, was a favorite of his late mother.

“My mother used to walk to that tree from our house and that was goal to get from our house to that tree, she used to put her hand on that tree, she used to walk back to our house, and that was her day,” Reid said.

The tree was badly decayed, and was taken down for safety reasons. Reid feels the tree could have been saved. The Springfield tree warden and the Northern Tree Service disagreed.

“Upper canopy, it does have a lot of defects, It has a lot of cavities. It dropped quite a few limbs and also there’s a fine example right there: it’s got a lot of decay,” Alex Burlachanko of Northern Tree Service said.

City inspectors have lately been going from neighborhood to neighborhood, recommending the upgrading of homes and discovering which trees need to be removed.

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