Church to remove 600-year-old landmark tree

The fight to protect and preserve a 600-year-old landmark tree is coming to a close.



Members of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church say the church's majestic white oak tree's roots are too weak to draw nutrients and that the tree is dying.



News 12 is told the white oak was already centuries old when the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church was founded in the year 1717, around which the town was built.



Church members say even though the tree has so much history, the landmark must come down.



"No, it's not about the tree. It's more about us. It's more about how we have a sense of home, a sense of community," says Jon Klippel, church member. 



Members say taking down the tree won't be easy, emotionally or physically, since the tree cannot be conventionally cut down. Nearly 100 years ago, cement was poured inside the trunk and branches to replace rotting wood. 



The church plans to take down the tree next year, and it is raising some of the tens of thousands of dollars needed through online public donations. 


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